Soon it will be time to go to camp.

There’s no eating s’mores. There’s some swimming, no one’s singing “Kumba Ya.”

It’s almost time for football.

Soon, all 32 NFL teams will be on a practice field somewhere in America. One will be looking to defend their title. The other 31 teams will be looking to knock them off the top of the mountain.

The hunter is NOW the hunted.

Veterans will be looking to keep their jobs, while rookies and free agents fight for that coveted roster spot. That spot means a paycheck. It’s going to be hot. They’ll be sleeping in dorms for the first time since college, they’ll fight heat, humidity, bugs and in some cases each other.

The playbooks will be bigger than the textbooks they used in college, making “War and Peace” look like a comic book. Meetings with coaches in their positions, pre-season games that will determine their futures will take place and in the end, they’ll either be on a roster or they’ll get that knock on the door from a coach or support staff member and the dreaded words “Coach wants to see you and bring your playbook.” That usually means you’re getting cut.

Some camps will have their rookies come in first to get used to being in camp, while others will have everyone come in at one time. For some, it will be like riding a bike. For others, it’s sort of like learning to walk again. It’s not easy. Most teams will play four pre-season contests (Dallas and Arizona will play five because they are playing in the Hall of Fame Game). Some say the pre-season is too long and needs to be cut back to one or two games, like our CFL neighbours to the north.

Fans will get to see their teams up close and personal and make their own evaluations of their team. Some see their teams getting better from their 2016 finish and make the postseason, while other want to see if last year was a fluke.

Heat. Humidity. Bugs, Sweat. Fights with teammates. Come the Thursday after Labor Day when it gets underway in Foxboro as New England and Kansas City meet, if they make the cut, it’s worth it.

Below is the training camp list of sites and rookie and veteran reporting dates. Check with your team for dates and if practices will be open to the public. Hydrate and mind your manners and watch out for your cousin Connie. She’s been known to wipe out a Super Bowl party.

AFC
Baltimore – Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Maryland (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
Buffalo – St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)
Cincinnati – Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati (Rookies report 7/25, Veterans report 7/27)
Cleveland – Cleveland Browns Training Complex, Berea, Ohio (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
Denver – University of Colorado Health Training Center in Englewood, Colorado, (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
Houston – The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (Rookies and Veterans report 7/25)
Indianapolis – Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center in Indianapolis, Indiana (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/29)
Jacksonville – Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields in Jacksonville, Florida (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
Kansas City – Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/27)
Los Angeles Chargers – Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa, California (Rookies and Veterans report 7/29)
Miami – Baptist Health Training Facility in Davie, Florida (Rookies report 7/20, Veterans report 7/26)
New England – Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/26)
New York Jets – Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey (Rookies and Veterans report 7/28)
Oakland – Napa Valley Marriott in Napa, California (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/28)
Pittsburgh – Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania (Rookies and Veterans report 7/27)
Tennessee – Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tennessee (Rookies and Veterans report 7/28)

NFC
Arizona – University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (Rookies and Veterans report 7/21)
Atlanta – Atlanta Falcons Training Facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)
Carolina – Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina (Rookies and Veterans report 7/25)
Chicago – Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
Dallas – Marriott Residence Inn in Oxnard, California (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/22)
Detroit – Detroit Lions Training Facility in Allen Park, Michigan (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/29)
Green Bay – St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)
Los Angeles Rams – University of California at Irvine (Rookies report 7/26, Veterans report 7/28)
Minnesota – Minnesota State University at Mankato (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
New Orleans – New Orleans Saints Training Facility in Metairie, Louisiana (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
New York Giants – Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Rookies and Veterans report 7/27)
Philadelphia – NovaCare Training Complex in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
San Francisco – SAP Performance Facility in Santa Clara, California (Rookies and Veterans report 7/27)
Seattle – Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Washington (Rookies and Veterans report 7/29)
Tampa Bay – One Buccaneer Place on Tampa, Florida (Rookies report 7/25, Veterans report 7/27)
Washington – Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Virginia (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)

Note: The first official practice of training camp for each club at the site designated above is generally held the day after the veteran reporting date.

And then there were 10.

NFL Network’s The Top 100 Players of 2017 weekly series concludes Monday, June 26 when players ranked No. 10 through No. 1 are revealed in two, one-hour episodes at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern.

