The students of Green Bay East High School can thank teacher Sue Wink for getting a break from classes today. She was responsible for nominating GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman for the Staples Coach of the Week Award following the Packers' 17-7 win over the Chicago Bears in December.
Principal Terry Fondow and a Staples representative introduced Sherman to the school. Speaking to an auditorium full of students from every grade, Sherman opened by jokingly asking every Bears fan to leave the room.
Sherman went on to detail how he actually started his career as a middle school English teacher and a high school football coach. He emphasized the message that the students need to pursue their passions no matter the endeavor or their skill level. The head coach noted the success of students from East in athletics, art and academics, even mentioning some by name.
He pointed out the passion that Olympic skater Sarah Hughes exuded in her gold-medal performance Thursday. He conveyed that of all the competitors, Hughes seemed to be skating out of pure enjoyment for the sport rather than to win a medal.
Sherman finished his portion of the presentation with two thoughts. He told them "winning isn't everything, but developing your God-given talent to the best of your abilities is most important." He also added, "it's never too late to be the person you want to be."
Sherman also answered questions ranging from why he likes Green Bay to what he would be doing if he weren't coaching professional football.
The event concluded with a check for $5,000 from Staples, honoring Coach Sherman's achievements, presented to East's student council. The students presented Sherman with a t-shirt from their upcoming musical, South Pacific.
The Staples Coach of the Week program is run in partnership with the National Football League and CBS. Each week during the 2001 season, Staples and the NFL honored one head coach whose leadership guided his team to victory. An independent judging organization randomly selected entries sent on behalf of an accredited K-12 school in that NFL team's area. East High School and Coach Sherman were the 13th of 17 winners during the 2001 NFL season.