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Interview: Las Vegas Raiders Tom Flores Coach of the Year, Chris Sawyers of Sunrise Mountain HS

It took Chris Sawyers only two years to turn around the Sunrise Mountain High School football program. Sawyers led the Miners to a runner-up finish in Nevada's 4A classification last season, just two years after returning as the program's head coach. In his absence, Sunrise Mountain had only won three games in the previous two seasons.

The Miners lost to Centennial 49-31 in the state championship game at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, but Sawyers' outstanding performance has led to the Raiders naming him as the winner of the 2023 Tom Flores Coach of the Year Award and a finalist for the prestigious Don Shula High School Coach of the Year Award.

The Shula Award salutes high school coaches for their character and integrity, leadership, dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety and on-field success.

Below, High School Football America’s Jeff Fisher talks with Coach Sawyers about how he’s been able to turn around the East Las Vegas school on the field and in the classroom.

Photo: AP/Ben Liebenberg


  • Coaching