Wednesday was a big day for high school football — the day that all 32 NFL teams nominate a prep coach for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award.
The award, named in honor of the winningest coach in NFL history, is intended to celebrate the best coaching at the high school level. Two finalists will receive $15,000 (with $10,000 going to their football program) and be special guests of the NFL at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. The winner, as judged by an 11-person panel that includes Shula, will be announced Jan. 27 during the Pro Bowl.
You can see this is a big deal, with NFL teams scouring their region for just the right coach. The 49ers, for example, have nominated Ryan Partridge from Liberty High School in Brentwood.
Meanwhile, the Raiders nominated Gus McNair from Canyon Springs High School in … wait for it … Las Vegas.
It wasn’t an out-of-the-blue nomination. According to Roy Hart Jr., a Raiders representative who played in 17 NFL games, one with the Raiders in 1991, the team in 2018 has “been presenting coach of the week (awards) throughout the entire Las Vegas Valley and the Oakland (area).”
The Raiders presented coach McNair with a check for $1,000 and new cleats for the players.
No truth to the rumor that Jon Gruden is angling to trade McNair for a sixth-round draft pick.