The Packers have announced that John Redders of Hartford Union High School in Hartford, Wisconsin, has been named the Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week. The program is presented by Jack Link's Protein Snacks.
Redders, in his fourth year as the varsity head coach of Hartford, led the Orioles to a 43-28 victory against Grafton on Friday, Sept. 20. With the win, Hartford starts the season 5-0 for the first time since 2007. The Orioles look to remain perfect on the season as they face another tough test, traveling to Homestead High School to take on the also undefeated and reigning WIAA Division 2 State Champion Highlanders, on Sept. 27.
Redders wanted his team to be well prepared to face the up and coming Grafton team last week.
"There was a lot of buildup to this game," Redders said. "Grafton has established themselves as a contender in the North Shore Conference, and they came out like it. They have a very talented and well-rounded program and are very well coached. I think what made a difference for us was how our kids prepared. We always say, 'the game is won Monday through Thursday,' and what really matters are practices. We had tremendous effort all last week in practice. Our kids were able to recognize everything and really anticipate how the game was going to go on Friday night."
Redders grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, where he graduated from Madison East High School in 1986. Throughout high school, he participated in football, basketball and track and field for the Purgolders. Redders played running back, safety, kicker, punter, and returned kicks under Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame Coach, Wayne Kelliher. Following high school, he played wide receiver and defensive back at Northern Michigan University for head coach, Herb Grenke. Redders graduated from Northern Michigan University in 1991.
Redders began his coaching career in 1991 as the defensive coordinator for Hartford Union High School. After one year of coaching at Hartford, Redders went back to Madison East as an assistant coach under Wayne Kelliher. In 1995, he returned to Hartford as an assistant coach, and he was named the head coach of the Orioles in 2016.
While Redders is happy to receive the award personally, he believes it is more of a team award.
"For our program, it is an honor to get recognized for the hard work that our staff and kids put into it each week," said Redders. "To me, any honor in the sport of football is a team award. Though I'm the head coach, I get that, but I couldn't do it without my staff, and I couldn't do it without my senior leadership. When you build your foundation on togetherness, and taking care of each other, good things happen. We're really proud to receive this honor on behalf of the entire program."
Redders and his staff oversee a program of 110 players, with 52 of them suiting up for varsity games. His assistant staff includes Lance Zodrow, Steve Frantl, Aaron Rusch, Dave Rusch, Paul Shelsta, Paul Coffin, Steve Kenitz, Doug Dimmer, Brad Dzikowski, Corey McCauley, and Bob Sliwinski. In addition to coaching football, Redders is also a physical education and health teacher at Hartford High School.
Redders is also quick to thank his family for this award.
"I would also like to give a special thank you to my family," said Redders. "They are just as much a part of this award, for their constant love and support for me and this program."
Redders and his wife, Carol, have two daughters, Hannah and Micaela, and a son, Michael.
About the Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week Program:
The Green Bay Packers Coach of the Week program, presented by Jack Link's Protein Snacks, supports football outreach efforts by giving high school coaches the recognition they deserve. On a weekly basis, for ten weeks throughout the high school football season, the Packers will select one high school coach as the Coach of the Week. Each honoree will be awarded several items and privileges, including a $2,000 donation to the school's football program from the Green Bay Packers, Jack Link's Protein Snacks and the NFL. Winning coaches will also receive recognition on Packers.com, WisSports.net and Wifca.org, and will be mentioned in the Packers Gameday program. Nominations for Coach of the Week should be submitted by 10 a.m. every Monday to Ryan Fencl, Football Outreach Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the nominee's name, address, school, phone number and reason he/she is deserving of the award.