Robert Garrett, who led Crenshaw High School (California) to the 2016 CIF Division 4-AA state title in December, is the winner of the 2017 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year. Garrett, who was nominated by the Los Angeles Chargers, coached current Chargers linebacker Hayes Pullard and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane during their high school days.
“He’s a coach to many, to some he’s a mentor, and to others maybe even a father,” said Pullard. “To us, he’s all of the above. He’s done many great things through the years at Crenshaw High that seem like they’ve almost gone unnoticed, until now. It’s an honor to say, ‘That’s my Coach!’”
“Coach Garrett represents the best coaching example from an inner city school, giving a lifetime effort that develops future leaders. Well-deserved award!” -Commissioner John Aguirre. https://t.co/vGnOnu5PVV https://t.co/iPNcKknO8k
— CIF LA City Section (@CIFLACS) January 28, 2018
“I had the opportunity to meet Coach Garrett last month after the Chargers nominated him for this award,” said Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn. “Yes, he’s turned Crenshaw High into a powerhouse over the 30 or so years he’s been there, but more than the wins and losses, it’s the number of lives he’s touched and the young men he’s mentored that matters most. That’s why he’s so deserving of this honor.”
“And I can say that, without hesitation, because I’ve witnessed it first hand with Brandon (Mebane) and Hayes (Pullard) on our team. Not only are they men of great character and integrity, seeing the respect and love they have for Coach Garrett tells you all you need to know. I want to congratulate Coach Garrett on this much-deserved honor and thank him for dedicating his life to helping others achieve their dreams.”
Garrett was one of two high school football coaches selected as finalists from a group of coaches nominated by NFL teams. As the national Don Shula Award Winner, Garrett will receive $25,000 from the NFL Foundation, $15,000 of which will go to his high school’s football program. He will be a guest of the NFL during Super Bowl LII and walk the red carpet at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 3, the eve of Super Bowl LII, at 9 PM Eastern Time on NBC.
The runner-up was Seattle Seahawks nominee and Royal High School head football coach Wiley Allred of Royal City, Washington. Allred will receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to his high school football program.
All Don Shula Award nominees are active or retired high school football coaches nominated by NFL teams for their character and integrity, leadership and dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety and on-field success.
Coach Garrett was selected by a panel of distinguished individuals. This year, the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award selection panel consisted of 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 Barker.