Local Football Coaches Share Bears Award, Winning Career

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Byline: Patrick Garmoe Daily Herald Staff Writer

It's only natural that when local high school football coaches Bruce Kay and Bill Mitz stride onto Solider Field Sunday, they'll do it side-by-side.

The lives of the two coaches - Kay from Cary-Grove and Mitz from Stevenson - have constantly intersected for more than a decade.

The latest instance came when they were among nine coaches honored by area sports reporters and Chicago Bears officials this season as Bears Coach of the Week. Mitz earned the recognition for the second week, and Kay for the eighth week.

The program was created to honor coaches who help players develop not just football skills, but character-building traits like leadership, discipline and teamwork.

The coaches' friendship began back when their children were just starting out in sports.

Mitz, who lives in Fox River Grove, first coached their kids on a little league baseball team.

"Bruce was the parent, and I was the coach," he said.

Recently however, their roles reversed.

Mitz's son, Brian, led Cary-Grove's football squad for more than two years as the quarterback.

The coaches also worked together during many summer football camps and swapped strategies.

Kay just wrapped up his 17th season as the school's head football coach after making it into the postseason for the eighth time in his career. Last season his Cary-Grove squad advanced to the Class 7A state championship game. …