Detroit, Mich.—The Detroit Lions have named Walker Zaban of Dearborn Fordson High School the week four recipient of the 2016 Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan High School Football Coach of the Week Program.
Zaban led his Tractors to a 49-6 victory over Garden City to 4-0 on the season. In his 10 seasons as head coach, Zaban has a record of 76-26 (74.5%) at Fordson and has led the Tractors to the Michigan High School Football playoffs each of the last 9 seasons. Prior to taking on the head coaching duties, Zaban spent 13 years as an assistant coach at Fordson. Fordson is currently ranked No. 4 in Division 1 and travels to Redford Thurston on Friday, September 23 to take on the Eagles in a Western Wayne Athletic Conference-Blue Division battle.
Regarding player health & safety, through athletic training partner Beaumont, concussion baseline testing is provided for football, soccer and volleyball student-athletes. These baseline tests are used to assess an athlete's balance and brain function, including learning and memory skills and the ability to pay attention and concentrate, as well as the presence of any concussion symptoms. The Fordson Varsity Alumni Club also sponsors free heart check testing for interested student-athletes. The student heart check, also conducted by Beaumont, helps detect children, ages 13-18, who are at risk of sudden cardiac arrest. This type of test is not typically included within the routine physical required for playing interscholastic sports.
High School Football Coach of the Week Program
Each week throughout the 2016 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 (Detroit Free Press), 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 and presenting partner, Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan.
Each winning coach during the regular season will receive a $2,000 donation to his school's football program. At the conclusion of the 2016 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. All winners will 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' 20th year, the Detroit Lions High School Coach of the Week program has awarded $367,000 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.
About Farm Bureau Insurance: Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan was founded in 1949 by Michigan farmers who wanted an insurance company that worked as hard as they did. Those values still guide the company today and are a big reason why they are known as Michigan's Insurance Company, dedicated to protecting the farms, families, and businesses of this great state. Farm Bureau Insurance agents across Michigan provide a full range of insurance services—life, home, auto, farm, business, retirement, Lake Estate®, and more—protecting nearly 500,000 Michigan policyholders.
About the NFL Foundation: The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health and safety of athletes, youth football, and the communities which support our game.