Oakridge's Schugars Always To Be 'Coach'
April 22, 2013
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Jack Schugars led five Muskegon Oakridge teams to MHSAA football championship games during his 32 seasons running the program. He finished his high school coaching career in 2010 with a record of 262-78.
And of course, he impacted hundreds of lives in a community that, according to a former assistant, considers him a "saint."
Schugars was honored last week with the Duffy Daugherty Award for his outstanding achievements in high school football. Each spring, the Duffy Daugherty committee – made up of football supporters and media from the Lansing area – recognizes a high school coach along with a past or current college coach. The college award is among those recognized by the College Football Hall of Fame.
Among previous high school honorees present to congratulate Schugars during Thursday's banquet in East Lansing were Farmington Hills Harrison’s John Herrington, Birmingham Brother Rice’s Al Fracassa and former East Lansing coach Jeff Smith.
Schugars – now an assistant at Ferris State University – led his 1997, 2005 and 2008 teams to MHSAA titles, while his 1990 and 2003 teams finished MHSAA runners-up. He is a member of the Muskegon Sports Hall of Fame (class of 2009), the Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2008) and the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame (1993). He received the MHSFCA’s highest honor, the Jim Crowley Award, in 2000.
The Schugars family is rooted in education. He also taught biology at the high school for 38 years, while his wife Julie taught English. Their daughter Amanda teaches in Battle Creek, and son Eric teaches and is the defensive coordinator at Traverse City Central.
Below are brief excerpts from the introduction of Schugars by his former football assistant and current Oakridge softball coach Joe Coletta, followed by Schugars' closing words of wisdom.
‘Faith, Family, Football’
(Coletta) “To Jack, those are not just words of hollow meaning. They are his compass.
“Jack has won countless awards for his accomplishments on the football field. He absolutely refused to let anyone outwork him or his teams in preparation for a football game.
“But in my opinion, his strength as a football coach is his ability to take a kid that most people would give up on: a kid that some might label as no good, troublemaker, not worth the effort. He found a way to love the unlovable.
“He would give those kids direction; he would mentor them to be young men and young women and take them to where they could not possibly take themselves.
"When you can do that for a person, you let them see their worth as a human being and make a lasting impact so you can change the rest of their lives.
“That, to me, is what sets Jack apart from most coaches.”
What's most important
(Schugars) “The reason I'm on this Earth is to love the Lord your God with all my heart and soul and love your neighbors as yourself.
“So when I speak at clinics, when I talk to coaches, I tell them the greatest thing they can do for their team is to love their players.
“That is the greatest thing a coach can do. Love your players and be true role models each day.
“I could not ask for a better career than when ... a (former) player in the Navy Seal team calls me Coach. Lawyers, doctors, bankers, they call you Coach.
"Wow, that's a great word: Coach. That's what it's all about. Being a coach. Building relationships that will last a lifetime.
"I love the hundreds of players that are part of the Oakridge football family. And I hope I continue to build men out of boys, continue at the college level."
PHOTOS: (Top) Former Muskegon Oakridge football coach Jack Schugars holds up the 2005 Division 5 championship trophy with his players after their victory at Ford Field. (Middle) Schugars (right, with headset) monitors his team's play on the field against Jackson Lumen Christi.
MHSAA, MHSFCA to Provide Spring Evaluation Camps for College Football Hopefuls
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
March 27, 2023
The Michigan High School Athletic Association, in partnership with the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA), will be hosting first-ever Spring Evaluation Camps to provide athletes with aspirations of playing college football opportunities to show their skills and abilities to college coaches at one of five locations.
The one-day camps will take place between May 15-18 at Jenison High School, DeWitt High School, Jackson High School, Brighton High School and Detroit Country Day High School. The MHSAA’s involvement will allow for the opportunity for Division I college coaches to attend, and representatives from college football programs at all levels are expected.
Athletes who will be juniors or seniors in Fall 2023 may register to participate via a link on the Football page.
“This is an attempt by the MHSAA to help our athletes get exposure during the spring evaluation period in a way that does not intrude on spring sports,” said Brad Bush, an MHSAA assistant director and past high school and college football coach. “We are working with the MHSFCA to help put together a first-class experience for the athletes and college coaches.”
Cost is $20 per player, and each registrant will receive a shirt to wear based on the athlete’s graduation year and registration number so college coaches in attendance can monitor their camp performance. College coaches also will receive registration information for each athlete in attendance.
All athletes must have a coach from the athlete’s school staff present at the camp, and that coach must be a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.
MHSFCA executive director Andrew Pratley called the Spring Evaluation Camps a tremendous opportunity for high school athletes in Michigan.
“We are very excited with the partnership with the MHSAA that allows our kids the opportunity to wear a helmet and do drills in front of college coaches in the spring at a minimal cost,” Pratley said. “College coaches are thrilled, and it's a unique opportunity to have the rules waived by the MHSAA at these events only in order to showcase the tremendous talent all over the great state of Michigan.”
The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) has been devoted to the promotion of high school football since its inception in March 1972. The MHSFCA has more than 2,500 members and provides several educational and development opportunities for members and their athletes, including an annual coaching clinic, an annual leadership conference for coaches and potential team captains, and the annual summer East-West All-Star Game for graduated seniors. Additionally, the MHSFCA’s Leadership Development Alliance is in its third year of training coaches and offering veteran members of the association as mentors.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.