Rich Zinanni of Bishop McNamara Catholic High School in Kankakee, IL was named the Chicago Bears High School “Coach of the Week” for Week 8.
Coach Zinanni won the 300th game of his career last Friday night as the Irish defeated Leo Catholic High School 21-18. The win clinched a state playoff berth for Bishop McNamara. It will be the 31st time a team coached by Zinanni appears in the playoffs.
Zinanni began coaching at Bishop McNamara in 1975, winning four championships in 1982, 1985, 1986 and 1987 and making it to the championship game three other times in 1978, 1981 and 1998. With the victory against Leo, his career record is now 300-113.
In honor of Zinanni, $1,500 will be donated to Bishop McNamara Catholic High School’s football program. Zinanni will be invited to the Bears-Seahawks game on Sunday, December 18 and will be recognized during an on-field ceremony. He will also receive a framed certificate and will have the opportunity to attend a Bears practice and “chalk-talk” with Bears head coach Lovie Smith and other 2011 “Coach of the Week” honorees.
The Chicago Bears “Coach of the Week” program is in its 16th 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, community and off-field components, 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 29 through October 24. 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 $198,000 to Illinois high schools in support of their football programs. For more information, log on to www.chicagobears.com/community or call the Chicago Bears Community Relations department at (847) 739-5308.
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