Tom Padjen of Thornton Fractional South High School in Lansing, IL was named the Chicago Bears High School "Coach of the Week" for Week 9.
Padjen led Thornton Fractional South to a 40-6 win over Lemont last Friday, October 25, to clinch an IHSA state playoff berth. The Rebels needed to win their last two games to qualify for the postseason. In week eight, the Rebels beat their cross-town rivals, Thornton Fractional North, by a score of 14-13. Following their victory in week nine, TF South finished the regular season with a 5-4 record. The Rebels will play Lincoln-Way North tonight in Class 6A round-one action.
Coach Padjen will be invited to the Bears vs. Packers game on Sunday, December 29 and will be recognized during an on-field ceremony. He will also receive a framed certificate and attend a Bears practice and "chalk-talk" at Halas Hall with his fellow 2013 "Coach of the Week" honorees.
The Chicago Bears "Coach of the Week" program is in its 18th 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 ran for nine weeks from September 2 through October 28. Deserving high school coaches were nominated by a panel of local prep authorities and the winning "Coach of the Week" was selected each week. The Chicago Bears have made a $1,500 contribution to the football program at each winning coach's school.
Since the program's inception, the Bears have donated over $220,000 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 and the Illinois Army National Guard.
In addition to the "Coach of the Week" winners being honored at the Bears vs. Packers game on December 29, 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.