St. Xavier High School Head Football Coach Steve Specht has been
named the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year.
As the national Shula Award winner, Specht will receive $25,000,
$15,000 of which will go to his high school's football program. He also
is a guest of the NFL during Super Bowl Week.
Specht and presented him with the award at a press conference Friday in
Nominated by Greg Scruggs of the Seattle Seahawks, Specht, was one of three high school football coaches from
across the country named as a finalist for the award, which was created
to honor exemplary high school football coaches who demonstrate a
commitment to player health & safety, and the integrity,
achievement, and leadership exemplified by the winningest coach in NFL
history, Don Shula. Scruggs surprised Specht at Friday's ceremony.
All nominated coaches are active or retired high school football
coaches and were nominated by NFL teams and players for their character
and integrity, inspirational leadership, commitment to the community and
In his nomination essay, Scruggs wrote, "Coach Specht is an
honorable, respectable man of integrity who has made an impact in my
life and every player he has touched."
As part of his nomination, Specht wrote of his responsibility as a
coach. "I think any great organization is composed of people that love
one another, focus on the daily pursuit of excellence and understand
that no one is able to succeed alone," he said "I firmly believe that
our responsibility as coaches and teachers is to equip these young men
with tools that will motivate them for life, not just for a game."
Specht has coached five players who have gone on to play in the NFL.
Specht also works closely with USA Football and is training to be a
Master Trainer in their Heads Up Tackling program.