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.

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