The New York Jets announced today that Rick Rodriguez of Bayonne (N.J.) High School has been named this week's recipient of the New York Jets High School Coach of the Week Award. For his efforts, he will receive $1,000 to benefit the school's football program and he will be presented with a certificate from the Jets.
The award, in its 16th 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.
Coach Rodriguez returns for his fifth season as the head coach of the Bees after a six-year hiatus. He led Bayonne to the school's only state championship, in North Jersey Section I Group 4 in 2002. Rodriguez was an all-state linebacker during his senior year at North Arlington High School in 1979 before matriculating at Northern Arizona University as a guard. His reach extends beyond the football field as he has served as a social studies teacher at Bayonne for the past 10 years.
Bayonne alumnus and NFL wide receiver Kenny Britt credits Coach Rodriguez with helping him get to the pros: "Without him, I wouldn't be playing football," Britt has said. "I didn't want to go to college. I didn't really like school. I was never really good with school. He kept me on a line. He kept me focused."
On Friday, Bayonne defeated the Union City Hillers, 20-13 in overtime, to improve to 4-0. The Bees will be on the road to face the North Bergen Bruins on Friday, Oct. 7.