By DOUG DONNELLY
OTTAWA LAKE – Todd Thieken, who has guided Whiteford to 12 wins and into the Division 8 semifinal Saturday, has been named one of eight Regional Coaches of the Year by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.
Thieken is in his first year as head coach of the Bobcats. Whiteford is 12-0 and will take on Clarkston Everest Collegiate at 1 p.m. Saturday at Woodhaven High School. The winner will advance to the state finals at Ford Field.
Thieken has coached more than 25 years, starting as a volunteer assistant at Otsego High School while in college at Bowling Green State University. His first job outside of college was at Solon High School near Cleveland. He also coached at Chagrin Falls, Ohio, before returning to northwest Ohio, where he was head coach at Evergreen, his alma mater, from 2005-2010.
He was an assistant coach at Tecumseh when he met for Whiteford head coach and athletic director Jason Mensing. He coached the Indians for a couple seasons, then became an assistant at Whiteford under Mensing. When Mensing left earlier this year for Westland John Glenn, Thieken was named the next Bobcat varsity football coach.
Last year, Thieken was honored by the coaching association as one of the assistant coaches of the year.
This season, the Bobcats are averaging 49.5 points a game, second highest in the state. They have won Tri-County Conference, District and Regional championships.