Week 5: Mark Vander Kooi Named Bears Coach of the Week - FOX 32 News Chicago

Week 5: Mark Vander Kooi Named Bears Coach of the Week


Mark Vander Kooi of Lincoln-Way West High School in New Lenox, IL was named the Chicago Bears High School "Coach of the Week" for Week 5.

Coach Vander Kooi is in his second season as head coach of the Warriors. The team is only in its second season of varsity football at Lincoln-Way West High School. With their first senior class this season, the team is 5-0 with a 23-20 win last Friday against Victor J. Andrew High School. Lincoln-Way West kicked two field goals including the game winner with just four seconds left to play.

Vander Kooi is a tremendous leader and educator who has taught his players to believe in themselves. His lessons are paying off as the Warriors have made a tremendous turnaround in just one year’s time.

In honor of Vander Kooi, $1,500 will be donated to Lincoln-Way West’s football program. Vander Kooi will be invited to the Bears-Patriots game on Sunday, December 12, and will be recognized during an on-field ceremony that day. He will also receive a framed certificate and will have the opportunity to attend a Bears practice and ’chalk-talk’ with Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith and other 2010 ’Coach of the Week’ honorees.

The Chicago Bears "Coach of the Week" program entered its 15th season this year. The program honors outstanding Illinois high school coaches who develop players' football skills and knowledge, character, leadership, discipline, and teamwork abilities. Other criteria considered include unique coaching methodology, community or off-field components, school and community support, volunteerism, and, most importantly, contributions to players' long-term success on and off the field.

Week 4's nominees were:

  • Coach Shane Carter - Rantoul High School
  • Coach Dave Bates - Auburn High School
  • Coach Nick Browder - Waukegan High School
  • Coach Mark Vander Kooi - Lincoln-Way West High School

The program ran for nine weeks from Aug. 30 through Oct. 25. Coaches were nominated by a panel of local prep authorities, and the winning "Coach of the Week" was selected each week. The Chicago Bears will make a $1,500 contribution to the football program at each winning coach's school.

Since the program's inception, the Bears have donated over $185,000 to Illinois high schools in support of their football programs. For more information, log on to www.chicagobears.com/community or call the Chicago Bears Community Relations department at (847) 739-5308.

The Chicago Bears "Coach of the Week" program is brought to you by FOX Chicago and FOXJOX.com.

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