At 10 p.m. Eastern, the Top 100 Players of 2017 Reactions show concludes the seventh season of the annual series which counts down the top 100 players in the NFL as voted on by the players themselves. Amber Theoharis, Ike Taylor and Willie McGinest host the special one-hour edition of the Reactions show, which includes interviews with some of the players revealed in the top 10.

Additional NFL.com content leading up to the series finale includes Ike Taylor’s own Top 100 list (http://tinyurl.com/yb2cugpv), Adam Schein’s own Top 9 players and an All-Top 100 team putting together a roster of the highest-rated players by position.

In advance of series finale, NFL Network announces the Top 10 players listed in alphabetical order, along with some quotes from current NFL players discussing each.

The Top 100 Players of 2017 – Top 10 Players listed in alphabetical order:

Odell Beckham Jr. – New York Giants, WR
•”He’ll go down as one of the greatest ever.” – Coty Sensabaugh

Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers, RB
•”He’s the best at everything. He’s the best running back all around in this league.” – Malcolm Jenkins

Tom Brady – New England Patriots, QB
•”I don’t know who you can compare him to and say he’s not the best of all time.” – Malcolm Jenkins

Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers, WR
•”He makes it look so effortless. He has such a sense of where he’s at on the field at all times.” – Le’Veon Bell

Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys, RB
•”He’s going to run through you if you’re in his way.” – Mike Daniels

Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons, WR
•”I can’t even imagine having to guard someone like that. It’s not even fair.” – Davante Adams

Khalil Mack – Oakland Raiders, LB
•”He’s a beast. He’s really unstoppable.” – Melvin Gordon

Von Miller – Denver Broncos, LB
•”Von’s like water – he’s fluid. Can’t get your hands on him, can’t touch him.” – Shane Ray

Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers, QB
•”He’s a pro’s pro. He’s super slick. He has the confidence – he has the swagger a lot of quarterbacks don’t have.” – Michael Bennett

Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons, QB
•”Number one player in the league right now. MVP.” – Shane Ray

Below is complete list of players ranked #100-11:

To see specific segments on each player from the show, please visit http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-top100-2017

