Acting as football coach in his spare time

If the 4 p.m. freshman football games ever lacked the glamour of a Friday night varsity game under the lights, they just got the boost they needed.

Actor Ashton Kutcher joined the squad last week as an assistant coach and patrolled the sidelines for last Friday’s dramatic win over Franklin. Kutcher is a friend of Head Coach Scott Wood ’88 and recently told Wood he was interested in coaching.

“I played football when I was in high school and I’ve always wanted to coach. And given the opportunity, I decided to take it up,” Kutcher said.

Kutcher went through the same selection process as every other coaching candidate, Head of Athletics Audrius Barzdukas said. He was interviewed by the freshman coach, by Head of the Program and varsity Head Coach Vic Eumont and by Barzdukas himself.  He went through the same background check and fingerprinting process that all employees of the school undergo.

“He’s humble, he wants to contribute and he wants to be a part of the team and their success,” Barzdukas said. “You can tell also he has done his work in a remarkably short time. He’s put in the time to learn our schemes and our systems.”

Kutcher, a middle linebacker in high school, said that coaching is an entirely different experience from playing on the field.

“It’s so new that I almost can’t even tell you what it’s like… You have to know every position, not just your own, which changes the game,” Kutcher said. “It’s just an honor to be around such a good group of guys. They’re cool kids.”

Kutcher specializes in coaching the linebackers and defense, but the whole coaching staff collaborates with the entire team, Wood said. He brings “knowledge of the game as a former player, passion, and of course the excitement for our team to have someone they all know choose to spend time with them,” Wood said.

In their first game of the season last Friday, the Wolverines defeated Franklin 21-12 in what Barzdukas calls a “miracle.” Despite several injuries, the squad was able to overcome Franklin’s 54 player-team with just 13 players in uniform.

The team continued its success Sept. 12 against Lynwood at home, winning the game 14-0. Kutcher has high hopes for the season, saying that the ultimate goal is to go undefeated.

“The goal is to win every down, win every play,  win every game.   If you don’t shoot for the stars, you’ll never reach the roof tops,” he said.

Kutcher is best known for his roles on the shows “That ’70s Show” and “Punk’d,” and in the film “Dude, Where’s My Car?”