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NFL Announces Nominees for 2023 Don Shula High School Coach of the Year Award

The NFL announced the nominees for the 2023 Don Shula High School Coach of the Year Award, representing the best in coaching at the high school level. 

These coaches were recognized by their local NFL clubs for the prestigious award – named after Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history. The coaches were judged based on areas in which Coach Shula excelled most during his career – character, integrity, leadership, dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety and on-field success.

“It is exciting to celebrate the nominees from each NFL club; all 32 represent the integrity, commitment and character of Coach Don Shula,” said Roman Oben, vice president of football development. “High school football coaches help mold the lives of young high school players both on and off the field. They serve as leaders and role models, and this group represents the very best every year.”

The NFL will recognize one winner from the region near an NFL Club in each conference, AFC and NFC. These two winners will be invited to the 2024 Pro Bowl Games in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 4 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 NFL Foundation and Nike have teamed up to provide the two winners a $15,000 award for their high school football programs and a $10,000 cash award. The other 30 club nominees will all receive a $1,000 cash award. The two winners will also attend Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas as special guests of the NFL. The Don Shula Award winners will be announced in the week prior to the 2024 Pro Bowl Games, televised on Sunday, Feb. 4, from 3-6 p.m. ET on ESPN, ABC, Disney XD, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes. The winners will also be recognized and walk the red carpet at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. 

The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year 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

Below is a full list of the 2023 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year nominees. 

Nominating NFL Team


High School

Arizona Cardinals

Colin Thomas

Liberty High School

Atlanta Falcons

Keith Maloof

Norcross High School

Baltimore Ravens

Kurt Stein

Oakdale High School

Buffalo Bills

Terrell Cunningham

James Monroe High School

Carolina Panthers

Aaron Brand

Irmo High School

Chicago Bears

Derek Leonard

Rochester High School

Cincinnati Bengals

Tom Grippa

Milford High School

Cleveland Browns

Matt Dennison

Canton South High School

Dallas Cowboys

Jason Witten

Liberty Christian School

Denver Broncos

Andy Lowry

Columbine High School

Detroit Lions

Shane Fairfield

Muskegon High School

Green Bay Packers

Matt Hensler

Badger 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

Los Angeles Rams

Demel Franklin

Cerritos High School

Miami Dolphins

Daryle Heidelburg

Miami Norland Senior High School

Minnesota Vikings

Mike Diggins

Centennial High School

New England Patriots

Allan Fornaro

Xaverian Brothers High School

New York Giants

Nick Aiello

Tioga Central High School

New York Jets

Danny Landberg

Erasmus Hall High School

New Orleans Saints

Jim Hightower

St. Thomas More Catholic High School

Philadelphia Eagles

Tim Roken

St. Joseph's Preparatory School

Pittsburgh Steelers

Mike Warfield

Aliquippa High School

*San Francisco 49ers

Nelson Tran

Independence High School

Seattle Seahawks

Travis Anderson

Anacortes High School

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Clayton Varnum

Durant High School

Tennessee Titans

Tony Brunetti

Pearl Cohn High School

Washington Commanders

Bradley Lutz

William Byrd High School

*High School Girls Flag Football


  • Coaching
  • High School Football