LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Mike Papoccia of Newman Central Catholic High School in Sterling, IL was named the Chicago Bears High School “Coach of the Week” for Week 2.
Papoccia tallied his 300th career win last Friday, September 4, when he led his Comets to a 28-16 win over Fulton High School. The win also moved Newman Central Catholic to 2-0 on the season. In his 36 seasons as head coach of the Comets, Pappocia has compiled a career record of 300-93, and led his teams to IHSA Class 1A state titles in 1990 and 1994, and IHSA Class 2A states titles in 2004, 2010, and 2013.
Coach Papoccia will be invited to the Bears vs. Redskins game on Sunday, December 13 and will join his fellow 2015 “Coach of the Week” honorees for an on-field photo during pregame. He will also receive a framed certificate signed by Bears head coach John Fox and have the opportunity to visit Halas Hall for lunch and practice viewing.
The Chicago Bears “Coach of the Week” program is in its 20th 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, 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 31 through October 26. 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 $245,000 to Illinois high schools in support of their football programs. The Chicago Bears “Coach of the Week” program is brought to you by FOX 32 Chicago.
In addition to “Coach of the Week” winners attending the Bears vs. Redskins game on December 13, all eight IHSA football state champion teams will be recognized at this game. The Chicago Bears, in partnership with the Illinois High School Association, will invite representatives from each team to the game and a special recognition of their state titles will take place during halftime.