Robert Garrett of Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles is the 2017 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year. The award, named for the winningest coach in NFL history, was created to honor exemplary high school football coaches for their character and integrity, leadership and dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety and on-field success.

The announcement was made during the 2018 Pro Bowl. Nominees for the Don Shula Award from all 32 clubs were recognized in special ways during the NFL's week-long celebration of football in Orlando.

Nominated by the Los Angeles Chargers, Coach Garrett was one of two high school football coaches selected as finalists from a group of coaches nominated by NFL teams. As the national Don Shula Award Winner, Coach Garrett will receive $25,000 from the NFL Foundation, $15,000 of which will go to his high school's football program. He will be the NFL’s guest during Super Bowl LII and walk the red carpet at NFL Honors, a two-hour awards special to air on Feb. 3, the eve of Super Bowl LII, at 9 PM (ET and PT) on NBC.

"I had the opportunity to meet Coach Garrett last month after the Chargers nominated him for this award," said Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn. "Yes, he's turned Crenshaw High into a powerhouse over the 30 or so years he's been there, but more than the wins and losses, it's the number of lives he's touched and the young men he's mentored that matters most. That's why he's so deserving of this honor."

"And I can say that, without hesitation, because I've witnessed it first hand with Brandon (Mebane) and Hayes (Pullard) on our team. As men of great character and integrity, the respect and love they show for Coach Garrett is telling. I want to congratulate Coach Garrett on this much-deserved honor and thank him for dedicating his life to helping others achieve their dreams."

Coach Garrett led the Crenshaw Cougars to a 12-3 record this season, including a 5-0 record in league play. In the CIF Los Angeles City Section Playoffs, the Cougars made it to the Championship Game, where they fell to the reigning champion Narbonne Gauchos.

Coach Garrett's team continued their playoff push in the State CIF playoffs, defeating San Diego County's El Camino High School to advance to the Division 4-AA Championship against Placer High School, which the Cougars won, 46-43.

Coach Garrett's success on the field is matched by his leadership and role as a mentor to student-athletes. He is the former coach of two current Chargers — linebacker Hayes Pullard and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane.

"He's a coach to many, to some he's a mentor, and to others maybe even a father," said Pullard. "To us, he's all of the above. He's done many great things through the years at Crenshaw High that seem like they've almost gone unnoticed, until now. It's an honor to say, 'That's my Coach!'"

The runner-up was Seattle Seahawks nominee and Royal High School head football coach Wiley Allred of Royal City, Wa. Allred will receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to his program.

Coach Garrett was selected by a distinguished panel, including 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:

  • Coach Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history
  • Gil Brandt, former Dallas Cowboys personnel director and contributor
  • Randy Allen, 2016 Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award Winner
  • Tony Dungy, former Indianapolis Colts coach and current NBC analyst
  • Scott Hallenbeck, Executive Director of USA Football
  • Willie McGinest, three-time Super Bowl Champion
  • Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State, Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution and faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Aaron Thomas, Aplington-Parkersburg High School Principal and son of Ed Thomas, the school's late football coach

Learn more about the NFL Foundation and follow @NFLFoundation on Twitter.

2017 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Nominees
Arizona Cardinals Saguaro High School Jason Mohns
Atlanta Falcons North Gwinnett High School Bill Stewart
Baltimore Ravens Harford Technical High School Timothy Palmer
Buffalo Bills West Seneca West High School Mike Vastola
Carolina Panthers Clinton High School Andrew Webb
Chicago Bears Rochester High School Derek Leonard
Cincinnati Bengals Covington Catholic High School Eddie Eviston
Cleveland Browns Bay High School Ron Rutt
Dallas Cowboys Frisco Lone Star High School Jeffrey Rayburn
Denver Broncos Pueblo South High School Ryan Goddard
Detroit Lions Warren De La Salle Collegiate High School Mike Giannone
Green Bay Packers Kimberly High School Steve Jones
Houston Texans Oak Ridge High School Brian Fitzgerald
Indianapolis Colts Ben Davis High School Mike Kirschner
Jacksonville Jaguars Bartram Trail High School Darrell Sutherland
Kansas City Chiefs* Staley High School (Missouri) Phil Lite Staley
Kansas City Chiefs* DeSoto High School (Kansas) Brian King
Los Angeles Chargers Crenshaw High School Robert Garrett
Los Angeles Rams Mission Viejo High School Bob Johnson
Miami Dolphins American Heritage School Pat Surtain
Minnesota Vikings South St. Paul Chad Sexauer
New England Patriots Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School Paul Funk
New Orleans Saints West St. John High School Brandon Walters
New York Giants Newton High School Matt Parzero
New York Jets Franklin K. Lane Campus High School Jason Mollison
Oakland Raiders Kennedy High School George Jackson
Philadelphia Eagles Downington High School Michael Matta
Pittsburgh Steelers Quaker Valley High School Jerry Veshio
San Francisco 49ers Gilroy High School Jubenal Rodriquez
Seattle Seahawks Royal High School Wiley Allred
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Citrus High School Nate Varnadore
Tennessee Titans Brentwood Academy Cody White
Washington Redskins Dinwiddie High School Billy Mills

*Indicates team has more than one nominee