The Green Bay Packers have announced that Michael Harris of James Madison Memorial High School in Madison, Wis., has been named the Packers High School Coach of the Week. The program is presented by Jack Link's Protein Snacks.
Harris, in his first year as the head coach of Madison Memorial, led the Spartans to a 41-27 victory over the Janesville Craig Cougars on Friday, Oct. 12. The win clinched the Big Eight Conference title for the Spartans for the first time since 2009. Harris and the Spartans now set their sights on the playoffs, as they enter the Division 1 WIAA State Football Tournament as a No. 2 seed. In the first round, the Spartans will welcome the No. 7-seeded Hamilton Chargers from Sussex, Wis., to Mansfield Stadium on Friday, Oct. 19.
Harris and his team are not underestimating the challenges that lie ahead with Hamilton.
"Sussex is a very big team; they're much bigger than we are physically. They also have some high-potential and high-caliber athletes on their defense. It's very apparent that they have some Division 1 recruits on their team. So I think that our best effort will be to make sure that we manage the third down conversions. We need to do our best to keep the possession of the clock in our favor, and then to eliminate as many silly penalties as we can that could differentiate the field position during the game."
Harris grew up in Madison, Wis., and is an alumnus of Madison Memorial, graduating in 1987. Throughout high school, he participated in football, basketball, wresting and track & field. Harris played offensive and defensive line under Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame Coach, Wally Schoessow. Harris then went on to play right tackle for another WFCA Hall of Fame Coach, Bob Berezowitz, at UW-Whitewater. Harris graduated from UW-Whitewater in 1992.
Harris' coaching career began as an assistant track & field coach at Milwaukee Washington High School in 1992. In 1994, he became an assistant football coach for Madison West High School. Harris then rejoined his alma mater, Madison Memorial, as an assistant football coach until the end of the 2013 season. In 2014, Harris stepped away from the high school ranks to coach his son Kyan's youth football team for three years. Harris then took over as head coach of the Spartans at the beginning of the 2018 season.
Harris is honored to share this award with his assistant coaches and players.
"It's a reiteration of how hard our players and our coaching staff has worked to be able to receive this honor," said Harris. "I shared the information with my staff and told them that they're the real reason why we're having this success. I want to pass the credit to my staff for really believing in me, and believing in their athletes, and giving their all in the offseason as well as the many hours that they put in off the field to prepare for our games."
Harris and his staff oversee a program of 132 players, with 82 of them suiting up for the playoff game on Friday. His assistant staff includes Dave Hebgen, Chris Ceniti, Ben Mathias, Jeremy Crowell, Bre Braun, Nate Hutchins, Dave Knight, Tim Richardson, Austin Battaglia, Derek Schaefer and Bill Richardson.
In addition to coaching football, Harris also teaches English honors and applied literature at Madison Memorial High School. Harris and his wife, Chelsea, have a son, Kyan, and a daughter, Anya.
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 2018 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, Jack Link's Protein Snacks and the NFL Foundation, as well as recognition of the award on Packers.com, Wissports.net and Wifca.org.
Winning coaches will also take part in the Jack Link's High School Coach of the Week Game Ball Delivery where they will hand the game ball over to a member of the Packers staff or referee prior to a regular season home game.
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.