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6.13.2016

Benton Harbor Football

_MG_0966.jpg    The Benton Harbor Pendulum Weight Room

Last November, Benton Harbor High School in Benton Harbor, Michigan had their first winning season in 26 years and the schools first ever trip to the state playoffs. Prior to 2015 they had 4 wins in 8 years. Elliot Uzelac at the age of 74 returned to coaching and had become their new leader. Elliot had been an assistant coach at the University of Michigan for Bo Schembechler as well as the Head Football Coach for Western Michigan, The United States Naval Academy and other stops at major Universities in his distinguished career. 

Arriving at Benton Harbor Elliot’s first priority was investment in the kids. He made sure they had tutoring and overall academic success. Through the courtesy of donations he upgraded their facilities. Community donors supplied food, and the volunteer Tiger Moms prepared it. The athletes knew they were important and loved. He then raised the expectations and set goals.

The Benton Harbor story is so dynamic that it gained National media attention which included spots on ESPN and a surprise gift of a trip to Walt Disney World for the team from Good Morning America. Coach Uzelac, his staff, his athletes, the community all demonstrated the adage, ‘that when you truly give of yourself you always get much more back in return.’ 

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