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Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award

The Don Shula Award recognizes high school coaches that embody Coach Shula's values character, integrity, leadership, dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety, and on-field success.

Meet the 2023 Award Winners

Columbine High School coach Andy Lowry and Muskegon High School coach Shane Fairfield are the AFC and NFC recipients of the 2023 NFL Don Shula High School Coach of the Year Award.

NFL Announces 2023 Don Shula NFL High School Coaches of the Year

The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award recognizes the best in coaching at the high school level.

Every year, each of the 32 NFL clubs nominates a high school coach for the Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award, named after Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history.

The nominated coaches are judged based on areas that Coach Shula excelled at the most during his career — character, integrity, leadership, dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety and on-field success.

The NFL will recognize two winners, one from each conference. The AFC and NFC award winners will be announced in the week prior to the Pro Bowl Games.

The two winners will be invited to the Pro Bowl Games 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 two winners will also attend Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas as special guests of the NFL. And they will be recognized and walk the red carpet at NFL Honors. 

The NFL Foundation and Nike have teamed up to provide the two winners a $15,000 award to their high school football programs and a $10,000 cash award. The other 30 club nominees will all receive a $1,000 cash award.

2023 Don Shula Award winners Andy Lowry of Columbine High School (CO), nominated by the Denver Broncos, and Shane Fairfield of Muskegon High School (MI), nominated by the Detroit Lions.

2023 Nominees

Here are the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award nominees for all 32 clubs. 


  • Baltimore Ravens – Kurt Stein, Oakdale High School
  • Buffalo Bills – Terrell Cunningham, James Monroe High School
  • Cincinnati Bengals – Tom Grippa, Milford High School
  • Cleveland Browns – Matt Dennison, Canton South High School
  • Denver Broncos – Andy Lowry, Columbine High School
  • Houston Texans – Cornelius Anthony, Hightower High School
  • Indianapolis Colts – Larry "Bud" Wright, Sheridan High School
  • Jacksonville Jaguars – Brian Braddock, St. Augustine High School
  • Kansas City Chiefs – Jesse Owen, Gardner Edgerton High School
  • Las Vegas Raiders – Chris Sawyers, Sunrise Mountain High School
  • Los Angeles Chargers – Scott Altenberg, Junipero Serra High School
  • Miami Dolphins – Daryle Heidelburg, Miami Norland Senior High School
  • New England Patriots – Allan Fornaro, Xaverian Brothers High School
  • New York Jets – Danny Landberg, Erasmus Hall High School
  • Pittsburgh Steelers – Mike Warfield, Aliquippa High School
  • Tennessee Titans – Tony Brunetti, Pearl Cohn High School


  • Arizona Cardinals – Colin Thomas, Liberty High School
  • Atlanta Falcons – Keith Maloof, Norcross High School
  • Carolina Panthers – Aaron Brand, Irmo High School
  • Chicago Bears – Derek Leonard, Rochester High School
  • Dallas Cowboys – Jason Witten, Liberty Christian School
  • Detroit Lions – Shane Fairfield, Muskegon High School
  • Green Bay Packers – Matt Hensler, Badger High School
  • Los Angeles Rams – Demel Franklin, Cerritos High School
  • Minnesota Vikings – Mike Diggins, Centennial High School
  • New York Giants – Nick Aiello, Tioga Central High School
  • New Orleans Saints – Jim Hightower, St. Thomas More Catholic High School
  • Philadelphia Eagles – Tim Roken, St. Joseph's Preparatory School
  • *San Francisco 49ers – Nelson Tran, Independence High School
  • Seattle Seahawks – Travis Anderson, Anacortes High School
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Clayton Varnum, Durant High School
  • Washington Commanders – Bradley Lutz, William Byrd High School

*High School Girls Flag Football

Last Season's Award Winners

About the Award

The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award was established in 2010.

The award 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

Previous winners of the Don Shula Award include:

  • 2010 - Ray Seals, Madison (TX) - Nominated by the Houston Texans
  • 2011 - John McKissick, Summerville (SC) - Nominated by the Carolina Panthers
  • 2012 - Steve Specht, St. Xavier (OH) - Nominated by the Seattle Seahawks
  • 2013 - Mike Grant, Eden Prairie (MN) - Nominated by the Minnesota Vikings
  • 2014 - Bruce Larson, Somerset (WI) - Nominated by the Green Bay Packers
  • 2015 - Michael Burnett, Tuscarora (VA) - Nominated by the Washington Commanders
  • 2016 - Randy Allen, Highland Park (TX) - Nominated by the Dallas Cowboys
  • 2017 - Robert Garrett, Crenshaw (CA) - Nominated by the Los Angeles Chargers
  • 2018 - Gabe Infante, St. Joseph's (PA) - Nominated by the Philadelphia Eagles
  • 2019 - Matt Land, Dalton (GA) - Nominated by the Atlanta Falcons
  • 2020 - Derrick Avery, Booker T. Washington (GA) - Nominated by the Atlanta Falcons
  • 2021 - Bob Palko, Mt. Lebanon (PA) - Nominated by the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • 2022 - Matt Gallagher, Maine-Endwell (NY) - Nominated by the New York Giants and Clive Harding, Boys and Girls (NY) - Nominated by the New York Jets

2021 Coach of the Year Award Winner Bob Palko



"High school football coaches serve as leaders and role models dedicated to shaping the lives of young high school players both on and off the field. This group represents the very best from across the country every year."

ROMAN OBENNFL Vice President, Football Development

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