The Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports are proud to once again partner to recognize some of the best coaches that Western New York has to offer through the 2021 High School Football Coach of the Week Program.
The Bills and ADPRO Sports will be awarding varsity head coaches with the Coach of the Week Award to highlight not only their team's achievements on the field, but also some of the work they are doing off the field in their communities. We will announce winners from the Buffalo and Rochester Regions over the course of 11 weeks, with both regions Coach of the Year being named at halftime of the Bills vs Falcons game on Jan. 2, 2022 at Highmark Stadium.
Each Coach of the Week winner will receive an $1,000 grant from the Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports. The respective Coach of the Year winners will also receive an additional $1,000 for their programs.
Winners will be selected by a panel of local high school football experts based on nominations which include information on the coach's commitment to their community and school, team academic performance, team off-the-field community service, coach/team support of youth football in their community, and health and safety protocols for their players.
Buffalo Region Coach of the Week #4
Williamsville South head coach Kraig Kurzanski was named the Week 4 Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports Coach of the Week after leading the Billies to a 45-22 win over defending Section VI Class A champion South Park. The Billies evened their record at 2-2 with the win.
Kurzanski's defense rose to the occasion, as the Billies intercepted five passes on the night, returning two of them for touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Will South has now won two straight games after opening the season with a pair of losses.
The Billies got off to a 13-0 start in the second quarter. Christian Dewer ran for a 4-yard touchdown and Nathaniel Zachery punched in a 1-yard TD tote.
Will South led 16-6 at the half, but South Park started the 2nd half with a 63-yard TD drive to pull within 16-14.
But Billies WR Brett Johnson caught a 31-yard TD pass for a 23-14 lead and then the Will South defense took over. Jeremy Thompson returned an interception 65 yards for a 30-14 lead.
After both teams were stopped on downs, then traded turnovers, South Park scored again to pull within 30-22. But Will South's Max Graves returned an interception 70 yards for a TD, before the Billies added another score late.
Dewer had a whale of an effort in the game, totaling 141 yards from scrimmage and two TDs. Johnson shined out wide, racking up five catches for 92 yards and a score as well.
The Billies defense was stout throughout, as Thompson (9.5 tackles, 2 INTs), Luke Coppola
(8 tackles, .5 sacks) and Timothy Hapeman (7 tackles, 2 INTs) had standout performances.
Kurzanski has been coaching at Williamsville South since 2007. He has led the Billies to four league titles and advanced to the Class A title game twice.
This past spring, Kurzanski won his 150th game and now has 152 career wins. Kurzanski has also coached at Canisius and St. Mary's of Lancaster. He started his career at Oakfield-Alabama, where he stayed from 1991-99.
Kurzanski and the Billies staff volunteer at the local Jolly Boys carnival in the summer in order to clean the grounds nightly, generally Tuesday through Friday. They also host camps for local youth teams and coaching clinics for those programs, as well as working community events at Will South throughout the school year.
Kurzanski said he continues to monitor heat related conditions daily. The Will South staff makes sure all of their injured players follow up with the school's training staff and they alert each parent if a player falls ill or is injured. They also host mental health activities that allow the school's student population to access help. Kurzanski also provides players with weekly guest speakers who share on a number of topics pertinent to today's youth.
The Billies continue to have a team academic average that is awarded by the NYSPHSAA yearly. Kurzanski and his coaches celebrate player academic achievements through the Blast message board for the Will South community.
Kurzanski has been married to his wife Clare for 32 years and the couple has two daughters. Kate is the head field hockey coach at Clark University in Massachusetts, while Molly is the logistic coordinator for a trucking firm in Albany.
Rochester Region Coach of the Week #4
Avon coach Andy Englert was named the Rochester Region's Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports Coach of the Week for Week 4 after leading the program to a 26-6 over Cal-Mum-BB last week. With the win, their squad improved to 4-0 on the season.
Avon led 7-6 at the half. The team scored near the end of the first quarter when Thomas Welch punched it in from 1-yard out to cap a 70-yard scoring drive. CMBB scored midway through the second quarter to pull within one.
With his team locked in a defensive struggle at the half, Englert turned to his assistant coaches, offensive coordinator Justin Dueppengiesser and defensive coordinator Mike McGough. McGough has been on staff with Englert for 18 years, while Dueppengiesser has been on for the last 12.
In the third quarter, Avon took the ball first and drove 64 yards, with Welch scoring on a 4-yard run to increase the lead to 13-6.
QB Andrew Rowland rushed for a 9-yard TD that capped a lengthy 99-yard drive in the fourth quarter to give Avon a 19-6 lead. Rowland would score again to put the game away for good.
Rowland completed 7 of 11 passes for 99 yards in the win. He also rushed 22 times for 182 yards and two scores. Welch also boosted the running game, taking 26 carries for 153 yards and two TDs. Avon finished with 434 yards of offense.
Adam Mariani led the defense with 10 tackles, including two for lost yardage.
Englert has coached at Avon for 24 seasons and has posted a record of 119-90 in that span. He has led Avon to five Section V Class D titles.
Englert played high school football at York, where he was an all-league FB and LB. He graduated in 1991, after helping the York team to the Section V Class D title during the 1990 season. Englert then played four seasons at SUNY Brockport.
As the varsity football coach and athletic director, coach Englert puts safety at the forefront of the athletic programs. He collaborates regularly with the school nurse and families to ensure the safety of his players. One major health and safety standard Englert feels has impacted his program tremendously has been the USA Football initiative, particularly its Heads Up tackling system.