The New York Jets announced today that Craig Nielsen of Pascack Valley High School in Hillsdale, N.J., has been named this week's recipient of the New York Jets High School Coach of the Week Award. For his efforts, Nielsen will receive $1,000 to benefit the school's football program and will be presented with a certificate from the Jets.
The award, in its 17th year, is given to coaches in the tristate area who serve the best interests of the game through the teaching of sound football fundamentals, the motivation of young players to achieve, and the promotion of youth football by way of dedication to their community, their school and their student-athletes.
Nielsen is in his 12th season as the head coach of the Indians. Under his direction, the school has won seven of its last eight league titles from 2004-09 and in 2011. Coach Nielsen was an all-league and all-county running back on Bergenfield's state sectional championship team in 1974. He went on to play football at Rutgers, where he was a member of the 1976 undefeated squad and the first bowl team in Rutgers history, the Sun Bowl in 1978. Nielsen has a master's degree in special education from William Paterson University and has taught health and physical education for 33 years.
On Friday, the Indians defeated the Wayne Hills Patriots, 35-21, to improve their record to 6-0. It is the first victory over Wayne Hills in eight attempts since Nielsen has been at the helm. The Indians' next game will be on the road, Friday against the Demarest Norsemen.