LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The NFL announced today the high school football coaches nominated for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award, representing the best at the high school level. Each of the 32 NFL teams nominated a coach for this award. The Washington Redskins selected Highland Springs High School Head Coach Loren Johnson as its nominee. Johnson coached his team to an undefeated record this season and added an impressive fourth consecutive 5A State Championship Title.
Johnson has been coaching football at Highland Springs High School for 10 years. Throughout his tenure with the Springers, Coach Johnson has given hope to the Highland Springs community. Since joining the coaching staff at Highland Springs, Coach Johnson has kept the safety of his players a priority by limiting full contact tackles and implementing safe tackling and ball carrying techniques.
These coaches were recognized by their local NFL club for the prestigious award – named after Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history – for 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," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "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, FL 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.
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, airing Sunday, Jan. 27 at 3 PM ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and simulcast on ABC. The winner will also be recognized and walk the red carpet at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 2, the eve of Super Bowl LIII, at 9 PM (ET and PT) on CBS.
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 NFL.com 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
· 2x 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