Nominees for Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award

The NFL announced today the high school football coaches nominated by the 32 NFL teams for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award. Representing the best at the high school level, these coaches were nominated for the national award, named for the winningest coach in NFL history, by NFL teams for their character and integrity, leadership and dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety, and on-field success.

“High school football coaches have a profound impact on the lives of young athletes. We are honored to recognize these individuals who embody the leadership and commitment to excellence demonstrated by Coach Shula,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “Their dedication to developing young men of character will lead their players to success far beyond the field of play.”

For the first time, Don Shula Award nominees from all 32 teams will be invited and recognized in special ways during the NFL’s week-long celebration of football at the 2017 Pro Bowl in Orlando. The coaches will visit Pro Bowl practices, participate in the USA Football National Conference and attend the Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium. The coaches will be made available to media on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 2 PM ET at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Two finalists will each receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to his high school’s football program. The Shula Award winner will be announced during the third quarter of the 2017 Pro Bowl, airing Sunday, Jan. 29 at 8 PM ET on ESPN, and will receive an additional $10,000 from the NFL Foundation, $5,000 of which will go to his high school’s football program. The winner will be recognized at a press conference on Friday, Feb. 3 during Super Bowl week in Houston and walk the red carpet at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special airing nationally on FOX on Feb. 4, the night before Super Bowl LI.

The winner is selected by a panel of distinguished individuals. New to the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award selection panel this year are 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 BAKER.

The selection panel also includes:

  • Coach DON SHULA – the winningest coach in NFL history
  • Former Dallas Cowboys Personnel Director and contributor GIL BRANDT
  • 2015 Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award Winner MICHAEL BURNETT
  • Former Indianapolis Colts Coach and current NBC analyst TONY DUNGY
  • Executive Director of USA Football SCOTT HALLENBECK
  • Former Secretary of State, Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution and faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of Business CONDOLEEZZA RICE
  • Former Executive Director of the American Football Coaches Association GRANT TEAFF
  • Aplington-Parkersburg High School Principal and son of the school’s late football coach, Ed Thomas, AARON THOMASBelow is a full list of the 2016 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year nominees. For more information on the NFL Foundation, visit or follow @NFLFoundation on Twitter.
2016 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Nominees
Arizona Cardinals Perry High School Preston Jones
Atlanta Falcons Tucker High School Bryan Lamar
Baltimore Ravens Walkersville High School Joe Polce
Buffalo Bills Dunkirk High School Mike Sarratori
Carolina Panthers Hilton Head School Russel ‘BJ’ Payne
Chicago Bears Peoria High School Tim Thorton
Cincinnati Bengals St. Xavier High School Steve Specht
Cleveland Browns Lorain High School Dave McFarland
Dallas Cowboys Highland Park High School Randy Allen
Denver Broncos Strasburg High School Jeff Giger
Detroit Lions Benton Harbor High School Elliot Uzelac
Green Bay Packers Kimberly High School Steve Jones
Houston Texans Ebbert L. Furr High School Matthew Valmore
Indianapolis Colts Westfield High School Jake Gilbert
Jacksonville Jaguars Ponte Vedra High School Matthew Toblin
Kansas City Chiefs* Grain Valley High School

Blue Valley High School

David Allie

Eric Driskell

Los Angeles Rams Narbonne High School Manuel Douglas
Miami Dolphins Carol City High School Aubrey Hill
Minnesota Vikings Minneapolis North High School Charles Adams
New England Patriots Mills High School Dana Olson
New Orleans Saints Edna Karr High School Brice Brown
New York Giants Cardinal Hayes High School CJ O’Neill
New York Jets Curtis High School Peter Gambardella
Oakland Raiders California School for the Deaf Warren Keller
Philadelphia Eagles Perkiomen Valley High School Rob Heist
Pittsburgh Steelers Thomas Jefferson High School Bill Cherpak
San Diego Chargers Madison High School Rick Jackson
San Francisco 49ers Saint Francis High School Greg Calcagno
Seattle Seahawks Tumwater High School Sid Otton
Tampa Bay Buccaneers St. Petersburg High School Joe Fabrizio
Tennessee Titans Whitehaven High School Rodney Saulsberry
Washington Redskins Quantico Middle/High School Paul Roy

*Indicates team has more than one nominee