Jason Harder, of Green Lake High School, has been named Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week, the organization announced Thursday.
Harder's Green Lake team has started the 2008 season 3-2, outscoring opponents by a combined 110-34 in their three wins. The Division 7 school features a total enrollment of just 123 students, 21 of which are members of the varsity football team.
"Our kids really worked hard in practice and have done pretty much everything we've asked them to do," Harder said. "Being where we are in the season right now is a result of their commitment to what we're doing."
The Lakers have advanced to the playoffs just one other time in the program's history (2006), and enter Friday night's homecoming game against Trailways-Small Conference foe Rio High School in need of one more victory to clinch a berth in the postseason.
"We've only gone to the playoffs once and that was two years ago, so to be on the cusp here again is another direct result of the commitment the kids are giving to the program, and the commitment that our assistant coaches are putting in as well," Harder said.
Harder is in his second season as the team's head coach and fifth with the program. He served as an assistant on the Green Lake staff from 2004-06. Prior to that, he received his start in coaching as an assistant varsity coach for two years at Markesan High School.
His coaching staff is rounded out by assistants Nick Gallup, Gary Nelson, John Schrader, Mike Schrader and Kyle Walker.
A native of Appleton, Wis., Harder attended Hilbert High School where he played both running back and defensive back on the football team under coaches Mike Jonas and Mike Moreau.
He and his wife, Paula, have two daughters, Isabelle and Naomi.
*The Packers will recognize one outstanding high school coach as their 'Coach of the Week' winner during the 2008 high school football season. Winners are 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 packers.com. *
Nominations for Coach of the Week should be submitted by 9 a.m. every Monday to Tim Schroeder, community outreach coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail) or by fax at (920) 569-7302. Please include the nominee's name, address, school, phone number, and reason he/she is deserving of the award.