Chicago Bears named Week 9 “Coach of the Week” and “High School All-Star”

chicago bears coach of the week
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The following is from the Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears announced today that head coach Derek Hart of Kankakee High School in Kankakee has been named the Chicago Bears High School “Coach of the Week” for Week 9 and quarterback Aidan Gray of Naperville North High School in Naperville was named the Chicago Bears “High School All-Star.” The “Coach of the Week” and “High School All-Stars” programs are brought to you by Athletico Physical Therapy. The Bears will make a $2,000 donation to the Kankakee football program and direct a $500 donation to the youth football program of Gray’s choice.

Derek Hart – Kankakee High School Head Coach

On Oct. 22, Hart and the Kankakee Kays varsity football team (9-0) won their home conference game against the Crete-Monee Warriors (6-3) of Crete by a score of 28-20, keeping the Kays undefeated in the regular season. The win gave the Kays the school’s first conference title since 1999 in the now-defunct SICA Orange conference and the program’s first win over Crete-Monee since 2004. The Kays are now the top-seeded team in the upcoming Class 5A state playoffs. Hart took over Kankakee’s football program in January of 2019 to help the Kays become a prestigious team and help his players get into NCAA Division I level schools. The Kankakee Kays will play at Carbondale (5-4) on Saturday.

Aidan Gray – Naperville North High School

On Oct. 22, the junior quarterback led the Naperville North Huskies (6-3) to a 34-32 away conference game victory against the Neuqua Valley Wildcats (8-1) of Naperville to win the first-ever DuPage Valley conference championship game. During the last quarter, the Huskies trailed 28-32 until Gray rushed for the game-winning 18-yard touchdown on the final play of the game for a dramatic win. Gray completed 16 of 29 passes for 296 yards, 56 rush yards and four touchdowns. Naperville North is currently seeded 16 for the IHSA Class 8A playoff. Naperville North will host Naperville Central (6-3) in the first round of the playoffs on Friday.

About “Coach of the Week” & “High School All-Star”

The Chicago Bears “Coach of the Week” program was launched in 1996 and “High School All-Star” program in 2011. The “Coach of the Week” program honors outstanding Illinois high school coaches who develop players’ football skills and knowledge, character, leadership, discipline and teamwork abilities. The nomination criteria for the “High School All-Star” program includes on-field performance, community involvement and good sportsmanship. Deserving high school coaches and players are nominated by a panel of local prep authorities and the winning player is selected each week from August 27-October 23. Since the program’s inception, the Bears have donated more than $326,500 to Illinois high schools in support of their football programs. For more information, please visit chicagobears.com/community.

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2021 Chicago Bears Coach of the Week Winners

Week 8 – Gavin Johnston – Reed-Custer HS

Week 7 – Jake Brosman, Hampshire HS

Week 6 – Mike Fitzgerald, York HS

Week 5 – Matt Miller, St. Ignatius Prep

Week 4 – Corey Olson, Palatine HS

Week 3 – Dave Mills, Wauconda HS

Week 2 – Dennis Piron, Batavia HS

Week 1 – Peter Panagakis, Wheeling HS

2021 Chicago Bears High School All-Star

Week 8 – Aiden Cyr, Hoffman Estates HS

Week 7 – Jordan Anderson, Joliet Catholic HS

Week 6 – Zach Hinds, Riverton Academy HS

Week 5 – Chase Hanson, Mascoutah HS

Week 4 – Marco Maldonado, Loyola Academy

Week 3 – Hector Ramirez, Chicago Academy HS

Week 2 – Kaiden Miller, Grayslake Central HS

Week 1 – Hank Beatty, Rochester HS

Follow the Bears in the community on Twitter @BearsOutreach

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.