Jermaine Gonzales to take over Orchard Lake St. Mary's football program
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s football fans will be familiar with its new head football coach.
Jermaine Gonzales helped St. Mary’s win the Division 4 state championship in 1999 when he threw for 200 yards and a pair of TDs before moving on to play for the Michigan Wolverines.
Gonzales was named head football coach at St. Mary’s on Wednesday, replacing the legendary George Porritt who announced that he would retire following the 2021 season back in the summer.
Porritt, who guided St, Mary’s to a 278-94 record and seven state championships, including three straight from 2014-16 and is also St. Mary’s athletic director, was proud to have Gonzales follow him.
“Jermaine is a man of great character that all St. Mary’s students, athletes and non-athletes will look up to,” said Porritt of Gonzales, who was St. Mary’s JV head football coach from 2007-2019, also serving as the JV head basketball coach from 2015-19. “He is a man of God of the highest integrity.”
After graduating from Michigan, Gonzales took a job in sales at Xfinity while starting his coaching career under Porritt at St. Mary’s.
“It was a blessing to attend OLSM,” Gonzales said. “I not only became a man of St. Mary’s, but learned a lot as an athlete. The St. Mary’s way emphasizes ‘the team’ and being part of a shared commitment. Under Coach Porritt, I learned great values about football and life, and he’d say ‘a measure of who you are is what you do with what you have.’ That builds character.”
In 2019, Gonzales founded the Orchard Lake Cardinals Youth Athletics program which emphasizes integrity, sportsmanship and strong fundamentals. The program includes football and cheer teams with some 135 boys and girls in the program, along with a waiting list.
Gonzales and his wife Stephanie have three sons, Jabin, 13; Caleb, 10 and Elijah, 8.
“Becoming the head varsity football coach of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Preparatory is a dream come true,” Gonzales said. “Life has come full circle for me, from being a young man from Pontiac who went to OLSM then U of M before returning to my alma mater to mentor young athletes. It’s surreal to me!”
Gonzales takes over a program coming off a 6-5 season this past fall.