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Caledonia hires Derek Pennington as next head football coach

Move comes after 13 seasons at Zeeland East
Posted at 10:02 AM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-29 17:22:32-05

CALEDONIA, Mich. — After 13 seasons at Zeeland East, Derek Pennington is making the move east to Caledonia as the next head football coach for the Fighting Scots.

Derek Pennington hired as Caledonia football coach

"I think there's a vision here for moving forward," Pennington told FOX 17, "Coach [Tom] Burrill has done a great job here building a foundation for a long time, it's a great community."

Pennington led the Chix to an 88-43 overall record and ten playoff appearances in his tenure as he now gets set to take over for Tom Burrill, who retired after 20 seasons at Caledonia.

"You're following a guy that everybody respects, I think he was very well respected and liked in the community, I'm actually meeting with him today, he's going to fill me in on Caledonia," Pennington added.

Derek Pennington Sounds of the Game

The Fighting Scots finished the season 4-5 overall but won two playoff games over Jenison and Lowell before a district final loss to Mona Shores.

"I'm going to get up every day and try to make the program the best it can be," he said, "yeah, you have long term plans, there's some great things happening with the bond and facilities here but at the same time we're going to start moving forward today."

While the records and playoff accomplishments are great, Pennington says it's the relationships in Zeeland that he'll miss the most.

"Our record there and what we accomplished speaks for itself and I love all of those kids and families, I've built tons of lifelong friendships in Zeeland, that won't change. Even though I'm the coach in Caledonia, those people are still very special to me."

Zeeland East will now begin looking for Pennington's replacement as the high school football coaching carousel here in West Michigan gets underway.