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West Seneca West's Mike Vastola, Mynderse Academy's Joe Caraher earn Coach of the Week honors


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 – Mike Vastola, West Seneca West

West Seneca West coach Mike Vastola has been named the Week 7 Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports Coach of the Week for the Buffalo Region.

Vastola has been a member of the West Seneca West coaching staff for 17 seasons, including six years as the head JV coach. Coach Vastola was hired as the head varsity coach before the 2015 season and has posted an outstanding record of 37-13 during his tenure. In 2017, he led his team to a 13-0 record as West won the NYS Class A championship. He was named the Don Shula HS Coach of the Year for the WNY region after the 2017 season.i

Vastola is a member of the InSideOut Coaching Community, which is led by Buffalo native and NFL Legend Joe Ehrmann. The InSideOut Coaching Community is a program that focuses on the purpose, power, possibility, and privilege of leading and coaching student athletes. Coach Vastola has also been an active supporter of USA Football health and safety programming. Since 2016, his high school staff has taught USA Football Shoulder Tackling and has been certified through USA Football. Since 2018, they have also implemented the USA Football Tip-of-the-Spear curriculum.

Coach Vastola and his team have been very involved in community activities during his time as the varsity head coach. For the past five years, the West Seneca West coaching staff and players have volunteered at St. John Kanty Church to pack up the summer school run by St. Luke's Mission of Mercy and put everything into storage at the mission. 

In 2018 and 2019, Vastola led an initiative through the football program to raise money for pediatric cancer relief during the month of September as West Seneca West participated in the Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer program through Go4theGoal by collecting donations at the gates of a September home game, as well as collecting donations from students, faculty, and the West Seneca Teachers Association. Last year, as part of this initiative, Vastola reached out to Williamsville East coach Mike Torillo and together the two programs raised over $5,000 for the cause.

Rochester Region Coach of the Week - Joe Caraher, Mynderse Academy

Mynderse Academy coach Joe Caraher has been named the Week 7 Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports Coach of the Week for the Rochester Region.

Coach Caraher has been associated with Mynderse Academy as a student athlete and football coach for 22 years. In addition, Caraher has coached wrestling, is a math teacher and was previously the head boys' lacrosse coach at Mynderse. He was named the head football coach in 2016 and led the Blue Devils to a league title in 2018.

As a dedicated educator, success in the classroom is important to Coach Caraher. He works with and supports his players who are having difficulty with their academics, especially in the area of math. Coach Caraher stresses that his students and his teams work to achieve the scholar athlete distinction as both individuals and a team every season. Mynderse was named a NYS Scholar Athlete team in 2016 and 2018. To motivate his players and stay engaged during the pandemic, Coach Caraher has utilized a workout app to create an off-season training program and consistently monitors his players' conditioning.

To support youth football participation in his community, Caraher and his players provide assistance to the area youth program each year in the form of coaching clinics for volunteer youth coaches. In addition, the Mynderse players serve as referees for youth football games and the team recognizes the youth football players at a varsity game each season.

Off the field, Caraher and his teams have provided community service for the Seneca Falls Recreation Center in a number of ways, including volunteering to help local organizations set up their annual summer festivals.

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