Week 1: Ken Leonard of Sacred Heart-Griffin High School named Chicago Bears High School Coach of the Week
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (FOX 32 News) -
Ken Leonard of Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield, IL was named the Chicago Bears High School "Coach of the Week" for Week 1.
With a 41-7 win over Springfield Southeast High School last Friday, Leonard became only the sixth coach in Illinois state history to win 300 games. In 29 seasons as head coach of the Cyclones, Leonard has won 268 games and three state championships. His career record, including his years as head coach at Gridley High School, is 300-65, with a winning percentage of .822.
In addition to his stellar coaching record, Leonard was a force in getting the school's first football stadium built on the Sacred Heart-Griffin campus. Leonard is also very active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and serves on the Nike Coaches' Advisory Board.
Coach Leonard will be invited to the Bears vs. Seahawks game on Sunday, December 2 and will be recognized during an on-field ceremony. He will also receive a framed certificate and attend a Bears practice and "chalk-talk" with head coach Lovie Smith and other 2012 "Coach of the Week" honorees.
The Chicago Bears "Coach of the Week" program is in its 17th season. 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 and off-field components, school and community support, volunteerism and, most importantly, contributions to players' long-term success on and off the field.
The program will run for nine weeks from August 27 through October 22. Deserving high school coaches are nominated by a panel of local prep authorities and the winning "Coach of the Week" is 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 $210,000 to Illinois high schools in support of their football programs. The Chicago Bears "Coach of the Week" program is brought to you by FOX Chicago.
In addition to the "Coach of the Week" winners being honored at the Bears vs. Seahawks game on December 2, all eight IHSA football state champion teams will be recognized at this game. The Chicago Bears, in partnership with the Illinois High School Association and the Illinois Army National Guard, will invite representatives from each team to the game, and a special recognition of their state titles will take place during halftime.