NFL Announces Team Nominees for Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award

Posted in: Foundation News, Youth Football




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 have a profound impact on the lives of young athletes. We are honored to recognize these individuals who embody the leadership and commitment to excellence demonstrated by Coach Shula," said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. "Their dedication to developing young men of character will lead their players to success far beyond the field of play."

 For the first time, Don Shula Award nominees from all 32 teams will be invited and recognized in special ways during the NFL's week-long celebration of football at the 2017 Pro Bowl in Orlando. The coaches will visit Pro Bowl practices, participate in the USA Football National Conference and attend the Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium. The coaches will be made available to media on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 2 PM ET at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Two finalists will each receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to his high school's football program. The Shula Award winner will be announced during the third quarter of the 2017 Pro Bowl, airing Sunday, Jan. 29 at 8 PM ET on ESPN, and will receive an additional $10,000 from the NFL Foundation, $5,000 of which will go to his high school's football program. The winner will be recognized at a press conference on Friday, Feb. 3 during Super Bowl week in Houston and walk the red carpet at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special airing nationally on FOX on Feb. 4, the night before Super Bowl LI.

The winner is selected by a panel of distinguished individuals. New to the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award selection panel this year are two-time Super Bowl champion (XLI, 50) and five-time NFL MVP PEYTON MANNING, Super Bowl XLII champion and Good Morning America contributor MICHAEL STRAHAN and Pro Football Hall of Fame President DAVID BAKER. 

The selection panel also includes:

  • Coach DON SHULA – the winningest coach in NFL history
  • Former Dallas Cowboys Personnel Director and contributor GIL BRANDT
  • 2015 Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award Winner MICHAEL BURNETT
  • Former Indianapolis Colts Coach and current NBC analyst TONY DUNGY
  • Executive Director of USA Football SCOTT HALLENBECK
  • 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
  • Former Executive Director of the American Football Coaches Association GRANT TEAFF
  • 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 2016 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year nominees. For more information on the NFL Foundation, visit or follow @NFLFoundation on Twitter.


2016 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Nominees




Arizona Cardinals

Perry High School

Preston Jones

Atlanta Falcons

Tucker High School

Bryan Lamar

Baltimore Ravens

Walkersville High School

Joe Polce

Buffalo Bills

Dunkirk High School

Mike Sarratori

Carolina Panthers

Hilton Head School

Russel 'BJ' Payne

Chicago Bears

Peoria High School

Tim Thorton

Cincinnati Bengals

St. Xavier High School

Steve Specht

Cleveland Browns

Lorain High School

Dave McFarland

Dallas Cowboys

Highland Park High School

Randy Allen

Denver Broncos

Strasburg High School

Jeff Giger

Detroit Lions

Benton Harbor High School

Elliot Uzelac

Green Bay Packers

Kimberly High School

Steve Jones

Houston Texans

Ebbert L. Furr High School

Matthew Valmore

Indianapolis Colts

Westfield High School

Jake Gilbert

Jacksonville Jaguars

Ponte Vedra High School

Matthew Toblin

Kansas City Chiefs*

Grain Valley High School

Blue Valley High School

David Allie

Eric Driskell

Los Angeles Rams

Narbonne High School

Manuel Douglas

Miami Dolphins

Carol City High School

Aubrey Hill

Minnesota Vikings

Minneapolis North High School

Charles Adams

New England Patriots

Mills High School

Dana Olson

New Orleans Saints

Edna Karr High School

Brice Brown

New York Giants

Cardinal Hayes High School

CJ O'Neill

New York Jets

Curtis High School

Peter Gambardella

Oakland Raiders

California School for the Deaf

Warren Keller

Philadelphia Eagles

Perkiomen Valley High School

Rob Heist

Pittsburgh Steelers

Thomas Jefferson High School

Bill Cherpak

San Diego Chargers

Madison High School

Rick Jackson

San Francisco 49ers

Saint Francis High School

Greg Calcagno

Seattle Seahawks

Tumwater High School

Sid Otton

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

St. Petersburg High School

Joe Fabrizio

Tennessee Titans

Whitehaven High School

Rodney Saulsberry

Washington Redskins

Quantico Middle/High School

Paul Roy

*Indicates team has more than one nominee