The NFL and the Dallas Cowboys announced today, 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. PFHOF President and CEO David Baker addressed Allen and the other finalists in a roundtable discussion on the Values of the Game on this past weekend.” David Baker’s presentation was inspiring and uplifting. Coaches are great teachers and mentors to their players to give them the foundation not just for football but for their Game for Life” said Allen will be attending the Merlin Olsen Super Bowl Luncheon next Friday in Houston. 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 Feb. 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, Wisc. 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:
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- 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