Due to his work and his success at the high school level over the past 25 years, Jacksonville's own Kevin Sullivan has been nominated as one of the 28 finalists for the inaugural Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award.
Named after the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula, the award was created to honor exemplary football coaches at all levels of the sport who display high character, integrity, inspirational leadership, commitment to the community and on-field success, all of which Sullivan possesses. The coaches were nominated by NFL teams and by USA Football.
"It is an honor to be nominated for the Don Shula Award," said Sullivan. "I am humbled that the Jaguars would choose me."
Sullivan is currently the head coach at Atlantic Coast High School, which opened in August of 2010. With a group of student athletes who had never played together before, he guided the Stingrays to a 6-4 season. Sullivan became the first coach in state high school history to post a winning record with a team in its inaugural season.
Prior to the 2010 school year Sullivan led one of the city's most successful football programs for 12 years. As the head coach at Andrew Jackson High School, he posted a 93-33 record with seven district championships and eight playoff appearances from 1998-2009.
Overall, Sullivan has a career record of 156-69 (.693) as a head coach with nine district championships and 10 playoff appearances.
"My philosophy and approach has not changed in 25 years," said Sullivan. "I coach for one reason, to make a difference in the lives and the future of my players. As a high school coach, it is my job to teach, inspire and motivate my players to be the best they can be, on the field, off the field and in the classroom."
While Sullivan's success on the field has been tremendous, his impact in the classroom far outweighs it. Five times he has been nominated or recognized as a teacher of the year. During his career he has taught Earth science, astronomy, physical education and environmental science, in addition to serving as an athletic director.
The national Shula Award winner will receive $25,000 and be invited to the Super Bowl, where he will be recognized at a press conference.