100. Joey Bosa – Los Angeles Chargers, DE

99. Malcolm Butler – New England Patriots, CB

98. Adrian Peterson – New Orleans Saints, RB

97. David DeCastro – Pittsburgh Steelers, OG

96. Damon Harrison – New York Giants, DT

95. Kelechi Osemele – Oakland Raiders, OG

94. Dont’a Hightower – New England Patriots, LB

93. Brandon Graham – Philadelphia Eagles, DE

92. Everson Griffen – Minnesota Vikings, DE

91. Lorenzo Alexander – Buffalo Bills, LB

90. Malcolm Jenkins – Philadelphia Eagles, S

89. Thomas Davis – Carolina Panthers, LB

88. Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks, WR

87. Travis Frederick – Dallas Cowboys, C

86. Jurell Casey – Tennessee Titans, DT

85. Chandler Jones – Arizona Cardinals, LB

84. Mike Daniels – Green Bay Packers, DT

83. Calais Campbell – Jacksonville Jaguars, DE

82. Clay Matthews – Green Bay Packers, LB

81. Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs, QB

80. LeGarrette Blount – Philadelphia Eagles, RB

79. Sean Lee – Dallas Cowboys, LB

78. Brian Orakpo – Tennessee Titans, LB

77. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – Green Bay Packers, S

76. Justin Houston – Kansas City Chiefs, LB

75. Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans, TE

74. Harrison Smith – Minnesota Vikings, S

73. Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers, QB

72. Taylor Lewan – Tennessee Titans, OT

71. Julian Edelman – New England Patriots, WR

70. Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins, QB

69. Jay Ajayi – Miami Dolphins, RB

68. Geno Atkins – Cincinnati Bengals, DT

67. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers, TE

66. Xavier Rhodes – Minnesota Vikings, CB

65. Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins, TE

64. Casey Hayward – Los Angeles Chargers, CB

63. Chris Harris Jr. – Denver Broncos, CB

62. Cameron Wake – Miami Dolphins, DE

61. T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts, WR

60. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys, WR

59. Josh Norman – Washington Redskins, CB

58. Zack Martin – Dallas Cowboys, OG

57. Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, QB

56. Cliff Avril – Seattle Seahawks, DE

55. Ndamukong Suh – Miami Dolphins, DT

54. Janoris Jenkins – New York Giants, CB

53. Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders, WR

52. Gerald McCoy – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DT

51. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts, QB

50. Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans, QB

49. Jadeveon Clowney – Houston Texans, DE

48. Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers, WR

47. Trent Williams – Washington Redskins, OT

46. Michael Bennett – Seattle Seahawks, DE

45. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals, WR

44. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers, QB

43. Marshal Yanda – Baltimore Ravens, OG

42. Jarvis Landry – Miami Dolphins, WR

41. Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons, RB

40. Vic Beasley – Atlanta Falcons, LB

39. Bobby Wagner – Seattle Seahawks, LB

38. Fletcher Cox – Philadelphia Eagles, DT

37. Aqib Talib – Denver Broncos, CB

36. Tyreek Hill – Kansas City Chiefs, WR/PR

35. J.J. Watt – Houston Texans, DE

34. Kam Chancellor – Seattle Seahawks, S

33. DeMarco Murray – Tennessee Titans, RB

32. Marcus Peters – Kansas City Chiefs, CB

31. Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions, QB

30. Earl Thomas – Seattle Seahawks, S

29. Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WR

28. Landon Collins – New York Giants, S

27. LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills, RB

26. Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs, TE

25. Joe Thomas – Cleveland Browns, OT

24. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks, QB

23. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots, TE

22. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers, QB

21. Richard Sherman – Seattle Seahawks, CB

20. Luke Kuechly – Carolina Panthers, LB

19. Patrick Peterson – Arizona Cardinals, CB

18. Tyron Smith – Dallas Cowboys, OT

17. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals, WR

16. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints, QB

15. Aaron Donald – Los Angeles Rams, DT

14. Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys, QB

13. Eric Berry – Kansas City Chiefs, S

12. David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals, RB

11. Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders, QB

ABOUT NFL MEDIA

NFL Media is comprised of NFL Network, NFL Films, NFL.com, NFL Now, NFL Mobile from Verizon and NFL RedZone.

Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, fans turn to NFL Network to receive information and insight straight from the field, team headquarters, league offices and everywhere the NFL is making news. Launched in 2003, NFL Network gives fans unprecedented year-round inside access to all NFL events, including the Super Bowl, Playoffs, regular season, preseason, Pro Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend, NFL Draft, NFL Scouting Combine, Senior Bowl, league meetings, minicamps and training camps.

For fans on the go, all NFL Network programming can also be streamed live on smartphones through NFL Mobile from Verizon, as well as other digital platforms through Watch NFL Network on tablet (NFL Mobile, Watch NFL Network and NFL on Windows 10 apps), PC (NFL.com/watch), Xbox One and Xbox 360 (NFL on Xbox app) and other connected TV devices (NFL app on Apple TV, PlayStation 4, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV). Watch NFL Network access is available for NFL Network subscribers of participating TV providers. For more information, go to NFL.com/nflnetwork.

 

The National Football League and Bose Corporation announced they have signed a multi-year extension to their sponsorship agreement which designates Bose as the official headphone and headset of the NFL.

An official NFL sponsor since 2011, Bose will continue to design, engineer and manufacture headsets for the coaching staffs of all 32 NFL clubs to use in-game, enhancing sideline and booth communications in a variety of areas, including play-calling and instant replay. The Bose headsets were built from the ground-up specifically for the demands of football, and use proprietary technology found in the company’s military and aviation headsets to deliver superior audio, noise cancellation, rugged durability and long-wear comfort.

“We’re thrilled to extend our relationship with Bose and have their technology on our sidelines for many seasons to come,” said Brian Rolapp, Chief Media and Business Officer for the NFL. “The NFL is constantly looking to partner with companies that can provide best-in-class technology to help improve our game, not only for the players and coaches but also for our fans and Bose is a perfect example of that.”

“Our technology has been used to deliver critical communication for more than a 100,000 play calls over the last three years,” said Pat LaCroix, Head of Global Media and Alliances at Bose.  “We’re proud of the impact our headsets have had on the game, and are committed to continuing to make a difference for the league, its 32 teams and the millions of fans everywhere.”

“Since being implemented on our NFL game day sidelines, Bose technology has enhanced the audio and communication experience for our coaches, players and game day personnel,” Troy Vincent, Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the NFL told USA Today.

