North Gwinnett High School’s head football coach was a finalist for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award. Bill Stewart was nominated by the Atlanta Falcons after North Gwinnett High won the Class 7A state high school football title over Colquitt County High School with a dramatic last second field goal as time expired. Stewart was one of only 32 high school football coaches from around the country competing for the award. Each coach was nominated by one of the 32 NFL teams. Representing the best at the high school level, Stewart and the rest of the coaches were nominated for the national award based on their character and integrity, leadership and dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety and on-field success.
Don Shula Award nominees were invited and honored at the 2018 Pro Bowl in Orlando. The coaches participated in a special coaches’ clinic, enjoyed a VIP visit to Pro Bowl practices, and attended the USA Football National Conference.
The winner of the contest-- Los Angeles Rams nominee Robert Garrett of Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles, California-- and the runner-up-- Seattle Seahawks nominee and Royal High School head football coach Wiley Allred of Royal City, Washington-- received $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to their high school’s football program.
The winner was selected by a panel of distinguished individuals which includes:
- Pro Football Hall of Famer, Coach Don Shula – the winningest coach in NFL history
- 2016 Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award Winner Randy Allen
- Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker
- Former Dallas Cowboys Personnel Director and NFL.com contributor Gil Brandt
- Pro Football Hall of Famer, former Indianapolis Colts Coach, and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy
- Executive Director of USA Football Scott Hallenbeck
- 2x Super Bowl Champion (XLI, 50) Peyton Manning
- 3x Super Bowl Champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) Willie McGinest
- Former Secretary of State, Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of Business Condoleezza Rice
- Pro Football Hall of Famer, Super Bowl XLII Champion, and Good Morning America correspondent Michael Strahan
- Aplington-Parkersburg High School Principal and son of the school's late football coach, Ed Thomas, Aaron Thomas
For more information on the NFL Foundation, visit nflfoundation.org or follow @NFLFoundation on Twitter.