Monday, October 29, 2012
John McKissick in his office Tuesday morning talking about his award.
As originally published in the February 8, 2012 edition of the Summerville Journal Scene
Summerville High School Athletic Director and football coach John McKissick has been named the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year.
McKissick, who has more coaching victories under his belt than any other football coach at any level, was announced as the winner of the prestigious award Friday morning at a press conference held at the NFL Motorola Super Bowl Media Center in Indianapolis.
Created in 2010, the Shula Award honors exemplary high school football coaches who display the integrity, achievement and leadership demonstrated by the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula. The former Miami Dolphins coach was on hand to congratulate McKissick Friday and make the official award presentation.
“Naturally it was an honor to receive the award on behalf of the school and all those who surround our football program, ” McKissick said. “I consider it more of a team and community accomplishment than an individual accomplishment because it wouldn’t be possible without all the hard work of the athletes and support of the school and district administrators as well as our fans.”
The Summerville coach was nominated for the award by the Carolina Panthers.
“Coach McKissick’s legacy of leadership during his 60-year career is marked by his lifelong passion and commitment to serve others,” Panthers’ officials stated in a press release issued Friday. “While his win total is unsurpassed, his true contributions to our region and the thousands of student-athletes he has inspired cannot be measured. The Carolina Panthers are proud to congratulate Coach John McKissick, a deserving recipient of the Shula Award and a man who personifies the ideals the award seeks to embody.”
McKissick recently completed his 60th season as the head coach for the Green Wave. He has compiled a 594-143-13 career record with the school, winning 10 state championships along the way.
McKissick as well as the two other finalists for the award, John Herrington of Farmington Hills High School in Michigan and Hal Lamb of Calhoun High School in Georgia, were honored during a nationally televised banquet Saturday night held in conjunction with Super Bowl week. Each finalist for the award receives a $2,500 cash award and a $5,000 grant for their high school football program.
As the award winner, McKissick will receive a $10,000 cash award and a $15,000 grant. He was also the NFL’s guest at Sunday’s Super Bowl game.
“It was a great experience,” McKissick said. “I met a lot of great athletes and former athletes. I spent a lot of time with Don Shula and he is a real down-to-earth and humble person.”
The selection panel for the award includes some NFL heavyweights as well as recognizable personalities from other walks of life. Panel members include Shula, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Tony Dungy, John Madden, Art Shell, IBM Board Chairman Sam Palmisano and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
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