Elliot Uzelac is a member of St. Sava Church and a former College Football Coach currently residing in St. Joseph, MI and is now the Head Coach leading the Benton Harbor High School Tigers in Benton Harbor, MI to their first playoff appearance in the school’s history.
The team will play their next playoff game in Zeeland, MI, Friday, November 6, 2015 and the story of Uzelac’s team is gaining national media attention in media outlets that include ESPN and Sports Illustrated.
This playoff appearance is significant for a number of reasons including the fact the Benton Harbor Tigers football team had not won a game since 2012 and had a record of 4-68 in the previous eight years. In Uzelac’s first season, he led the Tigers to their first winning record since 1989 and their first ever playoff appearance.
Uzelac is the cousin of St. Sava’s Paul Jancarich. Both Uzelac and Jancarich grew up together in Gary, IN in the 1950s. Uzelac served as an altar boy during the service of Very Reverend Svetozar Radovanovich when St. Sava was located in Gary. Also during this time Uzelac attended Sunday School and one of his former teachers Daisy Wuletich, who currently resides in Valaparaiso, IN, remembers him fondly.
Here are some links to read more about Uzelac and the Benton Harbor High School story as they make history with the team’s first playoff appearance:
- Chicago Tribune – Elliot Uzelac gives Benton Harbor football team something to play for
- Sports Illustrated – What Benton Harbor Needed Was Elliot Uzelac
- ESPN – 74-year-old accomplished coach takes unlikely HS team to playoffs
- M-Live – Benton Harbor football, coach Elliot Uzelac extend dream season with playoff win
- Elliot Uzelac – Wikipedia Article
The featured photo in this article at the top of the page is by Greg Swiercz / South Bend Tribune