George Ihler of Freeland and his game ball for being a coach of the week at Sunday's Lions game.


George Ihler lettered in football, basketball and track in high school at Marinette High School (Wisconson) before moving on to Western Michigan University where he was a three-year starter at defensive back for the Broncos. His football coaching career began at Owosso High School where he was 20-6-1 with two Big Nine championships. Ihler moved on to Arthur Hill High School where his varsity football teams were 83-25-1 (the previous three years they were 1-25-1). Ihler won eight Saginaw Valley League titles and a Class A state championship in1973 when his Lumberjacks were undefeated and unscored upon (443-0). He was named Michigan Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year. His next stop was Saginaw Valley State University where he was 61-50 (before he got there they were 4-17). They won back-to-back GLIAC championships in 1983-84 and a pair of NAIA playoff semifinals. He was the GLIAC Coach of the Year in 1983 and ’84 and his teams racked up 13 consecutive league wins between 1983 and 1985. The 61 wins are the most in school history. Ihler coached Freeland High School to an overall record of 40-13 and a pair of Tri- Valley Conference West Division championships. He wound up his coaching career at Hemlock and the Huskies were 4-5 in both seasons. His 33-year coaching record is 212-106-3, including a 151-54-1 prep record. Ihler captured 16 league titles along the way. He was inducted into the Michigan High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame.