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Detroit Lions name 2018 Michigan High School Football Coach of the Year

The Detroit Lions have named Rick Bailey of Reading High School as the 2018 Detroit Lions/Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan High School Football Coach of the Year. Bailey is the first Reading coach to be honored with the award and it comes just six days after Reading claimed their first Division 8 championship.

Bailey will be recognized as the Michigan High School Football Coach of the Year during a halftime ceremony that’ll be held during this weekend’s game between the Lions and the Los Angeles Rams. To go along with the award, Bailey will receive a $4,000 donation to Reading High School’s football program, a Gatorade performance package, and will be honored as the Detroit Lions’ nominee for the Don Shula NFL High School Football Coach of the Year.

As the Lions’ nominee for the award, Bailey will be invited to the NFL Pro Bowl which is being hosted in Orlando, Florida between January 26th-28th, 2019. The winner of the Don Shula NFL High School Football Coach of the Year will be announced during the Pro Bowl festivities.

Reading Division 8 Champs

Reading, which has just 244 students, finished the season with a 14-0 record after its 39-20 state title win over Breckenridge. With the loss, the Breckenridge Huskies finish their season with a 13-1 record. As you’d expect with two undefeated teams playing for the state championship, the game had plenty of highlights which you can see yourself in the video below:

The Rangers finished the season outscoring their opponents 678-114. Reading defeated defending Division 8 state champion Ottawa Lake Whiteford 28-6 in the district finals on their way to the championship game hosted at Ford Field.

Bailey has coached football for 37 years at Reading High School, including 31 years as the head coach. He won his 200th career game during this season, ending the 2018 season with a 210-105 record for his career. Bailey has led the Reading Rangers to six conference titles, three regional titles, and two district titles.

High School Football Coach of the Week/Year Program

The Lions honor a high school football each week of the regular season, giving the winning coach a $2,000 donation to their school’s football program and a Gatorade performance package. The weekly winners will be honored with Rick Bailey during halftime of the Lions-Rams game.

This season’s program will award $22,000 to high schools across the state thanks to contributions from the Detroit Lions, the NFL Foundation, Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan, and Gatorade.

The Detroit Lions High School Coach of the Week/Year program has awarded $433,000 to high school football programs in Michigan since the program started 22 years ago.

Past Michigan High School Football Coach of the Year Winners

Here is the list of Lions’ Coach of the Year winners:

1997: John Herrington, Farmington Hills Harrison

1998: Thomas Mach, Detroit Catholic Central

1999: Don Durrett, Saginaw High

2000: Herb Brogan, Jackson Lumen Christi

2001: John Schwartz, Mendon

2002: Mike Boyd, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes

2003: Scot Shaw, Three Rivers

2004: Noel Dean, Lowell

2005: Jack Pratt, Flint Powers

2006: Tony Annese, Muskegon

2007: Jim Reynolds, Detroit King

2008: Peter Suursma, East Grand Rapids

2009: Rich Hulkow, Marshall

2010: Chris Bell, Lake Orion

2011: Thomas Wilcher, Detroit Cass Tech

2012: Terry Hessbrook, Ithaca

2013: Kurt Richardson, Clarkston

2014: Dan Rohn, Grand Rapids West Catholic

2015: John Shilliot, Zeeland West

2016: Elliot Uzelac, Benton Harbor

2017: Mike Giannone, Warren DeLaSalle

2018: Rick Bailey, Reading

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Written by Kevin Marheine

Born and bred in the Mitten. Michigan State University alumnus and sports junkie.

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