As part of the renewal, Bose continues to have global rights to leverage its NFL relationship, including the right to use the following designations:

Bose is “The Official Headphone and Headset of the NFL.”
Bose is “The Official Sound of the NFL.”
Bose is “The Official Home Audio and Speaker Sponsor of the NFL.”

About Bose Corporation: Bose Corporation was founded in 1964 by Dr. Amar G. Bose, then a professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Today, the company is driven by its founding principles, investing in long-term research with one fundamental goal: to develop new technologies with real customer benefits. Bose innovations have spanned decades and industries, creating and transforming categories in audio and beyond. Bose products for the home, in the car, on the go and in public spaces have become iconic, changing the way people listen to music.

Bose Corporation is privately held. The company’s spirit of invention, passion for excellence, and commitment to extraordinary experiences can be found around the world — everywhere Bose does business.

They did such a good job, they’re going to host it again and the NFL returns to the Land of the Mouse.

The National Football League announced that following the success of its first year in Orlando, the PRO BOWL will return to Camping World Stadium on Sunday, January 28 at 3 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and simulcast on ABC, marking the first time it will air on both broadcast and cable networks. It will also be streamed live on the ESPN app, and audio coverage will be available on Westwood One, SiriusXM NFL Radio and on the TuneIn app.

For the second consecutive year, the NFL will host PRO BOWL WEEK festivities across the Orlando area, bringing new experiences and activities as well as an extraordinary number of events focused on commemorating all levels of football – from youth to high school to the NFL’s best. In addition, Pro Bowl players will again be able to invite their former youth or high school coach to be a part of the week’s celebrations.

Peter O”Reilly, NFL Senior Vice President of Events told WESH-TV, the Orlando Sentinel, the Associated Press and USA Today, “The Pro Bowl is not only a time to watch NFL greats compete live but it is also a unique opportunity to inspire youth and the next generation of stars. We received tremendous feedback from players, coaches, and fans about Orlando’s first Pro Bowl and we are excited to build upon that enthusiasm with a week-long festival that celebrates the entire football community.”

The 2018 Pro Bowl will follow the traditional AFC versus NFC match-up, which returned last season, and feature 88 of the best NFL players – 44 from each conference – as determined by a consensus of votes by fans, players and coaches. Both teams will be led by offensive and defensive NFL Legends who will serve as captains representing each conference.

Orlando will once more be home to the NFL FLAG CHAMPIONSHIPS POWERED BY USA FOOTBALL, the announcement of the prestigious DON SHULA NFL HIGH SCHOOL COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD and the annual USA FOOTBALL NATIONAL CONFERENCE, the largest congregation of youth and high school football administrators and coaches in the country.

“Hosting Orlando’s inaugural NFL Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium earlier this year was not only fun but it was a resounding success for our Central Florida community,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We enthusiastically welcome our NFL partners back in 2018. Their confidence in our city’s ability to put on such a high-profile event underscores our reputation as one of the premier sports destinations in the U.S.”

“The TDT-funded improvements at Camping World Stadium have allowed us to compete for premier events like the 2018 Pro Bowl,” said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs “Not only are we looking forward to another great NFL football game – our second in a row – the Pro Bowl offers a full week of family and fan-friendly events and activities – a perfect match for our family-friendly tourism brand and a great fit for our local residents.”

“We are excited to bring Pro Bowl Week back to our community,” said Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan. “This year’s sold-out game was a landmark moment for Orlando and our reputation as a preferred destination for world-class sporting events. We became an NFL city for a week last season and look forward to making the 2018 Pro Bowl bigger and better.”

Additional events during Pro Bowl Week are set to include the PRO BOWL SKILLS SHOWDOWN, testing the athletic prowess of All-Stars from each conference in unique competitions, and the NFL PRO BOWL EXPERIENCE, a free football festival located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.

Fans attending the Pro Bowl Experience will be closer to the action with new activities, immersive exhibits, and sponsor activations. Pro Bowl practices for the AFC and NFC teams will also be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, allowing fans to watch their favorite players as they prepare for the game.

The NFL FOUNDATION will continue its longstanding Pro Bowl Grant Program and organize community events to benefit residents and the surrounding region. Last year, the NFL Foundation provided a Pro Bowl Grant to LIFT Orlando to fund the refurbishment of a multi-purpose “PLAY 60 Field” at Lake Lorna Doone Park. Through the Pro Bowl Grant Program, the NFL also remains committed to the Hawaiian community, awarding grants to youth-serving, Hawaii-based non-profit organizations.

