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NFL Announces Nominees for 2023 Don Shula High School Coach of the Year Award

Muskegon Big Reds Football Coach Shane Fairfield nominated for the 2023 Don Shula High School Coach of the Year

NFL Announces Nominees for 2023 Don Shula High School Coach of the Year Award
NEW YORK — Jan. 4, 2024 — The NFL announced today the high school football coaches nominated by the 32 NFL teams for the 2023 Don Shula High School Coach of the Year Award, representing the best in coaching at the high school level. 

These coaches were recognized by their local NFL clubs for the prestigious award – named after Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history. The coaches were judged based on areas in which Coach Shula excelled most during his career – character, integrity, leadership, dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety and on-field success.

“It is exciting to celebrate the nominees from each NFL club; all 32 represent the integrity, commitment and character of Coach Don Shula,” said Roman Oben, vice president of football development. “High school football coaches help mold the lives of young high school players both on and off the field. They serve as leaders and role models, and this group represents the very best every year.”

The NFL will recognize one winner from the region near an NFL Club in each conference, AFC and NFC. These two winners will be invited to the 2024 Pro Bowl Games in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 4 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 to attend the Pro Bowl Games practices for both conferences, on-field access on Sunday for the culmination of the Pro Bowl Games, and a chance to interact and engage with various members of the football community.

The NFL Foundation and Nike have teamed up to provide the two winners a $15,000 award for their high school football programs and a $10,000 cash award. The other 30 club nominees will all receive a $1,000 cash award. The two winners will also attend Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas as special guests of the NFL. The Don Shula Award winners will be announced in the week prior to the 2024 Pro Bowl Games, televised on Sunday, Feb. 4, from 3-6 p.m. ET on ESPN, ABC, Disney XD, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes. The winners will also be recognized and walk the red carpet at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. 

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

•           2022 Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award AFC Winner Clive Harding•           2022 Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award NFC Winner Matthew Gallagher•           NFL analyst and former front office executive Scott Pioli•           Pro Football Hall of Famer and current ESPN contributor Peyton Manning•           Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy•           Executive Director of USA Football Scott Hallenbeck•           Former All-Pro cornerback & NFL consultant Bobby Taylor•           NFL Legend and NFL Network analyst Michael Robinson•           Aplington-Parkersburg High School Principal Aaron Thomas, son of the school’s late football coach Ed Thomas•           NFL Legend, former NFL head coach, and son of the late Coach Shula Dave Shula•           Nike Brand Director of Grass Roots and Team Scott Henson

Below is a full list of the 2023 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year nominees. For more information on the NFL Foundation, visit or follow @NFLFoundation on X.

Nominating NFL TeamCoachHigh School
Arizona Cardinals Colin Thomas Liberty High School
Atlanta Falcons Keith Malo of Norcross High School
Baltimore Ravens Kurt Stein Oakdale High School
Buffalo Bills Terrell Cunningham James Monroe High School
Carolina PanthersAaron BrandIrmo High School
Chicago BearsDerek LeonardRochester High School
Cincinnati BengalsTom GrippaMilford High School
Cleveland BrownsMatt DennisonCanton South High School
Dallas CowboysJason WittenLiberty Christian School
Denver BroncosAndy LowryColumbine High School
Detroit Lions Shane Fairfield Muskegon High School
Green Bay PackersMatt HenslerBadger High School
Houston TexansCornelius AnthonyHightower High School
Indianapolis ColtsLarry “Bud” WrightSheridan High School
Jacksonville JaguarsBrian BraddockSt. Augustine High School
Kansas City ChiefsJesse OwenGardner Edgerton High School
Las Vegas RaidersChris SawyersSunrise Mountain High School
Los Angeles ChargersScott AltenbergJunipero Serra High School
Los Angeles RamsDemel FranklinCerritos High School
Miami DolphinsDaryle HeidelburgMiami Norland Senior High School
Minnesota VikingsMike DigginsCentennial High School
New England PatriotsAllan FornaroXaverian Brothers High School
New York GiantsNick AielloTioga Central High School
New York JetsDanny LandbergErasmus Hall High School
New Orleans SaintsJim HightowerSt. Thomas More Catholic High School
Philadelphia EaglesTim RokenSt. Joseph’s Preparatory School
Pittsburgh SteelersMike WarfieldAliquippa High School
*San Francisco 49ersNelson TranIndependence High School
Seattle SeahawksTravis AndersonAnacortes High School
Tampa Bay BuccaneersClayton VarnumDurant High School
Tennessee TitansTony BrunettiPearl Cohn High School
Washington CommandersBradley LutzWilliam Byrd High School

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