DeWitt football coach Rob Zimmerman: No ‘I’ in ‘dynasty’

By all accounts, MEA member Rob Zimmerman has had a very good year— but if you were to ask him, he might tell you it’s been a great year for everyone else.

In addition to fulfilling his regular duties as a physical education and health teacher at DeWitt High School in DeWitt Public Schools, Zimmerman has guided the DeWitt Panthers’ football team to an undefeated regular season.

With the playoffs starting soon, Zimmerman hopes to lead his boys to yet another statewide final four appearance; it would be DeWitt’s ninth final four in 13 years.

Zimmerman is quick to give credit to everyone except himself. When asked how he’s been so successful for so long, he lauded the efforts of his assistant coaches, school staff, community members, parents and students.

“When I look back — and I’ve been coaching for a while now — I think the thing that I appreciate the most is the relationship we’ve built with the kids,” Zimmerman said.

For his successes both in the classroom and on the field, Zimmerman was recently presented with the “Building Leaders” award from WVFN-AM’s “The Drive with Jack Ebling.” The award, co-sponsored by MEA and Home Management Company, recognizes Mid-Michigan school employees who have gone above and beyond to help student athletes.

Parental involvement is particularly critical to building a strong football program, Zimmerman said.

“We have parents that understand that it’s a great deal of work to be a top-level football program, and they’re willing to let their kids work and make the commitment we ask of them in order for us to have the success that we’ve had,” Zimmerman said.

Ebling said he has known Zimmerman for a long time and he can’t think of another coach he respects more.

“He’s the kind of guy that if he were coaching your kid in pee-wee ball, you’d be thrilled,” Ebling said.

Click here to listen to the WVFN segment featuring Zimmerman.

To nominate a school employee for the “Building Leaders” award, email David Crim at dcrim@mea.org. Make sure to include in your email a description of the nominee’s efforts on behalf of student athletes.