LAKE FOREST, IL – Tim Thornton of Peoria High School in Peoria, IL was named the Chicago Bears High School “Coach of the Week” for Week 1.
Thornton led his state-ranked Lions to a 53-18 victory over rival Peoria Manuel last Friday, August 28. But more impressive than the work Thornton and his team have put in on the field is what they’ve done off of it. Thornton created and promoted a “Peace Walk” the night before the game, as both teams walked with community members and policemen in a show of solidarity. Friday’s game was played as part of the “Night Out Against Violence,” promoting peace between the youth of Peoria and raising money for scholarships.
Coach Thornton 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.