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Lomira's Hatlen Named Packers High School Coach Of The Week

Posted Oct 31, 2003

Randy Hatlen, head coach of the Lomira Lions, has been selected as the Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week for Week 8, the Packers announced Friday.

Hatlen earns the award not only for winning on the field, but also for helping his team overcome adversity. The kind occurring with the passing of a player.

Patrick Geelan was a Lomira junior who played offensive and defensive line. He died last Tuesday, Oct. 21, in the hospital among family and friends. Geelan reportedly had a stroke after collapsing on the field the previous Saturday during Lomira's game against Winnebago Lutheran Academy.

School officials, including Hatlen, met and decided to play the final regular-season game on Thursday, Oct. 23, with support from the Geelan family.

With a game wrapped up in emotion and a short week of practice, Hatlen led his team to a 26-9 win over Laconia, locking up a playoff berth in the process.

With 1:09 left in the game, Hatlen replaced the fullback with a pair of Patrick Geelan's shoes, to represent the lineman's frequent requests to run the football. The compassionate gesture capped off a very moving win for the Lions.

Lomira lost its opening round playoff game to Columbus, but what it took to get there is a true testament to the courage of Hatlen, his team and the surrounding community.

Hatlen was the head coach at Cassville High School from 1985-93 and has been at Lomira since 1994. His overall coaching record is 114-70

Hatlen was born in Stoughton, Wisc. He and his wife, Mary, have two sons, Nate and Nick.

The Packers will recognize one outstanding high school coach as their Coach of the Week winner during the 2003 high school football season. As a Coach of the Week winner, Hatlen and future recipients will be awarded several items and privileges, including a $1,000 donation to the school's football program from the Green Bay Packers and the NFL, as well as recognition of the award on www.NFLHS.com, the NFL's high school football website.

Nominations for Coach of the Week should be submitted by 9 a.m. every Monday to Cathy A. Dworak, Manager of Community Relations, at coachoftheweek@packers.com (e-mail) or by fax at (920) 490-5937. Please include the nominee's name, address, school, phone number, and reason he/she is deserving of the award.

 
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