Leesburg, VA (Jan. 28, 2016) – The NFL and Washington Redskins announced today, Head Football Coach Michael Burnett of Tuscarora High School in Loudoun County, Va. 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.
Nominated by the Redskins, Burnett was one of three high school football coaches selected as finalists from a group of coaches nominated by NFL clubs and players. As the national Shula Award winner, Burnett 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 50 and be recognized at a media availability with Coach Shula on Friday, Feb. 5. Burnett will also walk the red carpet at the 5th Annual NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime special airing nationally on Feb. 6, the night before Super Bowl 50.
“It cannot be understated the importance a great High School Football Coach has on the overall development of young men,” said Redskins President Bruce Allen. “I am so proud that Coach Burnett has been selected to receive this prestigious honor; he is truly deserving!”
Burnett is a 13-year coaching veteran who is in his sixth year with Tuscarora, amassing a 60-15 record as head coach. Prior to coaching at Tuscarora, Burnett spent four years at Broad Run High School in Ashburn, Va. winning consecutive state championships. Burnett spent his first three years as a head coach with Santa Monica High School (Calif.). Before coaching, Burnett was a litigation attorney. He currently teaches AP economics and serves as the Department Chair of Social Sciences at Tuscarora.
“Coach Burnett runs his program based off of three pillars: Commitment, Passion and Discipline. Burnett does anything he can to make the school a better community for everyone,” said Tuscarora Athletic Director Derek Farrey. “Coach Burnett believes the safety of his student athletes is paramount and has hosted a USA Football Heads Up Football coaching clinic with his staff to ensure the proper tackling techniques are being practiced.”
The two other finalists selected were Miami Dolphins nominee and St. Thomas Aquinas Head Football Coach ROGER HARRIOTT of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Philadelphia Eagles nominee and St. Joseph’s Prep Head Football Coach GABRIEL INFANTE from Philadelphia, Pa. Each finalist receives a $2,500 cash award and a $5,000 grant for their high school football programs.
All nominees are active or retired high school football coaches nominated by NFL teams or players for their character and integrity, inspirational leadership, commitment to player health and safety, the community and on-field success.