Coaching Staff


VARSITY
 
Brendan Flaherty - Head Coach
bflaherty2@birmingham.k12.mi.us

Coach Flaherty has been the head football coach at Groves since 2001. He has extensive football background from both the high school and collegiate levels. A 1990 Graduate from Eastern Michigan University where he was a senior captain of the football team and earned 3 varsity letters. Coach Flaherty returned to coach at Eastern and then later at Kent State and St. Joseph's College in Indiana. Coach Flaherty has the most wins by a coach in Groves Football History. He has led Groves to 4 league championships (2003, 2011, 2015, 2016) and 11 state playoff appearances (2001, 2003, 2004, 2011-20). Coach Flaherty has been named Regional Coach of the Year in 2004, 2015, and 2016 by the Michigan High School Coaches Association. Coach Flaherty is also the head track coach for the Boys and Girls teams at Groves. Coach Flaherty has been instrumental in developing the Birmingham Unified Youth Football Organization "BUYFO", aka Birmingham Patriots. He and his wife Tracey have three children; Kaitlin (Former Groves Student), Ryan (Former Groves Football Captain) and Logan (Former Groves Captain).


Matt Turner 
Offensive Coordinator
Offensive Line

Coach Turner graduated from Ohio State University in 1990 with a BA degree in political science. He then attended Detroit College of Law and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1993. He began his coaching career with Bloomfield Hills Andover in 1986. He then coached at Dublin High School in Ohio from 1988-1989. Later at Birmingham Seaholm from 1991-2005 and 2007, serving as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach. He was offensive coordinator at Troy Athens in 2006. He was named assistant coach of the year by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association in 2002. Matt is an attorney and his wife Karen is a school teacher. They have three children Mia, Eli (Current Groves Player), and Luca.

Jason Wilson
Defensive Line

Coach Wilson is an alumnus of Port Huron Northern HS and the University of Michigan.  He has coached football since 2002, coaching at Groves from 2006-08 and 2012 until present (from 2009-11 he was the varsity defensive coordinator at Wayne Memorial HS). Coach Wilson is the varsity defensive line coach and the head strength and conditioning coach.  He was recognized as 2017 Assistant Coach of the Year by the MHSFCA.  Coach Wilson is a certified strength and conditioning coach through IYCA and a member of the National High School Strength Coaches Association (NHSSCA).  He has taught mathematics at Groves since the 2005-06 school year.  His wife, Shannon, is a human resource manager at a local technical college and they reside in Canton with their daughter, Payton.



Barry Sutton
Quarterbacks
Coach Sutton graduated from University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1990. He then attended the University of Florida College of Law and graduated with honors in 1993. He began his coaching career with the Birmingham Patriots in 2008, where he has served multiple teams as offensive coordinator, running backs and quarterbacks coach for the last seven years. He joined the Groves staff in 2013.  He has coached three undefeated teams during his coaching career.  Barry is an attorney with the law firm of Clark Hill, PLC where he specializes in national trial defense of product liability claims, including outdoor products.  He is married to Nicole, and has four children: Dylan (Former Groves Captain, Cole (Former Groves Football Player), Madison and Bryce. He currently also coaches the Birmingham Patriots where his son Bryce plays. 


Brian Hafner '96
Linebackers
Coach Hafner is a former captain and Groves Graduate. During his time playing for Groves he was the first person to play four years of varsity football in school history. Coach Hafner has coached at Groves from 1996-99, 01-07, and came back to the program in 2012. Coach Hafner also coached at Berkley and U of D Jesuit High School. He currently teaches Health and Physical Education at Groves. He and his wife Ashley have four sons Jack, James, Wells and Nash. 

Mike Salter
Offensive Line
Coach Salter has been coaching football for over 20 years. He coached at Garden City High School from 1993-2009, 13 of those years as the head coach leading the Cougars to back to back playoff runs and was named the 1999 Metro West Coach of the Year by the Detroit News. Coach Salter has spent 5 years coaching his sons in the Westland Comets Youth Football Organization. He has taught science classes for over 20 years and currently teaches Biology at Garden City High School. He and his wife Kelly have two sons Ryan (Groves Class of 2018) and Joshua (Groves Class of 2019). 

John Curran
Defensive Backs
Coach Curran is a 1985 graduate of Shrine High School where he was captain of the football team. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1990 and has coach football at Groves since 1994. He has served roles as the defensive back coach, wide receivers coach, and was the defensive coordinator for the 2004 district champion team. He has been a part of 5 league championships and  8 playoff teams at Groves. Coach Curran and his wife Susan have three children  Allyson, Lauren, and Jack.






