Inaugural Leadership Development Alliance Class Chosen

Inaugural Leadership Development

For Immediate Release, May 27, 2021

JACKSON – Thirteen football coaches from across Michigan have been chosen to be part of the first Michigan High School Football Coaches Association’s Leadership Development Alliance class.

“We had more than 40 coaches from around the state apply to be part of the program,” said MHSFCA Executive Director Scott Farley. “For the first year, we were really pleased with the level of interest and hope that by providing a really valuable experience for them, interest will explode in future years.”

Patterned after the AFCA’s 35 Under 35 program, the MHSFCA developed its program to assist with the professional development of coaches throughout Michigan. Through an intensive leadership training program, coaches will learn from some of the top coaches in the state and create a network to build from in the future.

“In all my years with the association I believe this is one of the best things we have done,” said MHSFCA President Andrew Pratley. “Selecting coaches who are looking to learn from some of the best coaches in the state to improve their craft and thus improving the experiences for young people all over the state is extremely exciting.”

The Leadership Development program will begin during the MHSFCA’s All-Star game weekend next month. The game will be played Saturday, June 26 at Lawrence Tech University in Southfield.

“We feel like we have some very eager coaches in this inaugural class,” Pratley said.

Chosen for the first class are:

  • Tommy Atkinson – Whittemore Prescott
  • Jeff Bacholzky – Almont
  • Trevor Dobruk – Woodhaven
  • Jack Ginn – Allendale
  • Isaiah Gourdine – Harper Woods
  • Eric Hartsell – Carsonville Port Sanilac
  • Ian Iler – Redford Union
  • Michael Mach – Detroit Catholic Central
  • Kyle McElvany – Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central
  • Matthew Peterson – Midland Dow
  • Kurtis Phelps – Vicksburg
  • Alex Smith – Holton
  • Brian Thomas – Stoney Creek

The coaches are not only spread across the state, they also come from a variety of backgrounds, either assistant or head coaches or previous head coaches.

“It is our hope that by pouring into these future leaders, with a curriculum emphasis targeting areas like program development, player development, community involvement, and other areas of interest to aspiring head coaches, we will set them up for success in their careers and they can create great programs in their communities that will impact hundreds of players and others in the coaching profession as a result,” Farley said.

The MHSFCA and its members have been devoted to the promotion of high school football since its inception in March 1972. For more information about the organization, visit