Scott Zipp, Cheektowaga head football coach, has been named the Buffalo Bills High School Football Coach of the Week after his Warriors beat Albion 28-12 last weekend to clinch the B North Division title.
Earl Turner intercepted three passes while Nick McLean scored a pair of TDs in the win. The Warriors are now 6-0 and will play cross-town rival Maryvale in the regular-season finale this week.
Zipp said that he didn't have a grasp on his team when the season started.
"We knew we had a good football team," Zipp said. "We had a lot of good athletes and a good line. But we were dropping down to Class B and we didn't know much about those teams. We needed a couple of younger kids to step up."
Zipp has a much different team this season than the team he led to Ralph Wilson Stadium for the Class A title game two years ago.
"Nick McLean was a sophomore when we went to the Stadium," Zipp said. "Matt Hornung came up to the varsity for the playoffs and went to the Stadium. We had eight kids who returned from last year's team. That's really about it. Everyone else is new."
Zipp played high school football at Depew under coach Chuck Graver. He graduated in 1992 and went to Buffalo State College but never played football for the Bengals.
"I worked out with the team as a freshman, Zipp said. "I had the passion to play but I started coaching Little League football and I loved it. So I just stayed with coaching."
Zipp was hired as a Biology teacher at Cheektowaga High School and immediately started coaching football.
"There was an opening at the modified level," he said. "Just one year later, there was an opening at JV. Two years after that, I became the head coach at the varsity."
Zipp has posted a record of 42-23 and won three division titles in his eight seasons. He says that his record is a direct result of the continuity in the entire staff. Mike Fatta, Bob Mucitelli, Aaron Vanderlip and Rich Bridenbaker are longtime staff members.
"They have been with me for all eight years," Zipp said. "They are more responsible for our record than me."
Zipp, who is now the assistant principal at Cheektowaga High School, says that the $1,000 prize that comes with the Coach of the Week award will go directly to the program.
"We'll get something for the kids so they can remember their championship," he said. "The rest will go right back into the program."
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