By: John Raffel
New coach for Bay City Western
Bay City Western has a new football coach in Chris Willertz, but the Warriors are working to get the program on the right path.
The Warriors were 0-9 last season and have been 12-35 since 2013.
Willertz graduated from Bay City Handy in 1985 and went to Michigan State for a collegiate football career. He was a defensive end and played on a Spartan Rose Bowl team. Then he went to Hamilton, Mich. and went to Cincinnati where he’s been the last 25 years.
He cited two reasons for coming to Bay City.
“My mom is 79,” Willertz said. “This was the opportunity to come to Bay City, my hometown, and coach. I’ve been out of coaching football 6 or 7 years in Cincinnati because of circumstances. I’ve been doing some sports leadership group work down in Cincinnati. We’ve been working with football, basketball and wrestling coaches, and did a lot of character development and a lot of team building. I coached a Moeller High School in Cincinnati and worked with the University of Cincinnati’s football team. And I did some work at Ohio State.
“This gave me a different perspective in not just being a football coach but in also being a team builder. I felt it rounded me out into being a coach.”
Willertz will also be teaching social studies at Western. He started working at the end of February.
“They had social studies teaching opening, so I was able to step in, get started in the weight room and get together a staff as early as March,” he said.
There’s plenty of rebuilding work to be done. Willertz said he’s be in a rebuilding situation before and hopes to build up numbers. He’s working to build up the culture and make football a 12-month program at Western.