The Packers have announced that Al Moroder of Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wis., has been named the Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week.
Moroder, in his sixth year as head coach of Nicolet, recently wrapped up a historic season for their football program. After finishing their regular season with a record of 6-3, the Knights qualified for the WIAA Playoffs for only the second time in the school's history and the first since 1989. In Round 1 of the Division 2 tournament, Moroder and his team knocked off the Milwaukee City–Richardson Conference champions, Milwaukee King High School, 48-6. The win marked the program's first ever playoff victory. The Knights moved on to face Homestead High School where their season unfortunately came to an end following a 26-14 loss to the Highlanders.
Two years prior to Moroder taking over the program, the Knights didn't even have a varsity team. While he and his staff knew it might take some time, the buy-in from the administration and players have made a huge difference in helping turn their football program around.
"This has been 32 years in the making, and certainly something we've strived for," said Moroder. "I think this season was a culmination of focusing on habits and behaviors. When I came here, that was the big thing that we talked about: changing expectations through changing habits and behaviors. No matter if you are successful on the football field or in the classroom, who you are, what you do, and how you carry yourself is the same. So you're going to be successful if you're doing your homework and practicing in school just as much as you are with the football program. I think the other component was that this administration came in with understanding that, in today's society, we want a quick fix, and this wasn't going to be a quick fix; this was going to be really focusing on getting in the weight room, and the rebuilding and rebranding our weight room. My administration has been so supportive with anything I've ever asked for, and that's a big part of why you could see this building rather than having a flash in the pan type deal."
Moroder graduated from Homestead High School in Mequon, Wis. in 2004. Throughout high school, he participated in football and baseball. He played middle linebacker under Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Fall of Fame Coach, Dave Keel. Following high school, Moroder attended and played baseball at Concordia University in Mequon, where he graduated in 2008. His coaching career began at his high school alma mater in 2008 as an assistant coach for one year. Moroder would then pick up coaching again as an assistant coach for New Berlin West High School in 2011. After one year of being an assistant coach, Moroder was named the head coach at New Berlin West in 2012. In 2016, Moroder took the position as head coach of the Knights.
Moroder is honored to receive the Coach of the Week Award but views it as an award for the whole program.
"Personally, it's awesome to receive the recognition for the hard work, but I think ultimately that goes back to what the program has done," said Moroder. "A bunch of kids and a bunch of men, in terms of my staff, have put in a lot of time and effort. So this recognition is really a culmination and a team award for me, rather than being a personal award."
Moroder and his staff oversee a program of 52 players with 37 suiting up for the varsity games. His assistant staff includes Jeremie Ott, Tee Smith, Greg Lewis, Aaron Berger, Shannon Ouellette, Dave Quam, Austin Kassner, Andy Wolf, Tony "Pops" Moroder, Evan Rosa and Rick Lagerman. In addition to coaching, Moroder is also a business education teacher at Nicolet High School. Moroder and his wife, Gabe, have two daughters, Maggie and Josie.
About the Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week Program:
The Green Bay Packers Coach of the Week program supports football outreach efforts by giving high school coaches the recognition they deserve. Nominations can be submitted by 10 a.m. every Monday to Ryan Fencl, Packers football outreach specialist, at email@example.com. All nominations should include the nominee's name, address, school, phone number and reason he/she is deserving of the award. Continuing with last year's format, the Packers are seeking coaches to be nominated regardless of their teams' on-field performance. Rather, the nominee could be honored for how they have turned programs around, how the team has impacted the community, or how the coach impacts the players and their families.