KIMBERLY – Kimberly High School football coach Steve Jones has been named one of two finalists for the coveted Don Shula High School Football Coach of the Year award presented by the NFL.
Jones, in his sixth season as head coach at Kimberly, guided the Papermakers to their fourth consecutive WIAA state championship last November. Kimberly has won the last three state titles in Division 1 and also won the Division 2 title in 2013.
Kimberly also has a 56-game winning streak, the state record for most consecutive victories and also the longest current winning streak in the nation. He was also named the Wisconsin coach of the year by the Associated Press this past November.
“I think this is just a great thing for our football program, our community, our high school and everyone involved,” Jones said. “It takes so many different people and I’m proud to represent the school and football program.
“I’m proud to be one of the two finalists and we’ll see Sunday how it shakes out. I’m so happy for our staff and there are so many people who are involved with this and it’s such a great staff to work with.”
According to a press release by the NFL, Jones was nominated by the Green Bay Packers for his commitment to player health and safety and the integrity, achievement and leadership exemplified by the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula.
According to the NFL, a blue ribbon panel including Shula, Peyton Manning and Michael Strahan reviewed the nominations and selected the two finalists.
Jones will be recognized for his achievements at the Pro Bowl in Orlando this weekend.
Jones and the other finalist will receive $10,000 grants to their respective high school football programs and a $5,000 cash award as well as an all-expense paid trip to both the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl LI in Houston. The national winner will also receive an additional $5,000 grant to their high school football program and an additional $5,000 cash award.
Randy Allen of Highland Park (Dallas, Texas), who was nominated by the Dallas Cowboys, is the other finalist. Allen closed out his 18th season as the Scots’ head coach by leading his team to a Class 5A Division 1 Texas state championship with a 16-7 victory over Temple.
The winningest program in the history of Texas high school football, the title was the Scots’ second state championship under Allen — the last coming in 2005 with Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford at the helm.