Since 1990, the National Football League has bestowed one teacher with the title of NFL Teacher of the Year.
This honor, awarded annually in June, was originally established as an avenue for active NFL players to honor those teachers who have had the single greatest impact on their educational and life-skills development. With its 2010 award, the NFL altered the original framework of the honor and began recognizing former NFL players who have followed their playing careers with excellence in the field of education.
"We are proud of the NFL alumni who are shaping future generations by working in education," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "Their time on the football field taught them the values of integrity, preparation and persistence; lessons that carry over into the classroom. We honor these former NFL players for their dedication to the work of teaching."
A panel of educators and civic leaders selected the NFL's Teacher of the Year from a pool of NFL alumni nominations. With annual assistance from its 32 clubs, entries are narrowed down to 10 finalists and reviewed by a blue-ribbon panel which includes Commissioner Roger Goodell; Georgetown University Board of Trustees Chairman and former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue; Congressman Gary Ackerman; Congressman Michael Honda; American Federation of Teachers Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson; and Pro Football Hall of Famer and current teacher, Randall McDaniel.
In June, former Minnesota Vikings running back, Brent McClanahan, was named the 2012 NFL Teacher of the Year. Drafted with the 118th overall pick in the 1973 NFL Draft, Mr. McClanahan played his entire seven year career with the Minnesota Vikings where he amassed 10 touchdowns and 5,458 all-purpose yards. Mr. McClanahan is currently an instructor at his alma mater, South High School, in Bakersfield, Calif., where he teaches business exploration, criminal justice technology and computer literacy. During the football season, Mr. McClanahan also serves as a game manager, and in 2012 helped revitalize the Block "S" Club, a program from his own years at South High School, where upperclassmen mentor the younger generation of athletes in life skills, sportsmanship and work ethic.