Tickets for the Pro Bowl will go on sale to the public in the fall. Fans interested in purchasing tickets may register at ProBowl.com for presale opportunities. Season Ticket Members for all 32 teams will automatically be included in the presale, and all previous Orlando Pro Bowl ticket buyers will receive priority access to purchase tickets.

He was the student that cost former teacher Mary Kay Letourneau her job and her freedom.

Later on in their lives, they eventually fell in love and tied the knot.

That knot may be untied.

Vili Fualaau filed for separation from his wife of 12 years, according to KIRO-TV in Seattle and the Associated Press. Their story when they first met Fualaau when he was a student in her second-grade class at Shorewood Elementary School in Burien, a suburb of Seattle. Their relationship began in June of 1996 when police discovered that Letourneau, who was 34 at the time and married with four children was in a minivan parked at a local marina with Fualaau.  Picked up by the police, Letourneau said the boy was 18. The two were taken to a police station and later released. Later that Fall, she was pregnant with Fualaau’s first child. Following a tip, police interviewed Fualaau on Feb 25, 1997. Letourneau was pulled out of a teachers’ meeting and arrested for statutory rape.

She reached a plea deal with prosecutors in King County and she pled guilty in August 1997 to child rape in exchange for a 3-month jail sentence and probation. Judge Linda Lau accepted the deal on condition that Letourneau have no contact with
Fualaau. By that time, Letourneau had given birth to Fualaau’s daughter.

She was released after three months but Seattle police officers later found Letourneau and Fualaau in a car. Violating her probation in February 1998 and was pregnant with his second child that winter.

A judge vacated the plea bargain in February 1998 and sentenced Letourneau to 7 ½ years in prison. She was released in August 2004. Letourneau and Fualaau were married in Woodinville on May 20, 2005. She was 43 and Fualaau was 22.

Is the marriage over? Hard to say. Granted, they met under circumstances that were not ideal, let alone perfect. For the most part, it was a relationship that came into question and somehow survived this long. Mary Kay Letourneau will likely never be allowed to teach in a public or private school setting, given her criminal history but she’s no Pamela Smart. We hope they do well for their sake.

Let’s hope that Vili and Mary Kay can work this out and if they stay together, great; if they decide to part ways, let’s hope they do it in a civilized and adult manner and not smear each other in the press.

(photo courtesy Getty and the Associated Press)

 

There are changes a-coming!

The below playing rules, bylaws and resolution proposals were adopted by NFL clubs at the league’s annual meeting:

Approved 2017 Playing Rules Proposals

​​2a. By Philadelphia; Prohibits the “leaper” block attempt on field goal and extra point plays. (Final language will be available on NFLCommunications.com)

8. By Competition Committee; Makes permanent the rule that disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls.

9. By Competition Committee; Changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line for one year only.

11. By Competition Committee; Gives a receiver running a pass route defenseless player protection.

12. By Competition Committee; Makes crackback blocks prohibited by a backfield player who is in motion, even if he is not more than two yards outside the tackle when the ball is snapped.

13. By Competition Committee; Replaces the sideline replay monitor with a hand-held device and authorizes designated members of the Officiating department to make the final decision on replay reviews.

14. By Competition Committee; Makes it Unsportsmanlike Conduct to commit multiple fouls during the same down designed to manipulate the game clock.

15. By Competition Committee; Makes actions to conserve time illegal after the two-minute warning of either half.

Approved 2017 Bylaw Proposals

4. By Competition Committee; Liberalizes rules for timing, testing and administering physical examinations to draft-eligible players at a club’s facility for one year only.

5. By Competition Committee; Changes the procedures for returning a player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness to the Active List to be similar to those for returning a player that was Designated for Return.

6. By Competition Committee; The League office will transmit a Personnel Notice to clubs on Sundays during training camp and preseason.

Approved 2017 Resolution Proposal
G-4. By Competition Committee: Permits a contract or non-contract non-football employee to interview with and be hired by another club during the playing season, provided the employer club has consented.

 

The NFL and the Dallas Cowboys announced that head football coach Randy Allen of Highland Park High School in Dallas, Texas is the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year. The award was created to honor exemplary high school football coaches who demonstrate a commitment to player health and safety and the integrity, achievement and leadership exemplified by the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula.

