St. Joseph’s Prep’s (Pennsylvania) Gabe Infante named Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year

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Former St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) head coach Gabe Infante is going to need a bigger trophy case. Sunday, Infante, who earlier this month was named the High School Football America/National High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year, was named the winner of the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year.

The Philadelphia Eagles nominated Infante, who left St. Joe’s at the end of the season to become a defensive assistant at Temple, was honored at the Pro Bowl in Orland, Florida.

This past season, Infante led St. Joe’s to its fourth state championship in the last six yearsin Pennsylvania’s largest classification. In nine years as the school’s head football coach, Infante led the program to a 91-22 career record.

In addition to finishing No. 4 in the High School Football America 100 national rankings, the Hawks finished No. 6 in the USA TODAY Super 25 and No. 11 in MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25.

Infante receives $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to the SJP football program.

Nominees for the Don Shula Award from all 32 clubs were invited and recognized in special ways during the NFL’s week-long celebration of football at the Pro Bowl in Orlando.

Related: 2018 Don Shula Award Nominees

Throughout the week, coaches received VIP access and accommodations at various events such as Pro Bowl practices, the Play Football High School Skills Showdown and Play Football Celebrity Flag game; interacted and engaged with members of the football community; and attend the Pro Bowl. Each coach had the opportunity to invite a senior on their roster to participate in the Skills Showdown to represent their high school football community.

The award, named for the winningest coach in NFL history, was created to honor exemplary high school football coaches for their character and integrity, leadership and dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety and on-field success. 

Past Winners of the Don Shula Award

2017 – Robert Garrett, Crenshaw (California)

2016 – Randy Allen, Highland Park (Texas)

2015 – Michael Burnett, Tuscarora (Virginia)

2014 – Bruce Larson, Somerset (Wisconsin)

Listen to Coach Larson on High School Football America Radio Show

2013 – Mike Grant, Eden Prairie (Minnesota)

Listen to Coach Grant on High School Football America Radio Show

2012 – Steve Specht, St. Xavier (Ohio)

2011 – John McKissick, Summerville (South Carolina)

2010 – Ray Seals, Houston Madison (Texas)

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.