The Packers have announced that Sam Hernandez of Tomahawk High School in Tomahawk, Wis., has been named the Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week.
Hernandez, in his second year as head coach of the Hatchets, has his team at 2-4 overall this season and 2-3 in Northwoods Conference play. The Hatchets look to even their conference record Friday, Nov. 6, as they close out their regular season against Coleman High School.
Since taking over the team this past year, Hernandez's impact has been felt not only on the football field, but on the whole community. From helping elderly people move to new homes, assisting community members who need help with their yard work, and volunteering at the local Kinship of Tomahawk, the team continues to pursue a variety of ways to help others in need. Not only has giving back been beneficial to the community, but it has also been uplifting for the players.
"I think for a lot of them, it gives them a sense of pride and a sense of doing something for others," said Hernandez. "And as a football program, we want people to come sit in the stands and watch us play, and we feed off of that. So this is an opportunity for us to provide a platform for these kids to do good things for others without anything in return. If we can send the players out into life after high school with that skillset of doing good things to be good people, then that is a great lesson for them to take."
Hernandez graduated from Marshall High School in Marshall, Wis., in 2004. Throughout high school, he participated in football, basketball and baseball. He played nose tackle, running back and kicker under head coach Mike Zimmerman. Following high school, he went on to graduate from UW-Whitewater in 2009. In addition to coaching other high school sports, Hernandez's football coaching career began as an assistant coach for Lake Mills High School in 2008. He went on to coach at Johnson Creek High School in 2013, before being named the head coach of the Hatchets in 2019.
To Hernandez, the Coach of the Week Award speaks to the work being done by the program on and off the field.
"This award is really an award for the kids, the program and my coaching staff. I'm just one person as part of a bigger group. I'm so honored to have our program and have our kids be recognized for this because they do work hard. We've struggled in terms of wins over the last couple of years, but the kids work hard, the coaching staff works hard every week, and we do work in the community and outside of the football field. To see those kids get recognized with other programs around the state, is a really cool opportunity for this program and highlights the really good things that we are doing."
Hernandez and his staff oversee a program of 43 players with 33 suiting up for varsity games. His assistant staff includes Andy Peissig, Jeremy Zimmerman, Aaron Evans, Dave Long, Jon Long, Nick Schertz and Steven Shrigley. In addition to being the head coach, Hernandez is also an English teacher at the high school. Hernandez and his wife, Ashley, have three sons, Derek, Brett and Vaughn.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. All nominations should include the nominee's name, address, school, phone number and reason he/she is deserving of the award. This year, because some schools have postponed their football seasons to the spring due to COVID-19, the Packers are seeking coaches to be nominated regardless of their teams' on-field performance or whether they are playing in the fall or spring. 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.