Central Michigan football coach John Bonamego is the 2017 Pete Schmidt Award winner, given annually to honor courage. The award will be presented Feb. 15 at the Detroit Free Press 2016 All-State Dream Team Football Awards Banquet.
Former CMU football coach and athletic director Herb Deromedi will present the Pete Schmidt award to Bonamego, whose story of beating cancer while coaching his first season at Central in 2015 attracted national attention. Deromedi, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, was Bonamego’s coach when he played at CMU in the 1980s.
Schmidt was a former Michigan high school (Stockbridge, Okemos) coach, and was head coach at Albion College rom 1983-1996. He went to Indiana in 1997 and served as an assistant coach before losing a battle with lymphoma in 2000.
It will be a Mid-American Conference-heavy evening. Along with Bonamego, Eastern Michigan coach Chris Creighton is a guest speaker early in the program, and new Western Michigan coach Tim Lester will speak near the end of the event.
The Detroit Free Press 2016 All-State Dream Team will be honored at the banquet at the Dearborn Inn in Dearborn, as will several other college and high school football notables.