Coach Steve Specht Named Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year

Posted in: Youth Football



Twenty-One Year Coaching Veteran from Cincinnati, OH Honored By Coach Shula  

St. Xavier High School Head Football Coach STEVE SPECHT was named the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year, it was announced today.  As the national Shula Award winner, Specht will receive $25,000, $15,000 of which will go to his high school’s football program. He also is a guest of the NFL during Super Bowl Week.  Shula congratulated Specht and presented him with the award at a press conference today in New Orleans.

Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Press Conference 0003.jpeg

Nominated by GREG SCRUGGS of the Seattle Seahawks, Specht, of Cincinnati, OH, was one of three high school football coaches from across the country named as a finalist for the award, which was created to honor exemplary high school football coaches who demonstrate a commitment to player health & safety, and the integrity, achievement, and leadership exemplified by the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula. Scruggs surprised Specht at today’s ceremony.

The other finalists were Woodland Hills High School Head Football Coach GEORGE NOVAK from Pittsburgh, PAand James Logan High School Head Football Coach GEORGE ZUBER from Union City, CA.  Each finalist receives a $2,500 cash award and a $5,000 grant for their high school football programs. A full list of all nominees for this year’s award is below.

All nominated coaches are active or retired high school football coaches and were nominated by NFL teams and players for their character and integrity, inspirational leadership, commitment to the community and on-field success.

In his nomination essay, Scruggs wrote, “Coach Specht is an honorable, respectable man of integrity who has made an impact in my life and every player he has touched.”

As part of his nomination, Specht wrote of his responsibility as a coach. “I think any great organization is composed of people that love one another, focus on the daily pursuit of excellence and understand that no one is able to succeed alone,” he said “I firmly believe that our responsibility as coaches and teachers is to equip these young men with tools that will motivate them for life, not just for a game.” Specht has coached five players who have gone on to play in the NFL.  Specht also works closely with USA Football and is training to be a Master Trainer in their Heads Up Tackling program.

The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award selection panel is comprised of Coach Shula; former Dallas Cowboys Personnel Director and contributor GIL BRANDT; former Indianapolis Colts Coach and current NBC analyst TONY DUNGY; veteran sportswriter JACK FLEISCHER; Executive Director of USA Football SCOTT HALLENBECK; Former Raiders Coach and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame JOHN MADDEN; General RAYMOND ODIERNO, Army Chief of Staff; Former Secretary of State, Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution and faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of Business CONDOLEEZA RICE; Executive Director of the American Football Coaches Association GRANT TEAFF; and AARON THOMAS, Athletic Director at Aplington-Parkersburg High School and son of the school’s late football coach Ed Thomas.






Shaun Aguano

Chandler High School

Chandler, AZ

Cameron Jordan
New Orleans Saints

Earl Bauman

St. Michael-Albertville High School

Saint Michael, MN

Matt Spaeth
Chicago Bears

Harrison Chisum

Fort Morgan High School

Fort Morgan, CO

Joel Dreessen
Denver Broncos

Dominick Ciao

Berkeley High School

Tampa, FL

Garrison Sanborn
Buffalo Bills

Graham Clark

Dobyns-Bennett High School

Kingsport, TN

Daniel Kilgore
San Francisco 49ers

Ron Cohen

George Washington High School

Philadelphia, PA

Jameel McClain
Baltimore Ravens

Steve Coury

Lake Oswego High School

Lake Oswego, OR

Gabe Miller
Chicago Bears

Mark Crabtree

Dublin Coffman High School

Dublin, OH

Mike Adams
Pittsburgh Steelers

Tom Crawford

Bishop Diego High School

Santa Barbara, CA

Scott Winnewisser
New Orleans Saints

J.T. Curtis

John Curtis High School

New Orleans, LA

New Orleans Saints

Rodney Decipeda

John Hay High School

Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Browns

Brian Fletcher

William Horlick High School

Racine, WI

Chris Maragos
Seattle Seahawks

John Griffin

Fort Vancouver High School

Vancouver, WA

Rian Lindell
Buffalo Bills

Brandon Harris

Pittman High School

Turlock, CA

Colin Kaepernick
San Francisco 49ers

Dan Higgins

Piscataway High School

Piscataway, NJ

Kyle Wilson
New York Jets

Matt Irvin

Kirkwood High School

Saint Louis, MO

Kyle Eversgerd
St. Louis Rams

John King

Longview High School

Longview, TX

Chris Ivory
New Orleans Saints

Ty Layton

Diamond Ranch High School

Pomona, CA

Charles Brown
New Orleans Saints

Gary Lee

Hamady High School

Flint, MI

Mark Ingram
New Orleans Saints

Tony Lindsay

South High School

Denver, CO

Denver Broncos

Dwight Lundeen

Becker High School

Becker, MN

Minnesota Vikings

Tom Maderia

Burlington Township High School

Burlington, NJ

Rod Streater
Oakland Raiders

Steve Marlowe

Skyline High School

Salt Lake City, UT

Tony Bergstrom
Oakland Raiders

Curtis McCauley

McClymonds High School

Oakland, CA

Oakland Raiders

Myron Miller

Tustin High School

Tustin, CA

Frostee Rucker
Cleveland Browns

Bill Mondt

Eaton High School

Eaton, CO

Mitch Unrein
Denver Broncos

Doug Morris

San Lorenzo Valley High School

Felton, CA

Andy Levitre
Buffalo Bills

George Novak

Woodland Hills High School

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh Steelers

Jim Oddo

Charlotte Catholic High School

Charlotte, NC

Carolina Panthers

Gerard Pannoni

South County High School

Lorton, VA

Washington Redskins

Brian Paschal

Conley High School

Greenville, NC

Terrance Copper
Kansas City Chiefs

Ed Pilscher

Bainbridge High School

Bainbridge, GA

Atlanta Falcons

Randy Robinson

Daniel High School

Central, SC

Jarvis Jenkins
Washington Redskins

Ricky Rodriguez

Largo High School

Largo, FL

Dexter McCluster
Kansas City Chiefs

Jay Roth

Archbishop Rummel High School

Metairie, LA

New Orleans Saints

Jay Roth

Archbishop Rummel High School

Metairie, LA

Craig Steltz
Chicago Bears

Bob Sexton

Beatrice High School

Beatrice, NE

Mike Higgins
New Orleans Saints

Jeff Smith

King George High School

King George, VA

Jermon Bushrod
New Orleans Saints

Steve Specht

St.Xavier High School

Cincinnati, OH

Greg Scruggs
Seattle Seahawks

Jeff Traylor

Gilmer High School

Gilmer, TX

David Snow
Buffalo Bills

Chris Wade

Americus High School

Americus, GA

Leonard Pope
Pittsburgh Steelers

Jeff Weachter

Bishop McDevitt High School

Harrisburg, PA

Aaron Berry
New York Jets

Darrell Williams

San Jose High School

San Jose, CA

San Francisco 49ers

Todd Wofford

Central Gwinnett High School

Lawrenceville, GA

Kendrick Lewis
Kansas City Chiefs

George Zuber

James Logan High School

Union City, CA

DeJon Gomes
Washington Redskins