The announcement was made during the 2017 Pro Bowl on ESPN. For the first time ever, all 32 Don Shula Award nominees were invited and recognized in special ways during the NFL’s week-long celebration of football at the Pro Bowl in Orlando.

Nominated by the Dallas Cowboys, Coach Allen was one of two high school football coaches selected as finalists from a group of coaches nominated by NFL teams. As the national Shula Award Winner, Allen will receive $25,000 from the NFL Foundation, $15,000 of which will go to his high school’s football program. He will be a guest of the NFL during Super Bowl LI and walk the red carpet at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime special airing nationally on February 4, the night before Super Bowl LI.

“Randy is someone that I respect and admire greatly. He is a man who understands the fundamental responsibility of being a high school football coach—and that is to build character and shape young lives,” said Dallas Cowboys Owner, President and General Manager Jerry Jones. “He teaches integrity and life lessons as well as he does the X’s and O’s and he is very successful builder of character.”

Allen has coached the Highland Park High School football team for 18 years and recently led the Scots to a 5A Division 1 Texas State Championship with a 16-7 victory over Temple High School. As one of the most recognized and winningest programs in the history of Texas high school football, this marks the Scots’ second state championship under Allen’s tenure. Allen previously coached current Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to a state championship in 2005 and currently coaches the grandchildren of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

His success on the field is rivaled by his dedication to building high-character student-athletes, with a focus on leadership and strong moral values. Allen is a teacher who uses his role as a coach to build boys into men and emphasizes the importance of sportsmanship and integrity to his team.

The runner-up was Green Bay Packers nominee and Kimberly High School Head Football Coach Steve Jones of Kimberly, Wisconsin. Jones will receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to his high school football program.

All Shula Award nominees are active or retired high school football coaches nominated by NFL teams for their character and integrity, leadership and dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety and on-field success.

Coach Allen was 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 NFL.com 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

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

Below 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 nflfoundation.org or follow @NFLFoundation on Twitter.

2016 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Nominees

NOMINATING TEAM (SCHOOL NAME – COACH)
Arizona (Perry High School – Preston Jones)
Atlanta (Tucker High School – Bryan Lamar)
Baltimore (Walkersville High School – Joe Polce)
Buffalo (Dunkirk High School – Mike Sarratori)
Carolina (Hilton Head School – Russel ‘BJ’ Payne)
Chicago (Peoria High School – Tim Thornton)
Cincinnati (St. Xavier High School – Steve Specht)
Cleveland (Lorain High School – Dave McFarland)
Dallas (Highland Park High School – Randy Allen)
Denver (Strasburg High School – Jeff Giger)
Detroit (Benton Harbor High School – Elliot Uzelac)
Green Bay (Kimberly High School – Steve Jones)
Houston (Ebbert L. Furr High School – Matthew Valmore)
Indianapolis (Westfield High School – Jake Gilbert)
Jacksonville (Ponte Vedra High School – Matthew Toblin)
Kansas City (Grain Valley High School – David Allie; Blue Valley High School – Eric Driskell)*
Los Angeles Chargers (Madison High School – Rick Jackson)
Los Angeles Rams (Narbonne High School – Manuel Douglas)
Miami (Carol City High School – Aubrey Hill)
Minnesota (Minneapolis North High School – Charles Adams)
New England (Millis High School – Dana Olson)
New Orleans (Edna Karr High School – Brice Brown)
New York Giants (Cardinal Hayes High School – C.J. O’Neill)
New York Jets (Curtis High School – Peter Gambardella)
Oakland (California School for the Deaf – Warren Keller)
Philadelphia (Perkiomen Valley High School – Rob Heist)
Pittsburgh (Thomas Jefferson High School – Bill Cherpak)
San Francisco (Saint Francis High School – Greg Calcagno)
Seattle (Tumwater High School – Sid Otton)
Tampa Bay (St. Petersburg High School – Joe Fabrizio)
Tennessee (Whitehaven High School – Rodney Saulsberry)
Washington (Quantico Middle/High School – Paul Roy)

*Indicates team has more than one nominee.

About The NFL Foundation: The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health, safety and wellness of athletes, youth football, and the communities that support our game. For more information on The NFL Foundation, visit: http://www.NFLFoundation.org.