The Jacksonville Jaguars have nominated Matt Toblin, the head football coach at Ponte Vedra High School, for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award, the club announced today.
"I am so proud of our coaches and players for all their hard work," said Toblin. "All individual awards are the result of a group effort, and I am so thankful for them. We hope that through football, we can help our players become better husbands and fathers. We hope to do this by teaching them the value of hard work, determination, and that anything is possible when you ignore plausible excuses and just get to work."
Toblin was nominated for the national award, named for the winningest coach in NFL history, for his character, integrity, leadership, dedication to the Jacksonville community and his commitment to player health and safety and on-field success. Toblin, who has 15 years of coaching experience, including the last three as the head coach at Ponte Vedra High School, has accumulated a 41-18 record and has won four district championships and one regional championship over the last five years. A native of Jacksonville, Toblin played high school football at Mandarin High School.
"Coach Toblin is a perfect representative for the Jacksonville community and is a deserving nominee of the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award," said Jaguars Director of Player Development and Youth Football Marcus Pollard. "Coach Toblin pours his heart and soul into his football program and his players are better because of it. He is a symbol of hard work and dedication and puts others ahead of himself. We are grateful to have incredible coaches like Matt in the Jacksonville high school sports community. Their leadership and passion for the game of football produces many great student-athletes that graduate with an abundance of knowledge, having learned many life lessons and a great appreciation for the sport."
Toblin will be invited and recognized in special ways during the NFL's week-long celebration of football at the 2017 Pro Bowl in Orlando. Toblin will visit Pro Bowl practices, participate in the USA Football National Conference and attend the Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Two finalists will each receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to his high school's football program. The Shula Award winner will be announced during the third quarter of the 2017 Pro Bowl, airing Sunday, Jan. 29 at 8 PM ET on ESPN, and will receive an additional $10,000 from the NFL Foundation, $5,000 of which will go to his high school's football program. The winner will be recognized at a press conference on Friday, Feb. 3 during Super Bowl week in Houston and walk the red carpet at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special airing nationally on FOX on Feb. 4, the night before Super Bowl LI.
The winner is selected by a panel of distinguished individuals. New to the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award selection panel this year are two-time Super Bowl champion (XLI, 50) and five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning, Super Bowl XLII champion and Good Morning America contributor Michael Strahan and Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker.
The selection panel also includes:
· Coach Don Shula – the winningest coach in NFL history
· Former Dallas Cowboys Personnel Director and NFL.com contributor Gil Brandt
· 2015 Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award WinnerMichael Burnett
· Former Indianapolis Colts Coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy
· Executive Director of USA Football Scott Hallenbeck
· Retired IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano
· Former Secretary of State, Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution and faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of BusinessCondoleezza Rice
· Former Executive Director of the American Football Coaches Association Grant Teaff
· Aplington-Parkersburg High School Principal and son of the school's late football coach, Ed Thomas, Aaron Thomas