The Dallas Cowboys have teamed up with the Texas Army National Guard for the 18th annual Coach of the Week program, recognizing 10 North Texas area high school football coaches for their positive impact on their team, school and community through their dedication to young athletes.
The first of 10 recognition assemblies was held Friday at Red Oak High School, honoring head football coach Mike Shields. Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, mascot Rowdy and Texas Army National Guard personnel were all on site to present Shields with his award, as well as a $2,000 grant, courtesy of Gene and Jerry Jones Family Charities, which will go towards the school's football program.
"We are excited to be able to support the Coach of the Week program with the Dallas Cowboys," said Texas Army National Guard recruiting and retention commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jason T. Hart. "This serves as an opportunity for the Texas Army National Guard to celebrate excellence and the selfless service demonstrated within our communities and schools, by recognizing these high school coaches who continue to exceed expectations and mentor our young athletes."
Following the completion of the program—including nine more presentations at the high schools listed below—the 10 Coach of the Week award-recipients and a guest will be invited to attend the Cowboys game versus the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 23. The coaches will also be recognized on the field, along with members of the Texas Army National Guard, in front of more than 80,000 football fans at Cowboys Stadium.
"The Dallas Cowboys are extremely proud to honor high school football coaches through the Coach of the Week program and equally proud to partner with the Texas Army National Guard on this special initiative," said Cowboys executive vice president Charlotte Anderson.
"Cowboys football is about competition on the field and making a difference in our community off the field. We believe that honoring high school football coaches, their teams and community is a way for us to say 'thank you' for their hard work in shaping young football players into the very best they can be."
The goal of the Coach of the Week program is to give high school coaches the recognition they deserve, and also to provide financial assistance for schools to maintain and upgrade their football programs. Since its inception, the Coach of the Week program has provided more than 170 grants, totaling nearly $250,000, to local area programs.
The following are the 2012 Texas Army National Guard Dallas Cowboys Coach of the Week Award recipients:
Liberty High School (Frisco)
Bowie High School (Arlington)
South Grand Prairie High School (Grand Prairie)
Coppell High School (Coppell)
Prosper High School (Prosper)
Northwest High School (Justin)
Garland High School (Garland)
Red Oak High School (Red Oak)
Lancaster High School (Lancaster)
MacArthur High School (Irving)