Joe Rusek
Runningbacks
Coach Rusek is a graduate of L'Anse Creuse High School and graduated in 2016 from Michigan State University with a degree in History Education. Coach began his coaching career in 2016 and joined the Falcon staff in 2019 as the Freshman Defensive Coordinator. In 2020, he took over the role of Running Backs Coach for the Varsity Team. Coach Rusek started teaching at Groves in 2017 and currently teach Psychology and Economics. 




Henry Kuhn
Receivers
Coach Kuhn grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, and attended Walt Whitman High School where he was a 3-year starter at Quarterback for his dad, Jim. After High School, Henry played 4 years of varsity football at Randolph-Macon College for Coach Pedro Arruza. While at RMC, he played Quarterback, Tight End, H-back, and Wide Receiver. After graduation, he found himself back at Walt Whitman as a Paraeducator/offensive coordinator for the vikings staff while getting his Master's Degree in Secondary Math. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Henry moved to Michigan where he continued his teaching and coaching career in the Detroit Public School system. Currently, he teaches Math at West Bloomfield. Henry lives with his fiancée Marlee and beloved dog Bandit. 


Tom Downey
Special Teams
Coach Downey has been on the staff since 2003. He runs the special teams on game days. Coach Downey is known for his passion, enthusiasm and intensity on game days. Coach Downey played high school football for Garden City East and was an all-league selection. Coach Downey's son Tom Jr. played for Groves from 1999-2002. Coach Downey and his wife Diane have  two children Tom Jr. and Christina (both Groves Grads). 



Bart Tinsley
JV Head Coach 



Dave Mason
JV Assistant Coach


David Hayes
Kickers 
Coach Hayes joined the Groves staff in 2012  as the advance scout/assistant coach and in his 19th season coaching football. Coach Hayes has coached at Bloomfield Hills Middle School, Andover High School and Seaholm High School. He is married to Melissa Swanson (Groves Class of 1996) and they have one son, Owen. 





Juan Hammonds
Assistant Coach
Coach Hammonds graduated from Michigan State University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. He played Defensive End for the Spartans where he was a four-year letter winner. In 1992 & 1993 he was all Big-Ten Honorable Mention Defensive End and senior co-captain. He played professional football with the Canadian Football League, (Toronto Argonauts 1995, and Montreal Alouettes 1996) and National Football League, (Jacksonville Jaguars, 1996-1997)
For the past seven years, Juan has been the head coach and defensive coordinator for youth football with the OMYFA, coaching with NFWB and the Birmingham Patriots. He and his wife Jennifer have four Children, Jasmine, Jordan (Groves Graduate), Juan Jr and Joshua (incoming freshman). He is currently working as a Supervisor for Department of Corrections. 

Shon Johnson '11
Assistant Coach
Coach Johnson ("Doc") is a former Groves offensive lineman. He joined the coaching staff in spring 2022, and plans to contribute on and off the field in an auxiliary capacity. Doc Johnson graduated from Wayne State with a BS in Psychology in 2015, and went on to complete his graduate degree at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. Doc practices dentistry throughout Southeastern Michigan, currently practicing in Lathrup Village. 

Carman Smith '98
Assistant Coach
Coach Smith is an English and History teacher at Groves High School. Carman has 17 years of coaching and mentoring experience that consist of working with athletes in the sports of football and wrestling. Coach Smith graduated from Birmingham Groves High School in 1998 and sparked his leadership in football and wrestling. Coach Smith graduated from Olivet College, where he majored in English with a Social Studies minor. Carman has worked in the Birmingham Public Schools for the last 20 years and has developed an intense passion for teaching, mentoring and coaching. Coach Smith looks forward to working with the athletes in our program to improve self-awareness, motivation, confidence and character.




FRESHMAN STAFF
Brian Baldridge
Head Coach
 
Coach Baldridge joined the coaching staff in 2011. Previously he was the Berkshire Middle School head football coach for ten years. Before moving to Michigan, Brian Coached two years at Anthony Wayne High School in Northwest Ohio. He was a varsity assistant coach and junior varsity defensive coordinator. Brian currently teaches at Berkshire middle school. He has three children, Griffin, Reese, and Emery.



 

 














Billy Bodle
Assistant Coach


Aaron Sherman '08
Assistant Coach
Coach Sherman is a former offensive and defensive lineman for Groves. He has been on the staff since 2013. He helps with game day set-up, filming practice and scouting opponents. He graduated in 2014 from Oakland Community College with an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. 






Scott MacKinnon
Video Tech Coordinator
Scott is a great asset to Groves Football, he assists the coaching staff and team with capturing the practices and games on video. Reviewing video is invaluable to the preparation for upcoming games and evaluating individual and team play. Scott is the "Falcon's Eye in the Sky" up on top of the press box at all the games.  Scott is a Groves Grad and also works at Groves as the computer and technology guru.