John Sprague of Riverview High School named
2010 NFL High School Football Coach of the Year
As the 2010 NFL High School Football Coach of the Year, Sprague and a guest will be invited to attend the 2011 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii as a guest of the NFL, where he will be recognized on-field. Coach Sprague also will receive a check for $5,000, and a $10,000 grant will be awarded to the football program at Riverview High School. All grants are awarded by the NFL Youth Football Fund (YFF).
The NFL High School Football Coach of the Year Award was created in 1995 by the NFL and its teams to honor coaches who profoundly impacted the athletic and personal development of NFL players. This year, more than 50 NFL players nominated the high school football coaches who helped shape them during their teenage years.
Current NFL players shared their admiration and respect for their former coaches through the nomination applications they completed during the regular season.
Baas congratulated Coach Sprague on the recognition, saying he "is very deserving of this award. He has been a mentor for me, bringing me along into my career, and to all the kids he's helped, whether they're in the NFL or not. He really cares about them not only as players but as people, too, no matter who they are or where they come from."
Miller added: "This is a great honor for Coach Sprague and is much deserved. I couldn't be happier for him and the Riverview Rams."
Of winning the award, Sprague said: "The fact that the former Riverview football players nominated me is the greatest thank you our program could ever have. This award makes a coach like me realize that just maybe what he has done almost his entire life was worthwhile and important."
A blue-ribbon committee of sports leaders appointed by the NFL selects the winners. The panel is comprised of Jon Butler, executive director, Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.; Jack Fleischer, veteran sportswriter; Scott Hallenbeck, executive director, USA Football; Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association; former Dallas Cowboys personnel director and NFL.com contributor Gil Brandt; and Mike Berg,Tony Dematteo,Rich Kallok and William McGregor II, all former NFL High School Football Coach of the Year winners.
Coach Sprague will be recognized alongside Coach Reggie Torres of Kahuku (HI) High School, the 2011 Pro Bowl High School Football Coach of the Year. Coach Torres was selected for his successful on-field record and for his commitment to community service. He will receive a $2,500 grant for his school's football program.
Established in 1998 by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, the NFL Youth Football Fund promotes positive youth development, supports youth and high school football needs nationwide and also ensures the health of grassroots football for future generations. Through the YFF's youth football initiatives and support programs, youngsters are provided with safe and accessible places to play and opportunities to learn the game of football, get physically fit and stay involved in productive after-school activities with adult mentors. Working with USA Football, a non-profit organization endowed by the YFF to serve as a governing body for youth and high school football, the YFF also provides programs and initiatives that address the importance of proper coaching, health and safety, academic and life skills development.