Detroit Lions name Josh Lucas of Chelsea HS as its 2021 High School Coach of the Year

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The following is from the Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions have named Josh Lucas of Chelsea High School the 2021 Detroit Lions High School Football Coach of the Year. Lucas’s Bulldogs came back from a 28-point deficit, the largest deficit to overcome in state finals history, to defeat Hudsonville Unity Christian 55-52 and win the MHSAA Division 4 state championship in a game with the most combined points scored (107) in MHSAA state finals history. This is Chelsea’s first football state championship and Lucas’s first as a head coach. The Bulldogs, from the Southeastern Conference-White Division finished the season undefeated at 14-0 outscoring their opponents 546-220 and have won 24 consecutive regular season games dating back to 2019. 

Lucas concluded his 13th year coaching football, 7th season overall as a head coach and 4th season as head coach at Chelsea. During his time at Chelsea, Lucas has gone 46-6 (88.5%) with 2 state finals appearances, 4 state semi-final appearances and a 16-3 (84.2%) career playoff record. Lucas spent three years as head coach at Allegan, five years as an assistant coach at Zeeland East and one year as an assistant at a Hudsonville middle school. 

Detroit Lions legend Chris Spielman informed Lucas of his High School Football Coach of the Year selection on Head Coach Hangout. See his reaction and the entire interview by visiting for this Coach of the Year announcement as well as interviews from past 2021 Detroit Lions High School Football Coach of the Week recipients.

High School Football Coach of the Week/Year Program

Each week throughout the 2021 high school football regular season, one coach that best demonstrates success on and off the field, develops players’ character, discipline, and football skill in addition to emphasizing player health and safety in their program, is recognized for their commitment to the team, school, and community. The winner is selected by a panel of high school football media members—Mick McCabe (Detroit Free Press), Hugh Bernreuter (Saginaw News), Bret Bakita (WOOD Radio-106.9 FM, ESPN 96.1 FM-Fox 17/Grand Rapids), James Cook (Traverse City Record-Eagle) and Scott DeCamp (CatchMark SportsNet). Lucas was selected as Coach of the Year by the votes of the aforementioned media members, as well as one vote from the public online voting at

Each Lions High School Football Coach of the Week during the regular season received a $1,000 donation to his school’s football program. For being named the 2021 Detroit Lions High School Football Coach of the Year, Lucas will receive a $3,000 donation to his school’s football program and will be honored as the Detroit Lions nominee for the Don Shula NFL High School Football Coach of the Year.

Concluding its’ 25th year, this season’s Detroit Lions High School Football Coach of the Week/Year program awarded $12,000 to aid in the development and promotion of high school football in the state of Michigan, while overall the program has awarded $479,000 to high school football programs throughout the state of Michigan.

2021 Detroit Lions Coach of the Week winners

Week 9 – Tom Marchese – Vicksburg

Week 8 – Tyrone Spencer – Detroit King

Week 7 – Jeremy Ferman – North Branch

Week 6 – Bill DeFillippo, Livonia Churchill

Week 5 – Tim Swore, Carson City Crystal

Week 4 – Brad Zube, Ortonville-Brandon

Week 3 – Derek McLaughlin, Riverview

Week 2 – Cary Harger, Oakridge

Week 1 – Greg Vaughan, Traverse City West

All-Time Coach of the Year recipients:

1997-John Herrington, Farmington Hills Harrison, 1998-Thomas Mach, Detroit Catholic Central, 1999-Don Durrett, Saginaw, 2000-Herb Brogan, Jackson Lumen Christi, 2001-John Schwartz, Mendon, 2002-Mike Boyd, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, 2003-Scot Shaw, Three Rivers, 2004-Noel Dean, Lowell, 2005-Jack Pratt, Flint Powers, 2006-Tony Annese, Muskegon, 2007-Jim Reynolds, Detroit King, 2008-Peter Stuursma. East Grand Rapids, 2009-Rich Hulkow, Marshall, 2010-Chris Bell, Lake Orion, 2011-Thomas Wilcher, Detroit Cass Tech, 2012-Terry Hessbrook, Ithaca, 2013-Kurt Richardson, Clarkston, 2014-Dan Rohn, Grand Rapids West Catholic, 2015-John Shillito, Zeeland West, 2016-Elliot Uzelac, Benton Harbor, 2017-Mike Giannone, Warren De La Salle, 2018-Rick Bailey, Reading, 2019-Jim Ahern, Lansing Catholic, 2020-Rob Zimmerman, DeWitt

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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.