Kurt Becker of East Aurora High School in Aurora, IL was named the Chicago Bears High School "Coach of the Week" for Week 6.
Becker led East Aurora to a 25-22 win over Elgin last Friday, October 4, snapping a 44-game losing streak. The Tomcats were down 22-8 but fought back in the second half, recovering two fumbles that led to touchdowns. With 54 seconds left on the clock and the score tied at 22, back-up kicker Richard Barajas kicked a 28-yard field goal to give East Aurora their first win since 2008.
In the week leading up to their first victory, the Tomcats were honored with a "Sport a Winning Attitude" award from the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Becker and his team were nominated by veteran referee Stephen Fako after he officiated a lopsided game that East Aurora lost 40-6. "I wanted the IHSA to know what a great job Coach Becker is doing in the maturation process of the impressionable young men under his tutelage," Fako explained in his nomination. "Despite the adversity the players were experiencing, they kept their composure and played to the best of their ability."
Becker, who played offensive line for the Bears from 1982-1989, is in his second season as head coach for East Aurora.
Coach Becker 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 will run for nine weeks from September 2 through October 28. 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 $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.