The National Football League announced that Somerset High School Head Football Coach Bruce Larson was named the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year. As the national Shula Award winner, Larson will receive $25,000 from the NFL Foundation, $15,000 of which will go to his high school’s football program and he will also be a guest of the NFL during Super Bowl and be recognized at a media availability with Coach Shula on Friday, January 30.

Nominated by the Green Bay Packers, Larson, of Somerset, Wisconsin, was one of three high school football coaches from across the country named as a finalist. The award 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.

The other finalists were Denver Broncos nominee and Cherry Creek High School Head Football Coach Dave Logan of Greenwood Village, Colorado and Kansas City Chiefs nominee and Truman High School Head Football Coach Gregg Webb from Independence, Missouri. 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 is below.

Larson is a 28-year coaching veteran who has been with Somerset for his entire coaching career amassing a 163-37 record as a head coach. Houston Texans tackle Bryan Witzmann was one of Larson’s players.

“Coach Larson has had a lasting impact on me as a player and a person,” said Witzmann. “The principles he instills in his players such as mental toughness and teamwork have been invaluable for me. Coach Larson’s dedication to the team, the school and the town of Somerset is unparalleled. He tries to shy away from personal accolades as much as he can but it seems to have caught up with him. I couldn’t think of a more deserving man for the award.”

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.

“We’re pleased, along with the NFL, to honor Bruce Larson for his accomplishments, not only as a football coach but as a role model and leader in the community,” said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. “Bruce sets a strong example for young people to follow, both on and off the field. Through his 28 years with Somerset High School, he has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to coaching and his community.”

As part of his nomination, Larson wrote of his responsibility as a coach: “The greatest thing that comes from coaching for me is watching the players go from boys who participate in youth football to men who fight together at the varsity level and take the lessons they learned in football throughout their life and become successful individuals.”

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 and Tampa Bay 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 and 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.

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 and safety of athletes, youth football and the communities which support our game. For more information on The NFL Foundation, visit: http://www.NFLFoundation.org.

2014 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Nominees

COACH – SCHOOL NAME (NOMINATING PLAYER/TEAM)
Shaun Aguano – Chandler High School, Chandler, Arizona (Arizona)
Thomas Browne – Oakland Mills High School, Baltimore, Maryland (Baltimore)
Ron Burner – El Capitan High School, Lakeside, California (San Diego)
Vito Campanile – Westwood Regional, Westwood, New Jersey (New York Jets)
Derek Chipoletti – Oakleaf High School, Orange Park, Florida (Jacksonville)
Ed Crosson – Chaminade College Preparatory, West Hills, California (Mychal Rivera, TE, Oakland)
Eric Driskell – Blue Valley High School, Over Park, Kansas (Kansas City)
Jeremy Frioud – Northeast High School, St. Petersburg, Florida (Tampa Bay)
Terry Hendrix – Freemont High School, Oakland, California (Oakland)
Dan Higgins – Piscataway High School, Piscataway, New Jersey (New York Jets)
Jeff Hulme – Mansfield High School, Mansfield, Texas (Stepfan Taylor, RB, Arizona)
Tommy Jones – Dacula High School, Dacula, Georgia (Atlanta)
Mike Kirschner – Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis, Indiana (Indianapolis)
Thomas Langworthy – Jamestown High School, Jamestown, New York (Buffalo)
Ken LaChapelle – Northbridge High School, Whitinsville, Massachusetts (New England)
Bruce Larson – Somerset High School, Somerset, Wisconsin (Green Bay)
Dave Logan – Cherry Creek High School, Greenwood Village, Colorado (Denver)
Tom Maderia – Burlington Township, Burlington, New Jersey (Rod Streater, WR, Oakland)
Keith Maloof – Norcross High School, Norcross, Georgia (Brice Butler, WR, Oakland)
Ingle Martin – Christ Presbyterian Academy, Nashville, Tennessee (Tennessee)
Matthew Millheiser – Shoreham Wading River High School, Shoreham, New York (New York Giants)
Nathanial Moore – La Salle High School, Cincinnati, Ohio (Cincinnati)
Steve Moore – Saint Mary’s High School, Albany, California (Lorenzo Alexander, LB, Arizona)
Eric Perry – Pioneer High School, San Jose, California (San Francisco)
Kyle Richardson – Northwestern High School, Rock Hill, South Carolina (Carolina)
Daniel Rohn – Grand Rapids West Catholic, Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit)
Ron Rutt – Bay High School, Bay Village, Ohio (Cleveland)
Kyle Simmons – Westfield High School, Chantilly, Virginia (Washington)
John Snelson – Dickinson High School, Dickinson, Texas (Houston)
Henry “Hank” Tierney – Ponchatoula High School, Ponchatoula, Louisiana (New Orleans)
Gregg Webb – Truman High School, Independence, Missouri (Kansas City)
Michael Zmijanac – Aliquippa High Schoolm Aliquippa, Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh)

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