In a truly fitting gesture, Farmington Hills Harrison named its football field and outdoor athletic complex in honor of longtime Hawks head coach John Herrington last Friday night prior to their 47-8 trouncing of OAA White foe Stoney Creek.
The only coach the nationally-renowned Harrison program has ever had, Herrington is headed towards becoming the MHSAA’s all-time winningest sideline general. His 427 victories place him just four wins away from the record, currently held by retired Birmingham Brother Rice legend Al Fracassa at a tally of 430.
Herrington founded the Harrison football team in the summer of 1970. He quickly turned it into a perennial state power and college-recruit factory. The program’s 13 state championships is most in state history. Sadly, the Hawks are in the twilight of their very existence – Harrison is scheduled to close its doors in June 2019.
The arch leading into the Hawks football stadium, which can be seen from passing traffic on 12 Mile Road, now bears Herrington’s name. Over 40 former Hawks players returned for the emotional event to pay respects to their old coach.
“This field naming makes me feel very special, it’s a pretty awesome honor,” Herrington said. “It’s nice to know it will always be there and it will give this community something to remember me by. I’d be lying though if I said it wasn’t bittersweet with the knowledge of the school closing in less than two years. I’d trade the honor of the field getting my name on it, if we could keep the doors open at Harrison. But I don’t think that’s in the cards, so I’ll be happy about this and the fact that I got to share it with so many amazing people.”
Herrington’s 2017 Hawks are 2-1. They continue their OAA White slate later this week against Birmingham Seaholm (1-2).
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