1997 Crowley Award Winner
The Jim Crowlev Award is one of, if not the, most prestigious awards that can be bestowed upon a
Michigan high school football coach. The recipient must demonstrate exceptional contributions to football in general, as well as to the MHSFCA. It is not, nor should it be determined by the win-loss column, but rather by the values and principles that are taught to the young people whom we all serve.
Our 1997 recipient is, without hesitation, deserving of this recognition by his peers and colleagues. He has been coaching football since 1956. During those 41 years he has influenced in a positive way several thousand young men who are today better and stronger people than they would have been without his leadership. As our society has changed throughout the years, Pete has added new dimensions to his program. For example, he addresses issues with parents as to what they should say and do with their sons when faced with some of life’s toughest challenges. He lays out his expectations for the parents as well as the athlete.
Our recipient’s tangible awards are limited – limited to induction into the Coaches Hall Of Fame for both football (1985) and baseball (1991) and his selection for the head coach of the East Squad for the 1989 East West All Star game (his squad was victorious). His teams have qualified for and participated in the state football playoffs. In addition, he has served as a director of the MHSFCA for over ten years to help insure the continued improvement in Michigan athletics. The greatest limitation to his acknowledgment as a success is himself. He is a humble individual who feels more comfortable in praising others than heaping recognition upon himself. He does not speak of “his” team, but rather “our team,” always crediting his athletes and assistant coaches for their successes.
Pete Coil draws many examples for the young men he works with from his deep faith and from other successful men who have coached over the years. A paraphrase of one of Vince Lombardi’s quotations succinctly summarizes his program: “The objective is to win, fairly, squarely, decently, by the rules.” Center Line football teams are successful. They are successful in the win column, but more importantly, the young men leave the school equipped to succeed in life. Coach Coll and his staff provide the leadership, guidance, and the roll models for these young people to emulate. They teach and demonstrate the principles of hard work, honesty and team work.
This award is presented in the memory of the late Jim Crowley, who coached for 17 years at Jackson St. John and Jackson Lumen Christi High Schools, winning two state titles along the way, the last one only two short months prior to his tragic death in 1980. Coach Crowley, a great football coach and devoted family man, stressed having fun, playing hard and being totally dedicated to doing one’s best.
It appears certain that our 1997 recipient of the Jim Crowley Award and the late Coach Crowley are cut out of a similar mold: a leader of young men, a tremendous example to those he coached and worked with, a man of faith and, most certainly, a dedicated family man (married to Marilyn for 42 years and raising four beautiful and successful children along the way).
We congratulate and thank Coach Pete Coil of Center Line High School for his contribution to Michigan High School Football and recognize him as the 1997 recipient of our most prestigious award, the Jim Crowley Award.