Pat Slater, Randolph head football coach was named the Buffalo Bills Coach of the Week after the Cardinals edged arch-rival Maple Grove at Ralph Wilson Stadium 21-20 last weekend to win the Section VI Class D title.
Randolph led 21-7 when Maple Grove rallied. With 21 seconds left in the game, Maple Grove scored a touchdown to pull within 21-20 but the extra point went wide to the right and the Cardinals survived.
"It just shows how close the two teams are," Slater said. "They beat us earlier this year by a point." Maple Grove beat Randolph 7-6 in Week One.
Slater says that this year's Randolph team works hard. "They are a good bunch," Slater said. "We don't have any speed burners or superstars. This group is just a hard-working bunch."
Randolph will now play Section 5 champion Dundee in the Far West Regional in Rochester this weekend.
Slater said he doesn't know what he will do with the $1,000 award that comes with his recognition. "I'm not even thinking about it yet," Slater said. "We'll get something for the kids, but right now I'm thinking about Dundee."
Slater played at Randolph High School under head coach Paul Hbiztzak and later Pete Newhouse.
He graduated in 1970 and went to Findley College in Ohio where he played defensive back, linebacker and safety.
He graduated from Findley in 1974 with a degree in Education. He landed a teaching job in his hometown of Randolph in 1978. In 1979 he took over the head coaching position at Randolph and led the Cardinals to (then) Rich Stadium the first year that the Section VI playoffs were held there. Randolph lost to Clymer 6-0 that year.
"That was definitely eye-opening," Slater said. "The very first year we walked in there, we were in awe of everything."
This is Slater's 30th season at the helm of the Randolph program. He has led 11 teams to Ralph Wilson Stadium, winning 7 Class D titles. In 2005, Slater led Randolph to the New York State Class D championship.
This is the 13th consecutive year of the Buffalo Bills 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 Coach of the Week.
The honorees receive a certificate signed by the Dick Jauron, Buffalo Bills head coach, Russ Brandon Buffalo Bills general manager/chief operating officer and Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner. They also receive a Buffalo Bills Coach of the Week cap and $1,000 donation to their school's football program from the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation. Recognition of the winning coach will also 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 Coach of the Year and will receive an additional $1,000 donation to the school's football program.
2009 Bills HS Football Coach of the Week Winners:
Week 1 - Kraig Kurzanski Williamsville South Billies
Week 2 - Jason Kolb Burgard Bulldogs
Week 3 - Chuck Tilley Eden Raiders
Week 4 - Jay Sirianni Southwestern Trojans
Week 5 - Len Jankiewicz Lancaster Trojans
Week 6 - Scott Zipp Cheektowaga Warriors
Week 7 - John Faller Sweet Home Panthers
Week 8 - Dean Santorio Grand Island Vikings
Week 9 – Eric Jantzi North Tonawanda Lumberjacks
Week 10 - Pat Slater Randolph Cardinals