By DOUG DONNELLY
Jeremy Fielder will be the next varsity head football coach at Clinton High School.
Fiedler has been the defensive coordinator for the Redskins for the past 10 seasons. He takes the reigns from Scott McNitt, who retired recently after more than 30 years at Clinton and a Hall of Fame career.
“It was always a goal of mine to be a head football coach,” Fielder said. “I’m excited about it. It was great experience to work with coach McNitt. There’s a reason he’s in the hall of fame.”
Fielder is a Deerfield native who started playing football for Britton-Deerfield soon after the two schools decided to form one football team. He was an All Tri-County Conference performer on a team that twice played in the state semifinals under coach Pete DeWitt. He played tight end for Adrian College when Jim Lyall was the head coach of the Bulldogs.
After college, he started working as a grad assistant at Adrian, working with the wide receivers and later outside linebackers. He started teaching at Clinton in 2007 while still on the Bulldog coaching staff working with Jim Deere. He also credits hall of fame coach Ken Calhoun for helping shape his football life.
“After my first year there I switched to the defensive side of the ball,” Fielder said. “Defense became a passion of mine.”
He became McNitt’s defensive coordinator during a time that Clinton captured multiple TCC championships and made two appearances in the state football finals.
Clinton went 6-4 last year and qualified for the playoffs for the sixth consecutive seasons. The team has several returning starters.
“Jeremy will do a tremendous job carrying on the great tradition of Clinton football,” McNitt said.
With Fielder’s hiring as the head football coach at Clinton, yet another member of the Britton Deerfield varsity football team from the late 1990s and early 2000s has joined the head coaching ranks. It’s quite a list of coaches from those early days of the BD football team that won three straight Tri-County Conference titles, made two trips to the semifinals and went 34-3 from 1998 to 2000.
The 1999 All-TCC football team included tight end Fielder, wide receiver Dan Musielewicz, quarterback Brad Maska and linebacker Ron Shiels.
Musielewicz is now the head football coach at Olivet College while Maska is the head varsity boys basketball and golf coach at Onsted. Shiels is an assistant at Siena Heights University. Dustin Beurer was an all-conference lineman for BD in 2000 and is now an assistant football coach at Albion College. Joe Musielewicz was an All-TCC defensive performer that year and is now an assistant football coach at Tecumseh.
Fielder said those times at BD helped shape his life.
“That was awesome,” he said. “That’s when I really learned to love football. It wasn’t just the wins and losses, but the awesome friendships I made, and they continue to this day. (Sports) was such a big part of our lives.”
Sand Creek varsity football coach Scott Gallagher said Fielder is a great hire for Clinton.
“I think coach Fielder is a great choice for Clinton football and the community,” Gallagher said. “He is a great football coach who always has his defense well coached and well prepared.”