The Green Bay Packers have announced that Colton Zimmerman of Weyauwega-Fremont High School in Weyauwega, Wis., has been named the Packers High School Coach of the Week. The program is presented by Buffalo Wild Wings.
Zimmerman, in just his first year as head coach of the Warhawks, has his team out to a 4-0 start this season. This marks the first time in 17 years the program has started 4-0. The Warhawks haven't finished their season with a winning record since 2010 when they were 5-4. In a short amount of time, Zimmerman has helped transform the team's attitude and culture, starting with a full buy-in from his school administration and coaching staff. Zimmerman believes the focus needs to be solely on the players and giving them the tools they need to succeed on and off the field.
"My first meeting [with the coaching staff] was, 'it's about the kids, and our ego will destroy this team before it even starts,'" Zimmerman said. "So we had to set that aside and it is always about the players, and I truly mean that. It's important we always stay humble. Then it was too easy because I actually walked into amazing young men. We went through some adversity, some designed adversity, and after that, they bought in. I had some friend drill sergeants come over and put us through some tough times and it was immediately after that. They understood that you play for each other. You don't play for anyone else. You play for the guy next to you. Once they started to buy in more and more, it was amazing to see these young men start caring for each other, and the more care they have for each other, the better they're playing on Friday nights."
Zimmerman graduated from Iola-Scandinavia High School in 2008. Throughout high school, he participated in football, basketball, and track. He played quarterback, cornerback and return specialist under Coach Scott Erickson. Following high school, Zimmerman went on to play football in college, winning a Division II NCAA championship at the University of Minnesota Duluth under Coach Bob Nielson. He later transferred to UW-Stevens Point where he played for Coach John Miech, and he graduated in 2012. Zimmerman then went overseas to play football in Germany for three years for the Franken Knights and Cologne Falcons.
Zimmerman's coaching career began as a player ambassador while in Germany, where he coached kids how to play American football. During the German Football League offseason, Zimmerman came back to coach at his alma-mater, Iola-Scandinavia, where he was the defensive coordinator under Erickson from 2013 until 2016. Zimmerman went on to coach wide receivers at Ashwaubenon High School in 2019. Following 2019, Zimmerman stepped away from football and joined the Army National Guard as an Eleven Bravo. Zimmerman then took over as head coach at Weyauwega-Fremont this season.
While Zimmerman is honored to win the Coach of the Week, he views it as a team award first.
"It's not about me and it never will be. It's about these kids," Zimmerman said. "They're clearly putting up 4-0 records. This coaching staff that's putting in extra time, we're having meetings on the weekend and we're missing time with our family.…We're all making those sacrifices, but these kids are worth it because we're seeing them grow as young men, which is so much more important. That will [mean] so much more in the future, not only for this community, but for the greater area, and I think that's what's important."
Zimmerman and his staff oversee a program of 48 players. His assistant staff includes Ben Billington, Mike Hansen, Max Meyerhofer, Justin Miesenhelder, Don Lerderhaus, Cory Koplien, Justin Zielke, Rick Boehringer, and Trevor Potratz. In addition to coaching, Zimmerman is also a Behavioral Coach for the K-12 Weyauwega-Fremont School District. Zimmerman and his wife, Deandre, have one daughter, Demi.
About the Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week Program:
The Packers will recognize one outstanding high school coach as their 'Coach of the Week' winner during the 2022 high school football season. Winners are awarded several items and privileges, including a $2,000 donation to the school's football program from the Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Wild Wings and the NFL Foundation, as well as recognition of the award on Packers.com, Wissports.net and Wifca.org.
Nominations for Coach of the Week should be submitted by 10 a.m. every Monday to Ryan Fencl, Football Outreach Manager, at email@example.com. Please include the nominee's name, address, school, phone number and reason he/she is deserving of the award.