New Knights’ football coach ready to make a change

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Credit: Milo Turner

Loy Norrix varisty football team prepares for a play on the offense. The homecoming football game did not end in a win but the team gave it their all.

Donovan Wilson, Staff Writer

As the crowd enters Griffith Field and takes their seats, the student section is chanting, “Let’s go Knights!” The Knights football team is in the tunnel, ready to run out for their first game of the season against Delton Kellogg High School. On the sideline, you see the Knights getting ready but there’s a new face on the team, a face few have seen. Loy Norrix has a new football coach, and his name is Lorenzo Robertson. 

After over 20 years of poor performances for the team, the Knights look to Robertson to turn the program around.

After the departure of Coach Terry Farmer in spring 2021, it was time for a change in the football program. After a 4-30 overall record under Farmer and the COVID-19 pandemic, Farmer decided to resign and allow a new coach to step in so he can return to his home and take care of his family full time.

During the spring last year, the Knights held workouts with two coaches hoping to take over the program. After consulting with athletic director Andrew Laboe, the Knights finally had a new leader. 

However, the team was skeptical about Robertson at first. 

“He was a nervous coach, the way he spoke to me sounded unsure, but things got better when he got used to us,” said senior linebacker Terrance Burton. 

Coach Robertson has a plan entering his new home here at Norrix. 

“I want to get the first win and build from there to more wins,” Robertson said. “Then incorporate the middle schools into what we’re doing in high school, as in plays, and developing a circular system as the seniors graduate, the freshmen replace them.” 

With a circular system Robertson will have middle school coaches teach their kids what the Loy Norrix offense and defense does, so when they come to Norrix, the freshman will already have a general idea of what to do. When seniors graduate the team won’t have to worry about teaching the freshman anything new since they would’ve already learned it in middle school.

Robertson has been a football coach for 20 years, starting at Bloomfield Heights High School for 19 years and Robichaud High School in Dearborn Heights, Michigan for a year before coming to Norrix. Robertson decided to become a football coach after college. 

“When I finished college and got a job to support my family, I had a lot of free time and thought to myself what I like, which is the game of football,” Robertson said. “I thought about being a referee before deciding to be a coach.” 

Robertson has been a firefighter for 20 years while also being a football coach. He has gotten better with his time-management between fighting fires and coaching. He had to pay someone to cover his firefighting shifts so he could get to practice and games. Now he is a captain of his fire station and can have someone cover his shifts, definitely making life easier.

Robertson has only been in Kalamazoo for a few months, but it wasn’t just football that brought Robertson here.

“Long story is my brother-in-law got sick from COVID and ended up passing away, but my family moved to Kalamazoo to help the family with his care, and I made a deal with my wife that if I can find a coaching job here in the area we would move,” Robertson said. “I came across Norrix and liked what I saw in my research, eventually got the job.”

Robertson already has a plan to turn the Norrix football program around. He has already increased the number of players and involvement with parents, but Roberston has an ideal kind of  player in mind.

“I look for intelligence. That’s why I’m harp on good grades. You have to have intelligence to play the game,” said Robertson. “Hard workers who won’t just enjoy Friday nights but enjoy practice as well. I want a good, well-rounded person.” 

  He wants to turn the program around and will do what it takes to stay here at Norrix.

“I’m pretty young, so I think I can be here a long time. Of course I want to win a lot of games so I can secure my stay,” Robertson said.