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Vol VIII 2015
A Special Coach of the Yearby: Rex lardner
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There are a number of coaching awards each year but one that stands out is the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award. The award is intended to “honor exemplary high school football coaches who display the integrity, achievement and leadership demonstrated by the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula.”
Two years ago, Steve Specht, the head coach at St. Xavier in Cincinnati, won the award and last year the winner was Mike Grant from Eden Prairie High School in Minnesota. Last January, Somerset High School (WI) Head Coach Bruce Larson was named the 2014 award winner. Coach Larson received $25,000 from the NFL Foundation, $15,000 of which will go to the Somerset football program. He was also the guest of the NFL during last February’s Super Bowl.
In order to be eligible for the award, an NFL team nominates a respective coach. Larson was nominated by the Green Bay Packers and was one of three coaches from across the country that were finalists. The other two were Denver Broncos nominee Dave Logan, the head coach at Cherry Creek High School outside Denver and Kansas City Chiefs nominee Gregg Webb, the head coach at Truman High School in Independence, Missouri.
Larson is a 28-year coaching veteran and has been at Somerset his entire career. His overall coaching record as a head coach is 163-37 which includes three Wisconsin State Championships. His overall philosophy, in order, is to “first build relationships with the players, coaches, parents, and community followed by the development of positive character among his players, and finally, building individual and team leadership.”
One of the other nominees was Dan Roan, the head coach at West Catholic High School in Grand Rapids, who was nominated by the Detroit Lions. He is featured in this issue of AFM as one of four coaches that discuss ways to turn a season around after getting off to a poor start. Congratulations to all the nominees as well as Coach Larson.
Now, Coach Hamilton is back as a regular contributor to AFM. He will be detailing a new play each month in the “Installation Report.” In this issue he discusses the “8” concept. It is part of the vertical package in Shasta’s passing game. We welcome Coach Hamilton back!
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