Eden Prairie High School Head Football Coach MikeGrant was named the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year, it was announced today. As the national Shula Award winner, Grant will receive $25,000, $15,000 of which will go to his high school’s football program. He also is a guest of the NFL during Super Bowl.
Nominated by the Minnesota Vikings, Grant, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, was one of three high school football coaches from across the country named as a finalist for the award, which was created to honor exemplary high school football coaches who demonstrate a commitment to player health and safety and to the integrity, achievement and leadership exemplified by the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula. Grant is a 35 year coaching veteran and the son of Vikings Hall of Fame Coach Bud Grant.
The other finalists were Tri-Central High School Head Football Coach George Gilbert of Kirklin, Indiana and Katy High School Athletic Coordinator and Head Football Coach Gary Joseoh from Katy, Texas. Each finalist receives a $2,500 cash award and a $5,000 grant for their high school football programs. A full list of all nominees for this year’s award is below.
All nominees are active or retired high school football coaches nominated by NFL teams or players for their character and integrity, inspirational leadership, commitment to the community and on-field success.
As part of his nomination, Grant wrote of his responsibility as a coach: “You have to make great decisions. We talk about thoughtfully deciding who you are going to run with in your group of friends. What is your story going to be when you are done here? Will people think of you as an outstanding person or as someone who never achieved what they could have? We provide support through our school and coaches for kids struggling with family issues and let them know that they have a family here with our football team that will have their back!” Grant coached San Francisco 49ers OT Carter Bykowski along with former NFL players Joe Foreman and Mark Levoir.
“The Vikings have enjoyed a strong connection to the Grant family over several decades,” said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf. “Like his father Bud, Mike has been an outstanding representative of the state of Minnesota. His advocacy for the Vikings youth football efforts is appreciated and we are extremely proud of Mike’s well-deserved accomplishment.”
The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award selection panel is comprised of Coach Shula; former Dallas Cowboys Personnel Director and NFL.com contributor Gil Brandt; former Indianapolis Colts Coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy; veteran sportswriter Jack Fleischer; Executive Director of USA Football Scott Hallenbeck; Former Raiders Coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer John Madden; General Raymond Odierno, Army Chief of Staff; Sam Palmisano, Retired Chairman of the Board, IBM Corporation; Former Secretary of State, Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution and faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of Business Condoleeza Rice; Executive Director of the American Football Coaches Association Grant Teaff and Aaron Thomas, Athletic Director at Aplington-Parkersburg High School in Parkersburg, Iowa.
2013 DON SHULA NFL HIGH SCHOOL COACH OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
COACH, SCHOOL/CITY (NOMINATED BY)
Andy Dyer, Archer High School/Monroe, Georgia (Atlanta)
Bob Palko, West Allegheny High School.Imperial, Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh)
Brent Brown, Randolph High School/Randolph, New York (Buffalo)
Darren Bowling, Union City High School/Union City, Tennessee (Tennessee)
Dustin Delaney, Shawnee Mission East/Prairie Village, Kansas (Kansas City)
Elwood Townsend, Douglass High School/Baltimore, Maryland (Baltimore)
Gabe Infante, St Joseph's Preparatory High School/Philadelphia, Pennesylvania (Philadelphia)
Gary Joseph, Katy High School/Katy, Texas (Houston)
George Gilbert, Tri Central High School/Sharpsville, Indiana (Indianapolis)
John Fiore, Montclair High School/Montclair, New Jersey (New York Jets)
Kurt Richardson, Clarkston High School/Clarkston, Michigan (Detroit)
Kyle Roach, Pleasant Hill High School/Pleasant Hill, Missouri (Kansas City)
Mark Huynh, Galileo Academy/San Francisco, California (San Francisco)
Michael Stanley, H. Frank Carey High School/Franklin Square, New York (New York Giants)
Mike Grant, Eden Prairie High School/Eden Prairie, Minnesota (Minnesota)
Mike Stassi/Monona Grove High School Monona, Wisconsin (Green Bay)
Mike Wright, Crawford High School/Santee, California (San Diego)
Norris Vaughn, Mountain Pointe High School/Phoenix, Arizona (Arizona)
Paul Cornwell, Ayden-Grifton High School/Ayden, North Carolina (Carolina)
Rick Rodriguez, Largo High School/Largo, Florida (Tampa Bay)
Ron Wright, Hudson High School/Hudson, Ohio (Cleveland)
Sean Mulcahy, Doherty Memorial High School/Worcester, Massachusetts (New England) Steve Moore, St. Mary's College High School/Berkeley, California (Oakland)
Lorenzo Alexander (Arizona)
Steven Graff, Chiawana High School/Pasco, Washington (Seattle)
Todd Miller, Pine Creek High School/Denver, Colorado (Denver)
Todd Wofford, Gwinnet Central High School/Lawrenceville, GA
Kendrick Lewis (Kansas City)
Tony Lilly, C.D. Hylton High School/Woodbridge, Virginia (Washington)
In other NFL News...
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed the Mississippi Youth Concussion Act into law Thursday. Every state in the nation now has a youth sports concussion law.
The legislation contains three core principles:
· Concussion education for young athletes and parents
· Immediate removal of an athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion or brain injury
· Mandatory clearance of the athlete by an appropriate health care provider – including a licensed physician, a licensed nurse practitioner or licensed physician assistant, who is trained in the evaluation and management of concussions – before returning to practice or competition.
The act applies to school-sponsored/interscholastic sports in Grades 7 through 12.
“Mississippi is pleased to enact Return to Play legislation that will help protect both athletes and coaches,” Governor Bryant said. “Sports and athletic activities are an important part of life in Mississippi and taking the steps outlined in this new policy will ensure a safe environment for children.”
“This is an important moment for all young athletes and their parents,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “During a week when all eyes are on the football field, we congratulate Mississippi leaders on helping to protect young players, no matter what sport they play. We will continue to focus on making our game better and safer and setting the right example for all athletes when it comes to health and safety.”
The youth concussion laws were inspired by Zackery Lystedt who, in 2006, suffered a brain injury following his return to a middle school football game after sustaining a concussion. Zackery, his family and a broad range of medical, business and community partners, including the NFL, lobbied the Washington state legislature for a law to better protect young athletes in all sports.
In May 2010, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent letters to governors of 44 states that did not have concussion laws urging them to pass a law similar to the Lystedt Law and pledged the NFL would advocate for the laws until every state had one. In the letter, Commissioner Goodell said sports and political leaders can help raise awareness of concussions while ensuring proper and effective treatment. The NFL and its 32 clubs actively advocated for the passage of youth concussion laws throughout the country.
To learn more about the NFL’s commitment to health and about the Lystedt Law, visit www.nflevolution.com