Posted in: Foundation News

The NFL announced today the high school football coaches nominated by the 32 NFL teams for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award. Representing the best at the high school level, these coaches were nominated for the national award, named for the winningest coach in NFL history, by NFL teams for their character and integrity, leadership and dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety, and on-field success.

“High school football coaches serve as role models for young athletes and their impact goes well beyond the playing field,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “We are proud to honor this year’s nominees who embody the character, integrity and spirit of Coach Shula. Their commitment to improving the lives of students and developing young men of character is commendable.”

Don Shula Award nominees from all 32 NFL teams will be invited and recognized in special ways during the NFL’s week-long celebration of football at the 2018 Pro Bowl in Orlando. The coaches will participate in a special coaches’ clinic, enjoy a VIP visit to Pro Bowl practices and attend the USA Football National Conference.

Two finalists will each receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to their high school’s football program. The Don Shula Award winner will be announced during the third quarter of the 2018 Pro Bowl, airing Sunday, Jan. 28 at 3 PM ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and simulcast on ABC. The winner will be recognized and walk the red carpet at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 3, the eve of Super Bowl LII, at 9 PM (ET and PT) on NBC. NFL Honors will be taped earlier that evening at the Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

The winner is selected by a panel of distinguished individuals which includes:

  • Pro Football Hall of Famer, Coach DON SHULA – the winningest coach in NFL history
  • 2016 Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award Winner RANDY ALLEN
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame President DAVID BAKER
  • Former Dallas Cowboys Personnel Director and contributor GIL BRANDT
  • Pro Football Hall of Famer, former Indianapolis Colts Coach and current NBC analyst TONY DUNGY
  • Executive Director of USA Football SCOTT HALLENBECK
  • 2x Super Bowl Champion (XLI, 50) PEYTON MANNING
  • Former Secretary of State, Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution and faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of Business CONDOLEEZZA RICE
  • Pro Football Hall of Famer, Super Bowl XLII Champion and Good Morning America correspondent MICHAEL STRAHAN
  • Aplington-Parkersburg High School Principal and son of the school's late football coach, Ed Thomas, AARON THOMAS

Below is a full list of the 2017 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year nominees. For more information on the NFL Foundation, visit or follow @NFLFoundation on Twitter.

2017 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Nominees




Arizona Cardinals

Saguaro High School

Jason Mohns

Atlanta Falcons

North Gwinnett High School

Bill Stewart

Baltimore Ravens

Harford Technical High School

Timothy Palmer

Buffalo Bills

West Seneca West High School

Mike Vastola

Carolina Panthers

Clinton High School

Andrew Webb

Chicago Bears

Rochester High School

Derek Leonard

Cincinnati Bengals

Covington Catholic High School

Eddie Eviston

Cleveland Browns

Bay High School

Ron Rutt

Dallas Cowboys

Frisco Lone Star High School

Jeffrey Rayburn

Denver Broncos

Pueblo South High School

Ryan Goddard

Detroit Lions

Warren De La Salle Collegiate High School

Mike Giannone

Green Bay Packers

Kimberly High School

Steve Jones

Houston Texans

Oak Ridge High School

Brian Fitzgerald

Indianapolis Colts

Ben Davis High School

Mike Kirschner

Jacksonville Jaguars

Bartram Trail High School

Darrell Sutherland

Kansas City Chiefs* (Missouri)

Staley High School

Phil Lite

Kansas City Chiefs* (Kansas)

DeSoto High School

Brian King

Los Angeles Chargers

Crenshaw High School

Robert Garrett

Los Angeles Rams

Mission Viejo High School

Bob Johnson

Miami Dolphins

American Heritage School

Pat Surtain

Minnesota Vikings

South St. Paul

Chad Sexauer

New England Patriots

Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School

Paul Funk

New Orleans Saints

West St. John High School

Brandon Walters

New York Giants

Newton High School

Matt Parzero

New York Jets

Franklin K. Lane Campus High School

Jason Mollison

Oakland Raiders

Kennedy High School

George Jackson

Philadelphia Eagles

Downington High School

Michael Matta

Pittsburgh Steelers

Quaker Valley High School

Jerry Veshio

San Francisco 49ers

Gilroy High School

Jubenal Rodriquez

Seattle Seahawks

Royal High School

Wiley Allred

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Citrus High School

Nate Varnadore

Tennessee Titans

Brentwood Academy

Cody White

Washington Redskins

Dinwiddie High School

Billy Mills

*Indicates team has more than one nominee

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About The NFL Foundation: The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health, safety and wellness of athletes, youth football, and the communities that support our game. For more information on The NFL Foundation, visit:

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Media Contact:

Ana Blinder, NFL