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NFL Announces 32 Nominees for 2018 Shula 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.

The Vikings nominee is Owatonna’s Jeff Williams.

Williams and the 31 other coaches are in consideration for the prestigious award – named after Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history – because of their character and integrity, leadership, dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety and on-field success.

“We are honored to celebrate the 32 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year nominees, as each embodies the integrity, commitment and character of Coach Shula,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “High school football coaches not only serve as leaders, but as role models dedicated to shaping the lives of young high school players on and off-the-field.”

All Don Shula Award nominees are invited to attend the 2019 Pro Bowl in Orlando, Florida, and will be recognized in special ways during the NFL’s week-long celebration of football. Throughout the week, coaches will receive 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; a chance to interact and engage with various members of the football community; and attend the Pro Bowl. Each coach will also have an opportunity to invite a senior on their roster to participate in the Skills Showdown to represent their high school football community.

“It was truly the honor of a lifetime to be recognized as one of the elite high school coaches in the nation,” 2017 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award winner Robert Garrett said. “As a coach, you never seek individual recognition or accolades, and the priority is always helping young men to achieve their highest potential, but being nominated for the Don Shula Coach of the Year Award is special, and this year’s nominees should be proud.”

Two finalists will each receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to their high school’s football program. They will also attend Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta as special guests of the NFL.

The Don Shula Award winner will be announced during the 2019 Pro Bowl, which is scheduled to air at 2 p.m. (CT) Sunday, Jan. 27, on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. It will be simulcast on ABC.

The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year winner is selected by a panel of distinguished individuals:

·      Pro Football Hall of Famer, Coach Don Shula – the winningest coach in NFL history

·      2017 Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award Winner Robert Garrett

·      Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker

·      Former Dallas Cowboys Personnel Director and contributor Gil Brandt

·      Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy

·      Executive Director of USA Football Scott Hallenbeck

·      3-time Super Bowl Champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) Willie McGinest

·      Two-time AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year and current head coach at the Sayre School Chad Pennington

·      Pro Football Hall of Famer and Super Bowl XXXV Champion Rod Woodson

·      Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution and faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of Business

·      Aplington-Parkersburg High School Principal Aaron Thomas, son of the school’s late football coach, Ed Thomas

Below is a full list of the 2018 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year nominees. For more information on the NFL Foundation, visit or follow @NFLFoundation on Twitter.


Arizona Cardinals Highland High School Brock Farrell

Atlanta Falcons Pike County High School Brad Weber

Baltimore Ravens Glenleg High School Butch Schaffer

Buffalo Bills Clymer-Sherman-Panama High School Ty Harper

Carolina Panthers Tarboro High School Jeff Craddock

Chicago Bears Sacred Heart-Griffin Ken Leonard

Cincinnati Bengals Wyoming High School Aaron Hancock

Cleveland Browns Kirtland High School Tiger Laverde

Dallas Cowboys Duncanville High School Reginald Samples

Denver Broncos Julesburg High School Chris Michael

Detroit Lions Reading High School Rick Bailey

Green Bay Packers Muskego High School Ken Krause

Houston Texans Santa Fe High School Mark Kanipes

Indianapolis Colts Warren Central Jayson West

Jacksonville Jaguars Mandarin High School Bobby Ramsay

Kansas City Chiefs North Kansas City High School Leon Douglas

Los Angeles Chargers Lawndale High School Travis Clark

Los Angeles Rams Mater Dei High School Bruce Rollinson

Miami Dolphins Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Aaron Feis

Minnesota Vikings Owatonna Senior High School Jeff Williams

New England Patriots North Andover High School John Dubzinski

New Orleans Saints Notre Dame High School Lewis Cook

New York Giants Hasbrouck Heights High School Nick Delcazo

New York Jets Midwood High School Anthony Odita

Oakland Raiders Canyon Springs High School Gus McNair

Philadelphia Eagles St. Joseph’s Preparatory School Gabe Infante

Pittsburgh Steelers Upper St. Clair High School Jim Render

San Francisco 49ers Liberty High School Ryan Partridge

Seattle Seahawks Colville High School Randy Cornwell

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pinellas Park High School Kenneth Crawford

Tennessee Titans Oakland High School Kevin Creasy

Washington Redskins Highland Springs High School Loren Johnson

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