Bob Palko, who is spending the weekend in Las Vegas at the National Football League‘s Pro Bowl, is on quite a win streak.
In December, the legendary western Pennsylvania football coach led Mount Lebanon to its first-ever high school football state championship. On Sunday, Palko was named the winner of the 2021 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award.
Palko, who took-over the Mount Lebanon program in 2019 after 24 years at West Allegheny High School, was nominated for the award by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was one of 32 team nominees invited to Vegas.
By beating three-time defending Pennsylvania state champ St. Joseph’s Prep, Mount Lebanon finished No. 62 in the High School Football America 100 national rankings, powered by NFL Play Football.
The Don Shula Award is given to the high school football coach that best demonstrates integrity, achievement, and leadership, as well as a commitment to the health and safety of their players, as well as the impeccable characteristics of the late Shula.
Coach Palko receives $12,500 as the Don Shula Award winner. His football program will receive $17,500.
Past Winners of the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award
2019 – Matt Land, Dalton HS (Georgia), nominated by the Atlanta Falcons
Bruce Larson talks about Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award on HSFA Radio Show
2013 – Mike Grant, Eden Prairie (Minnesota), nominated by the Minnesota Vikings
Mike Grant talks about Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award on HSFA Radio Show
2012 – Steve Specht, St. Xavier (Ohio), nominated by the Seattle Seahawks
2011 – John McKissick, Summerville (South Carolina), nominated by the Carolina Panthers
2010 – Ray Seals, Madison (Texas), nominated by the Houston Texans