On Friday, it was announced that Eden Prairie High School football coach Mike Grant was named the recipient of the 2014 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award. By winning the honor, Grant receives $25,000, $15,000 of which will go to his high school’s football program, while he gets to enjoy Super Bowl XLVIII as a special guest of the NFL.
“You have to make great decisions. We talk about thoughtfully deciding who you are going to run with in your group of friends,” Grant wrote as part of his responsibilities as a finalist for the award.
“What is your story going to be when you are done here? Will people think of you as an outstanding person or as someone who never achieved what they could have? We provide support through our school and coaches for kids struggling with family issues and let them know that they have a family here with our football team that will have their back!”
Grant edged out his two fellow finalists – Tri-Central High School Head Football Coach George Gilbert of Kirklin, Indiana and Katy High School Athletic Coordinator and Head Football Coach Gary Joseph from Katy, Texas — to win the award.
Despite falling short, Gilbert and Joseph will receive a $2,500 cash award and a $5,000 grant for their high school football programs.