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 2020 High School Football Coach of the Week program.
With games not being played in 2020, the Bills are taking this opportunity to recognize the outstanding work that our community's varsity football coaches have done with their programs both on and off the field. We will announce winners from both the Buffalo Region and Rochester Region over the course of eight weeks, with final Coach of the Year winners being announced at halftime of the Bills vs. Dolphins game on Jan. 3, 2021.
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.
Each winning Coach of the Week will receive a $700 grant from the Buffalo Bills and a $1,000 merchandise credit to ADPRO Sports.
Buffalo Region Coach of the Week – Craig Dana, Orchard Park
Orchard Park coach Craig Dana has been named the Week 8 Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports Coach of the Week for the Buffalo Region.
Dana coached modified and freshman football at Orchard Park before moving up to the varsity level as an assistant. After 15 seasons, he was named the Quakers head coach in 2018. He has a record of 14-5 and has reached the Section 6 playoffs both seasons, playing in the Section 6 championship game in 2018.
Dana has his players actively involved in community projects, including volunteering to run an annual used book sale at the Orchard Park Library and raising more than $8,000 for the Orchard Park Veterans Association over the past two years. The coach spends his summers coordinating youth football camps, having started the Orchard Park Youth Football Camp Series for local players.
An Academic All-American during his own playing career at Buffalo State College, Dana also emphasizes excellence in the classroom. The Quakers were named NYSPHSAA Team Scholar Athletes in both 2018 and 2019. Dana has had several All-WNY players and WNY Scholar Athletes.
Rochester Region Coach of the Week - Jason Benham, Gates Chili
Gates Chili coach Jason Benham has been named the Week 8 Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports Coach of the Week for the Rochester Region.
Benham, a longtime physical education teacher at Gates Chili High School, has served as head football coach for 20 seasons, compiling a record of 80-76. He led the Spartans to Section 5 titles in 2003, 2006 and 2008 and has seen his players excel both athletically and academically.
In 20 years as head coach, Benham has had over 50 student-athletes play at the college level while three former student-athletes currently work on his staff. The Spartans have made the NYSPHSAA scholar-athlete team list in 22 of his 30 seasons with the program.
Benham's work in the community includes partnering with the Gates Chili music department to offer a "Beats and Cleats'' golf tournament for the last five years. Money raised at the event helps support both the football and the music programs at Gates Chili. The football program uses their funds to support students who cannot afford cleats and other equipment. Gates Chili players also have a 25-year tradition of wrapping gifts to give to local families in need.
Benham supports youth football through his work with the Gates Youth Football program. The youth teams play their home games in the varsity stadium on weekends and Benham attends youth football practices to meet families and connect with future football student-athletes for Gates Chili.