The Washington Redskins have nominated Joe Jones for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach Of The Year, the NFL announced Thursday morning.
In four seasons at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, Jones has a record of 36-12 and has led the team to multiple playoff victories, according to MaxPreps. This season, he was named Washington Redskins High School Coach of the Week after helping the Dolphins get out to a 5-1 start.
"Coach Jones has a team motto of 'All In,'" Ocean Lakes High School Athletic Director John Williams told WTKR, a television station in Norfolk, Virginia. "Since taking over the program ... he has built upon the already established success from our previous coach. He is one to always be positive, arrive early and stay late. He has a great and enthusiastic love for each of his players and coaches and takes an individual interest in every one of them. He is not afraid to tell his players how much he loves and cares for them."
Before embarking on a 25-year coaching career, Jones played tight end at Virginia Tech and was drafted in the 10th round of the 1985 NFL Draft. He played three years in the league for six franchises: the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers, Houston Oilers, Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts.
After his playing days, he rejoined Virginia Tech as a graduate assistant. He then moved to the Virginia high school ranks, where he has been the head coach at Windsor, Franklin, Smithfield, King's Fork and now Ocean Lakes. He's been named District Coach of the Year on four occasions.
Jones is one of 32 nominees (one for each franchise) for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award, representing the best at the high school level.
These coaches were recognized by their local NFL club for the prestigious award – named after Pro Football Hall of Famer DON SHULA, the winningest coach in NFL history – for their character, integrity, leadership, dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety and on-field success.
"There are so many coaches across the country who do such great work with their student athletes and I am truly honored to be selected for this prestigious award," said 2018 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year winner Gabe Infante upon receiving his award. "I am grateful to the NFL and the committee for my consideration."
All Don Shula Award nominees are invited to attend the 2020 Pro Bowl in Orlando, FL and will be recognized in special ways during the NFL's week-long celebration of football. Throughout the week, coaches will receive VIP access and accommodations at various events such as Pro Bowl practices and the Play Football High School Skills Showdown, a chance to interact and engage with various members of the football community and attend the Pro Bowl. Each coach will also have an opportunity to invite a senior on their roster to participate in the Skills Showdown to represent their high school football community.
Two finalists will each receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to their high school's football program. They will also attend Super Bowl LIV in Miami as special guests of the NFL.
The Don Shula Award winner will be announced during the 2020 Pro Bowl, airing Sunday, Jan. 26 at 3 PM ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and simulcast on ABC and Disney XD – the third time the game will be available on both broadcast and cable networks. The winner will also be recognized and walk the red carpet at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 1 on FOX, the night before Super Bowl LIV.
The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year winner is selected by a panel of distinguished individuals:
- Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker
- Former Dallas Cowboys Personnel Director and NFL.com contributor Gil Brandt
- Super Bowl XLIV winner and NFL Legends Youth Advisory Committee Member Mark Brunell
- Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy
- Executive Director of USA Football Scott Hallenbeck
- 3-time Super Bowl Champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) and NFL Legends Youth Advisory Committee Member Willie McGinest
- 2x AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year, current head coach at the Sayre School (Lexington, Kentucky) and NFL Legends Youth Advisory Committee Member Chad Pennington
- Pro Football Hall of Famer, Coach Don Shula -- the winningest coach in NFL history