Bill Ellinghaus of Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, IL was named the Chicago Bears High School "Coach of the Week" for Week 7.
Coach Ellinghaus and the Wildcats improved to 7-0 on the season with a 35-34 double overtime victory over conference and cross-town rival Waubonsie Valley High School last Friday. Trailing 21-14, Neuqua Valley scored on a 31-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-eleven with a minute and 36 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. In the second overtime, Waubonsie Valley went for a two-point conversion and the win after the teams exchanged touchdowns in both overtime periods. The Wildcats stopped them on a run to preserve the thrilling victory in front of more than 10,000 fans at North Central College.
Ellinghaus is in his first season as head coach of the Wildcats after serving as the team's offensive coordinator since 2004. The victory over previously unbeaten and state-ranked Waubonsie Valley moved Neuqua Valley one step closer to their first undefeated regular-season in school history.
Coach Ellinghaus will be invited to the Bears vs. Seahawks game on Sunday, December 2 and will be recognized during an on-field ceremony. He will also receive a framed certificate and attend a Bears practice and "chalk-talk" with head coach Lovie Smith and other 2012 "Coach of the Week" honorees.
The Chicago Bears "Coach of the Week" program is in its 17th season. The program honors outstanding Illinois high school coaches who develop players' football skills and knowledge, character, leadership, discipline and teamwork abilities. Other criteria considered include unique coaching methodology, community and off-field components, school and community support, volunteerism and, most importantly, contributions to players' long-term success on and off the field.
The program will run for nine weeks from August 27 through October 22. Deserving high school coaches are nominated by a panel of local prep authorities and the winning "Coach of the Week" is selected each week. The Chicago Bears will make a $1,500 contribution to the football program at each winning coach's school. Since the program's inception, the Bears have donated over $210,000 to Illinois high schools in support of their football programs. The Chicago Bears "Coach of the Week" program is brought to you by FOX Chicago.
In addition to the "Coach of the Week" winners being honored at the Bears vs. Seahawks game on December 2, all eight IHSA football state champion teams will be recognized at this game. The Chicago Bears, in partnership with the Illinois High School Association and the Illinois Army National Guard, will invite representatives from each team to the game, and a special recognition of their state titles will take place during halftime