Rick Jackson was selected as the San Diego Chargers' nominee for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award, it was announced today. Representing the best at the high school level, Jackson was nominated for the national award, named for the winningest coach in NFL history, for his character and integrity, leadership and dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety, and on-field success.
Jackson led the Madison Warhawks to an impressive 11-2 regular season record and the school's second CIF State Championship title in five years with a victory against the San Jose Valley Christian Warriors. Prior to the State Championship game, Jackson rallied his team to a come-from-behind 35-31 win in the San Diego CIF Section Division-I title game against powerhouse St. Augustine High School after trailing 31-7 at the half. A week later, Jackson's Warhawks staged yet another amazing comeback in the first round of the Division 2-AA playoffs versus Calabasas High School. Down 47-28 in the fourth quarter, the Warhawk's rallied to win in overtime 60-53.
For his outstanding achievements, Jackson was named the 2016 Chargers Coach of the Year, receiving an additional $2,500 donation from the team for his school's athletic department.
Jackson is also the Athletic Director of Madison High School and a Heads Up Football Master Trainer. He has lead multiple Player Safety Coach Clinics for San Diego County coaches, and was also instrumental in helping San Diego Unified School district become a Heads Up Football certified district.
"Coach Jackson is an outstanding leader, both on and off the field and we're delighted to nominate him for this prestigious award", said Chargers Director of Public Affairs & Corporate/Community Relations KIMBERLEY LAYTON. "As a head coach, Rick has taught his players how to overcome huge adversity by never giving up. Off the field, his leadership within the local Heads Up Football program has made him a go-to trainer for the region, demonstrating his true care and concern for the well-being of not only his players but of all this county's youth and high school football players."
Jackson will be invited and recognized in special ways during the NFL's week-long celebration of football at the 2017 Pro Bowl in Orlando. He will also 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 Winner MICHAEL BURNET
- 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 Business CONDOLEEZZA 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