Novi High is proud to announce Jim Sparks as the new head coach of the varsity football team.
“We could not be more excited and pleased to have Coach Jim Sparks as our newest member of the Wildcat family,” said “Athletic Director Brian Gordon. “Coach Sparks brings an enormous amount of experience and knowledge in not only the game of football, but also as an educator for the past 20 years.
“Jim will continue Novi’s rich tradition in football by becoming only the fifth head football coach since 1967. Jim truly understands what educational athletics can do for student-athletes, a school and the entire community. He will continue to honor our traditions and our core values.”
Sparks graduated from Clawson High and has been coaching there since 1993. He served as Clawson’s varsity football coach from 2002-2020. His teams advanced to the playoffs 11 times and he compiled a 99-82 record.
Sparks served as Vice President of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association from 2018-2020. He was also a regional director with the organization from 2004-2018 and served six years as All-Star Committee Chair. He was the East All-Star Coach of the MHSFCA All-Star Game in 2010.
“This is an opportunity that I’m extremely excited about,” Sparks said of becoming the Novi varsity football coach. “When Mr. Gordon called and explained the high-quality staff and students here at Novi and the state of the program that Coach Burnside has left behind, it was something that I could just not pass up.”
John Osborne, a Michigan High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame inductee, coached the Wildcats for 33 years. The Wildcats were coached by Tab Kellepourey from 2000-2009, Todd Pennycuff from 2010-2012 and by Jeff Burnside from 2013-2020. Burnside stepped down in December after leading the Wildcats to a 41-27 playoff win over Brighton and a 3-5 record.
Sparks was honored four times as the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division Coach of the Year (2009, 2014-2015, 2019). He was selected the Daily Tribune All Area Coach of the Year in 2002. He was a Detroit Lions Coach of the Week in 2014.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education and a Sports Administration Master of Arts from Wayne State University.
Jim and his wife Karen have been married for 27 years and live in Wolverine Lake. They have two children, son Ty (24) and daughter Madelyn (21).
- Novi High School