Due to his excellence on and off the gridiron, the Los Angeles Chargers are proud to nominate Lawndale High School's Travis Clark as the team's Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year.
Clark is one of 32 coaches nominated by each NFL team for displaying integrity, achievement and leadership exemplified by the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula.
"(This means) the world," Clark explained upon finding out he was the Chargers' selection. "Are you kidding me? This is amazing to be recognized for something that you're so passionate about at our level and just trying to get these kids to learn things as adults. To be recognized after a season like this, it means the world to me."
Clark has coached at Lawndale since 2015. In the past two seasons, he turned the program around to compile a 25-3 record. According to Clark, the Cardinals had been to the playoffs once in the 20 years prior to his arrival. But when he became coach, he quickly changed the culture.
"We've gone to the playoffs four years in a row, which was our goal obviously, but the biggest goal was to win a CIF championship," He said. "I wanted to do that, and we did that this year."
But Clark and his team had their sights on something bigger – a state championship – and on Saturday, came away with a 20-12 victory over San Joaquin Memorial to capture a CIF Division 2-A state bowl title.
Earlier this month, the Bolts surprised Clark with the nomination. He was given a behind-the-scenes tour of Hoag Performance Center and even got to sit in on a presser with Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn. After the presser ended, Lynn pulled him aside and broke the news.
"It's just amazing to be recognized by one of my favorite organizations in professional sports. I feel like a kid. Honestly, I feel like I'm 12 years old right now walking around the facilities and seeing all the guys (and) meeting coaches. It's been an amazing situation. I'm so thankful to the Chargers organization. It's wonderful. I can't believe what they're doing. This is great. This is a great program, no question."
In addition to being the team's Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year nominee, Clark was also previously named a Chargers Coach of the Week. Additionally, he was the team's Los Angeles County High School Coach of the Year and earned $3,000 in grants from the Chargers Community Foundation for his athletic department.
Clark will be invited and recognized in special ways during the NFL's week-long celebration of football at the 2019 Pro Bowl in Orlando. He and a student athlete of his choosing will visit Pro Bowl practices, participate in the USA Football National Conference and attend the Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium.