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.
Buffalo Region Coach of the Week # 2
Randolph head coach Brent Brown got his Cardinals to 2-0 with a 36-26 win over defending Section VI Class D champion Franklinville-Ellicottville. Xander Hind had a huge night as he ran 44 times for 330 yards and four touchdowns.
The junior RB carried the ball 13 straight times on the game's opening possession before finding the end zone on a 5-yard run. He'd tack on another in the quarter to put the Cardinals ahead 14-0.
Despite a comeback effort from the Titans, as they took a 20-14 halftime lead, the Cardinals did not waver. Randolph would go ahead on two more scores from Hind and one from Carson Conley and never looked back. In total, the Cardinals racked up 390 yards and five TDs on the ground, as Luke Pagett chipped in with 49 yards on nine carries.
For the Cardinals defense, they held the Titans to 183 total yards and -2 rushing yards. Lifting the Randolph D was Payton Slade (5.5 tackles), Jaiden Huntington (5 tackles) and Sterling Skye (4 tackles, 2 sacks, fumble recovery).
Brown was a longtime assistant coach on the staff of Randolph legend Pat Slater. He started in the 1990s as a JV coach, but in 2000 was promoted to defensive coordinator of the varsity. Since then, he's helped the program win five NYSPHSAA championships, with two of which coming as head coach in 2013 & 2014. Brown's head coaching record is now 51-25.
Brown is a physical education teacher in the Randolph Central School District. He has coached all levels of football and has been the varsity baseball coach in the past as well.
In terms of community service, Randolph football has been involved in community clean up and players have assisted with Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign. The Randolph varsity staff is also very involved with the district's youth program. They assist the youth coaches with various schemes before the season starts, then they let the coaches coach and attend games in support of the programs.
Brown said that health and safety is a top priority for his program. The players adhere to an off-season strength and conditioning program in order to prepare their bodies for the high demands of the season. The team practices proper tackling techniques on tackling wheels and relies on film for correcting improper techniques in order the protect players and put them in the best position to make plays properly.
Academically the Cardinals are handling business too, as they come off a NYSPHSAA scholar-athlete team award for the 2021 fall II sports season this past spring.
Rochester Region Coach of the Week # 2
Brighton head coach Steve Lian also guided his squad to a 2-0 start with a 21-19 win over University Prep. The Bruins were in a back-and-forth affair all game with the Griffins, shaking off a 7-0 first quarter deficit.
The rushing attack dazzled for Brighton, as Brennan Clasgens (120 yards, 1 TD), Tahj Jackson and Elijah LaMonaco (75 yards respectively and 1 TD each) churned for 270 yards collectively. LaMonaco's biggest play of the game, though, may have been on special teams, as he blocked a PAT to keep Brighton in the lead for good.
That PAT stoppage led U-Prep to go for two after the team's final score of the game. But Ellis Einbinder bowed up, making a game-saving tackle with 3:28 to play to give the Bruins' offense the ball back, eventually bleeding out the clock for the win.
Einbinder had a team-high seven tackles in the victory. He got some help from Shane Strazdins too, as he finished with five stops and two sacks on 'D.'
Lian has led the program for 10 seasons, winning a divisional title in 2016. He is second all-time in Brighton's program history in victories and now has a 41-37 record all-time.
Off the field, Lian and his staff volunteer at all youth football events in the district. Brighton's varsity team is involved in all the district's youth camps and volunteering during their opening week practices. Lian also coaches two of his sons within the youth programs, as well as serves on the Brighton Jr. Bruins' board alongside his wife, Traci.
Lian and his squad also participates in Brighton Believes Day PB&J Slam (making bag meals to be delivered to their area's homeless shelter), Brighton Clean Sweep (picking up trash along the roads/highways) and mentoring for middle school football players having challenges making positive school connections.
As for health and safety, Lian has instituted USA Football tackling program. He and his staff also do daily checks for proper helmet fits, hosts a year-round comprehensive strength and conditioning program, works with a full-time athletic trainer for injury prevention and rehab, as well as handles all required safety protocols related to COVID.