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Detroit Lions Coach of the Week - Week 9

October 29, 2014 02:30 PM

Detroit, MI—The Detroit Lions have named Jim Sparks of Clawson High School the week nine recipient of the 2014 Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan High School Football Coach of the Week Program.

On October 24, Sparks led his Trojans to a 35-34 victory over Eastpointe East Detroit to win their 3rdstraight one point victory, move to 6-3 on the season and clinch a berth in the MHSAA State Football playoffs.  In his 13th year as a head coach at Clawson, Sparks has a 73-51 career record and has led the Trojans to 7 state playoff appearances.  Prior to becoming Clawson’s head coach, Sparks spent 9 years as an assistant coach at Clawson.  On October 31, the Trojans travel to #5 ranked and undefeated Almont in Division 5 pre-district playoff matchup. 

In terms of player health and safety, Coach Sparks and his coaching staff took the initiative four years ago to become AED (Automated External Defibrillator) certified.  AED devices measure the heart's activity and produce a mild shock to help restore proper rhythm.  As a result of this initiative, all coaches in other sports at Clawson High School have become AED certified.

High School Football Coach of the Week Program

Each week throughout the 2014 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), Scott DeCamp ( 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 2014 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’ 18th year, the Detroit Lions High School Coach of the Week program has awarded $323,000 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 Youth Football, at 313-262-2248.

Help select the 2014 Detroit Lions/Farm Bureau Insurance High School Football Coach of the Year – YOUR VOTE COUNTS!

For the first time in the program’s 18-year history, this season’s High School Football Coach of the Year will be selected by our five media panelists as well as you – the fans!  Sixteen finalists will be identified on November 22nd, 2014 and the voting will open on beginning November 23rd. Each of our five panelists will submit their vote on December 1st and the sixth and final vote will go to whichever coach garners the most support from the public. May the best coach win!

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.


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