Dick Diminuco, Alden High School head football coach, was named the Buffalo Bills Coach of the Week after the Bulldogs beat Burgard 42-6 in the Class B semifinal last weekend.
"This award is really a Team of the Week award," Diminuco said. "I'm an extension of the team. We have such good kids that this is their award more than mine."
Diminuco said that he knew that across Western New York there were doubts that Alden was as good as their 8-0 record implied.
"We heard the criticism," he said. "This is a pretty focused group. They certainly wanted to prove that they could beat a good team."
Burgard played most of the game without QB Darren Sanders.
"Their QB was hurt but we still put some points on the board," Diminuco said. "Burgard is a well-coached team and probably the best team that we have played this year."
Diminuco said that he was pleased that his players performed so well in such a big situation.
"We work seven days a week during the season," Diminuco said. "It's a challenge to prepare the kids and put a game-plan in. To see what these kids did is very enjoyable. That's one of the reasons you coach."
Alden scored on their first two possessions and led 28-0 at the half. In the second half, Burgard fumbled on their first play. Alden transformed the turnover into a touchdown for a 35-0 lead.
The Bulldogs now advance to Ralph Wilson Stadium for the second straight year. In 2009, Alden lost to Cheektowaga in the Class B title game so they have a chance at redemption this week.
"After our practice on Thursday we had an impromptu pep rally," Diminuco said. "They had signs up and really made the day special. I'm sure the kids at school will be jacked up. Last year, they ran out of pre-sale tickets and we had to buy more."
Diminuco is in his second year at Alden after coaching at Albion for 35 years.
"This has been a fun two years," Diminuco said. "I'm honored to have been a part of it."
Earlier this season, Diminuco faced the toughest game he has ever had when he led Alden to a road win over Albion.
"It was very difficult," he said. "It was one of the toughest things I have done in 36 years. I was there for 34 years. Their head coach played for me."
Diminuco has 220 wins in his career, a figure that is third in Western New York history behind Johnny Barnes (Canisius, 287) and Gene Masters (Grand Island, 248).
This is the 14th consecutive year of the Buffalo Bills High School Football Coach of the Week program. Each week during the 11-week high school football season, a committee appointed by the Buffalo Bills selects a head football coach as the High School Football Coach of the Week.
The honorees will receive an official certificate from the commissioner of the NFL, plus a Bills Coach of the Week cap and a $1,000 donation to the school's football program from the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation. Recognition of the winning coach will be shown on the Buffalo Bills official website (www.buffalobills.com).
At the end of the season, one of the weekly award winners will be named the High School Football Coach of the Year and will receive an additional $1,000 donation to the school's football program.
2010 Coach of the Week Winners:
Week 1 – Rich Harris (Kenmore West Blue Devils)
Week 2 – Tom Goddard (Clarence Red Devils)
Week 3 – Ed Wilson (McKinley Macks)
Week 4 – Brandon Harris (Canisius Crusaders)
Week 5 – Dennis Gilbert (St. Joe's Marauders)
Week 6 – Jay Sirianni (Southwestern Trojans)
Week 7 – Pat Slater (Randolph Cardinals)
Week 8 – Bruce Slater (Lackawanna Steelers)
Week 9 – Dick Diminuco (Alden Bulldogs)