The 32 finalists for the 2020-2021 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award are some of the best that sport has to offer. On Thursday, the NFL announced the finalists in the running for the prestigious award named after the National Football League’s all-time winningest coach, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
The coaches (below) were recognized by their local NFL club for their character and integrity, leadership, dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety and on-field success.
“This year’s 32 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year nominees represent the crucial role that high school football coaches play in positively shaping the character of players,” said NFL Vice President of Philanthropy and Executive Director of the NFL Foundation, Alexia Gallagher. “We are proud to honor these coaches who have provided exemplary mentorship to student-athletes both on and off the field.”
Two finalists will be selected and a winner will be announced this summer. Nike, a presenting partner, and the NFL Foundation will award $12,500 to the Don Shula Award winner while the associated High School football program will be awarded $17,500. The second finalist will receive $7,500 while the associated High School football program will be awarded $12,500. In addition, the other 30 finalists will receive $1,000 each.
“It is great to collaborate with Nike and other partners to celebrate coaches and the positive influence they have on high school student-athletes,” said NFL Vice President of Football Development Roman Oben. “Congratulations to this year’s nominees, especially given the challenges presented over the past year”.
Three of this year’s nominees led their schools to a national ranking in the 2020-21 High School Football America 100 powered by NFL Play Football, the NFL’s initiative to provide fun and engaging experience for players of all ages and skill levels.
The Houston Texans named North Shore’s Jon Kay as their Coach of the Year after the Mustangs came-up a game short of defending their back-to-back Class 6A Division I state titles. North Shore finished No. 8 in the final Top 100 after spending most of the 2020-21 season ranked No. 1.
Arizona Cardinals‘ High School Coach of the Year Rick Garretson led Chandler to a No. 17 finish in our national rankings after the Wolves won the state’s Open Division. It was the Wolves fifth straight state championship.
2021 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year nominees.
|Arizona Cardinals||Rick Garretson||Chandler High School|
|Atlanta Falcons||Derrick Avery||Booker T. Washington High School|
|Baltimore Ravens||Emanuel Glover||Reginald F. Lewis High School|
|Buffalo Bills||Derek Annechino||Aquinas Institute|
|Carolina Panthers||Jupiter Wilson||Hickory Ridge High School|
|Chicago Bears||Robert Moynihan||Harlem High School|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Trevon Pendleton||Ironton|
|Cleveland Browns||Marty Gibbons||Lake Catholic High School|
|Dallas Cowboys||Rodney McLain||Poteet High School|
|Denver Broncos||Zac Lemon||Eaton High School|
|Detroit Lions||Rob Zimmerman||Dewitt (MI) High School|
|Green Bay Packers||Tom Chase||Randolph High School|
|Houston Texans||Jon Kay||North Shore Senior High School|
|Indianapolis Colts||Eric Moore||Center Grove|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Adam Geis||Sandalwood High School|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Tom Radke||Saint James Academy|
|Las Vegas Raiders||Jon Hicks||Las Vegas High School|
|Los Angeles Chargers||Gabriel Arellano||Montebello High School|
|Los Angeles Rams||Lorenzo Hernandez||Garfield High School|
|Miami Dolphins||Earl Sims||Gulliver Preparatory School|
|Minnesota Vikings||Rex Metzger||Hills-Beaver Creek High School|
|New England Patriots||Manny Lopez||Norwood High School|
|New Orleans Saints||Ryan Gregory||Oak Grove High School|
|New York Giants||Benjie Wimberly||Hackensack High School (N.J.)|
|New York Jets||Robert Gogerty||Cedar Grove High School|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Al Crosby||Saint John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Mark Lyons||Central Valley High School|
|San Francisco 49ers||Joe Bates||Skyline High School|
|Seattle Seahawks||Rick Steele||Hockinson High School|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Chris Davidson||Ridge Community High School|
|Tennessee Titans||Keith Henry||Coalfield High School|
|Washington Football Team||Eric Ludden||Massaponax High School|
Past Winners of the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award
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