East Rutherford, NJ – The New York Giants and Gatorade have selected Mr. Michael Ware of Albany High School (Albany, NY) as the Lou Rettino High School Coach of the Week for Week 3 of the 2022 season. Coach Ware is the head coach of the Albany Falcons high school football team, a program that has persevered in the wake of obstacles. Last Friday, the Albany Falcons defeated their division rival Mohonasen High School, 14-0, on the road for their first win since April 2021. Albany is now one and one on the season, having narrowly lost to Troy High School in their season opener. Albany's initial games are an indication of their greatly improved football team.
The Lou Rettino High School Football Coach of the Week Award is part of the Giants' continuing effort to support local high school football programs. The Giants elected to name the award in memory of former Union High School (NJ) coach, Lou Rettino, for his fine commitment to the game of football, his community and the betterment of his athletes' lives. Each week during the high school football season, the Giants select one area high school head coach as the Coach of the Week winner. The selection is based on the coach's continued commitment towards promoting youth football, developing motivated student-athletes and contributing overall to their community.
In recognition of Coach Ware's selection as Coach of the Week, a $2,000 check will be granted to the school's football program from The Giants Foundation and Gatorade. Ware will also receive a certificate of recognition signed by Giants head coach Brian Daboll and will be honored at a dinner following the season, as well as a 2023 pre-season home game.
Coach Ware attended Roosevelt High School in Yonkers, New York. In 1996, his team defeated Albany High School's 1996 Section 2 Championship team in the Class AA quarterfinals. The 2022 season marks Coach Ware's sixth season as head coach and his seventh consecutive season with Albany's varsity football team. Ware also previously coached for four years at Hudson Valley Community College. In his first year at Albany High School, Ware helped to lead the team to their first winning season since 2005. COVID-19 presented unprecedented challenges for Ware's program in 2021, but his leadership encouraged student-athletes to keep their heads held high. Despite uncertainty about the season, Ware and his coaching staff continued to practice daily. When their time came to take the field, Ware's team fell by just one point to Troy High School in their season opener.
Ashley Chapple – Director of Health, PE & Athletics for the City School District of Albany – spoke highly of Ware. "Mike Ware is a standup guy who would do any and everything for all our high school's student-athletes, not just our football players," Chapple attested. She also credited Ware for fostering an inclusive environment for athletes: "The reason they come back is because of the way Coach Ware makes them feel and the culture that Coach has built in our football program. Football is a grueling and taxing sport on the body, so to come back every day because you believe in your coach, that speaks volumes." Ware's impact reaches administration as well. "As a brand-new athletic director, Coach Ware has become my 'coach.' He encourages me and helps me to continue to push forward and advocate for our athletic programs. He taught me to just shake it off and smile – we'll figure it out. Adversity is our opponent, and this guy excels every time," Chapple bragged.