EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants recently hosted the annual Lou Rettino High School Coach of the Week dinner in partnership with Gatorade.
The Lou Rettino High School Football Coach of the Week initiative is part of the Giants' continuing effort to support local high school football programs. The Giants named the award in memory of former Union High School (N.J.) 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 Giants select one Coach of the Year at the conclusion of the high school season to honor someone who goes above and beyond. The selections are based on the coach's continued commitment towards promoting youth football, developing motivated student-athletes and contributing overall to their community.
Wednesday's dinner brought together all 10 of the 2022 Lou Rettino Coach of the Week honorees. The award's namesake was also represented at the event by his three children – Sue, Louis and Tracey.
The organization's Coach of the Year nominee, Maine-Endwell High School's Matt Gallagher, was in attendance as well. Gallagher was recently named the NFC recipient of the 2022 Don Shula High School Coach of the Year award.
The Giants last week hosted the annual Lou Rettino High School Coach of the Week dinner in partnership with Gatorade. The dinner brought together all 10 of the 2022 Lou Rettino Coach of the Week honorees and the Giants' 2022 Coach of the Year honoree.
Each honoree was accompanied by guests of their choosing. Throughout the evenings, coaches interacted with their coaching peers from the New York-New Jersey area and connected over a shared love for high school football.
Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka also joined in celebrating the recipients. Kafka spoke to the group and answered questions about his own experiences playing football and now mentoring professional football players.
The event was particularly special for Ridgewood High School's Chuck Johnson, the Giants' Week 9 Coach of the Week honoree. Johnson recently announced his retirement after a 49-year coaching career, highlighted by 301 career wins. Johnson received a standing ovation from his peers for his impact on high school football in the tri-state area.
Johnson said the event was even more meaningful because he attended alongside his wife and daughters.
"It was a beautiful night all around," he said. "Quite frankly, I've been moved to tears every day (since my retirement). … It's been a beautiful experience. It's been a wonderful, fulfilling experience. I want that to be available to the next generation."
Though the coaching chapter of his life is finished, Johnson reiterated his lasting mission: "I'm always advocating for the kids. I'm going to keep standing on my soapbox as much as I can."
"This is one of our favorite nights every year," said Ethan Medley, Giants Director of Community Relations and Youth Football. "To have Coach Kafka join us with the Rettino family and Gatorade to honor these truly special coaches is a very meaningful moment. It's great to watch these coaches arrive with their families, be surrounded by their peers, and fill the room with excitement. They deserve this moment of celebration for their contributions to their community through the game of football, and it means the world to us to make that possible."