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FOOTBALL: Harrison’s Herrington tallies win No. 400, stacks another accomplishment to already long list

By: Scott Burnstein, October 25, 2013, 9:00 am

FARMINGTON HILLS – Legendary Farmington Hills Harrison head football coach John Herrington is a pretty laidback,  understated sideline general, content with his team’s performance doing the majority of his talking.

That said, maybe it was appropriate that Herrington quietly picked up the 400th win of his illustrious career last week.

In his 44th year at the helm of the Harrison’s juggernaut of a program, Herrington reached the 400-mark last Friday night in the Hawks 46-0 blasting of crosstown foe Farmington in a game that was barely covered by the local media.

Personally starting the Hawks’ program in 1970, his record stands 400-99-1 overall, second-most in MHSAA history behind Birmingham Brother Rice’s Al Fracassa, who hit the milestone two years ago to considerable fanfare.

Herrington is only the ninth coach in the history of American high school football to win 400 games.

“You don’t think about these things when you begin your career, but it’s a nice achievement to know you were a part of along with a lot of other people like all the exceptional players and coaches that I’ve been fortunate to have,” he said. “The tradition we built is based on consistency year-to-year and that’s what I’m most proud of.”

Herrington’s Hawks have collected an MHSAA-record 13 state championships in his four and a half decades at the school and produced hoards of college players and more than a handful of future pros, such as Drew Stanton, Mill “The Thrill” Coleman and Ricky Bryant.

All four aforementioned former Hawks superstars walked away from the prep ranks with multiple state-title rings.

Stanton and Coleman are two of the best quarterbacks in state history, with Stanton now an NFL vet with the Arizona Cardinals after being drafted in the second-round of the 2007 draft out of Michigan State.

Bryant was an all-state wide receiver and Stanton’s No. 1 target on the field as a prep signal-caller, eventually playing in college at Ohio State and earning a Super Bowl ring in his pro career with the New England Patriots.

Transitioning to a slot receiver at the college and pro level, where he played at Michigan State and then in the NFL and CFL, Coleman is currently Herrington’s offensive coordinator.

Herrington’s current squad is 7-1 and will be squaring off with Stoney Creek in an OAA crossover affair Friday night with win No. 401 on the line.

The last time Herrington led Harrison to a state crown was in 2010, a club that featured four future Big 10 college players in quarterback Tommy Vento (Michigan State), tight end Devin Funchess (Michigan), wide receiver Aaron Burbridge (Michigan State) and defensive lineman Mario Ojemudia (Michigan).