Detroit — The Detroit Lions have named Tony Kimbrough of East Kentwood High School the week four recipient of the 2017 Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan High School Football Coach of the Week Program. Kimbrough's East Kentwood Falcons defeated Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 46-32 to run their record to 4-0 on the season.
Kimbrough has coached for 21 seasons and is currently in his 4th season as a head coach at East Kentwood. He was an assistant at East Kentwood for four seasons, Grand Rapids Community College for three seasons, and Western Michigan University for two seasons, in addition to coaching in the Arena Football League for eight seasons. The Falcons have made two state playoff appearances under Kimbrough, advancing to the Division 1 semifinals in 2014 where they lost to eventual champion Clarkston. His career record is 25-11 (69.4%). On Friday, September 22, the Falcons host the 3-1 Grandville Bulldogs in an Ottawa-Kent Conference Red Division battle.
In terms of player health and safety, the Falcons coaching staff focuses on form and roll tackling drills throughout their tackling circuit, resulting in minimal in-practice contact. The team also utilizes specialized football equipment that stresses proper tackling technique without tackling others. These procedures, in addition to a strength training emphasis on development of a student-athlete's neck muscles, are believed to help reduce concussion and injury risk.
High School Football Coach of the Week Program
Each week throughout the 2017 nine-week high school football regular season, one coach that best develops his players' character, discipline, and football skill in addition to emphasizing player health and safety in their program, will be recognized for his commitment to the team, school, and community. The winner is selected by a panel of high school football media members—Mick McCabe (former Detroit Free Press sports writer), Hugh Bernreuter (Saginaw News), Bret Bakita (WOOD Radio-106.9 FM, ESPN 96.1 FM-Fox 17/Grand Rapids), and James Cook (Traverse City Record-Eagle).
This season's program will award $22,000 to aid in the development and promotion of high school football in the state of Michigan, thanks to contributions from the Detroit Lions, the NFL Foundation, presenting partner, Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan and associate partner, Gatorade.
Each winning coach during the regular season will receive a $2,000 donation to his school's football program and a sideline kit, courtesy of Gatorade. At the conclusion of the 2017 Michigan High School Football season, the Lions will also select the High School Football Coach of the Year. This season's Coach of the Year will receive a $4,000 donation to his school's football program, in addition to the Gatorade sideline kit. All winners receive a certificate signed by Lions' head coach Jim Caldwell and National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell, a personalized game ball as well as acknowledgement at an upcoming Lions home game.
Currently in its' 21st year, the Detroit Lions High School Coach of the Week program has awarded $389,000 to high school football programs throughout the state of Michigan. For more information on the Detroit Lions High School Coach of the Week program, contact Chris Fritzsching, Lions' Director of Football Education, at 313-262-2248.