WILMINGTON – U.S. Cellular has launched the Most Valuable Coach program, a campaign to highlight and recognize current high-school football head coaches who have made a profound impact on an individual, school or community.
Locally, East Bladen coach Robby Priest and West Bladen coach Todd Pait could be candidates for the honor.
Through 1 p.m. on Oct. 3, the wireless carrier is encouraging the community to nominate a current high-school football head coach by visiting TheMostValuableCoach.com and sharing their story about why the coach is “most valuable.” At the end of the program, two coaches will be recognized on the field at the Under Armour High School All-America Game on Jan. 1 and receive $5,000 each for their school.
Smaller monetary awards will also be given.
“At U.S. Cellular, we are inspired by coaches in the greater Wilmington area community, and we look forward to hearing their motivating stories and recognizing the important work they do on and off the field,” said Jeremy Taylor, director of sales at U.S. Cellular. “We know that high school football coaches can be leaders in their communities, and we want to celebrate the impact these coaches have on their players, other students and the greater Wilmington area as a whole.”
To launch the program, U.S. Cellular reunited College Football Hall of Fame Coach Barry Alvarez with members of his 1978 Mason City High School football team, who he coached to the Class 4-A Iowa state title. In a video, hosted on TheMostValuableCoach.com, the team shares how Alvarez and other coaches have had an impact on their lives and the community in Mason City.
“As a coach, I have always felt it was part of my job to inspire my players both on and off the field,” said Alvarez. “The coach’s role extends far beyond the sidelines, and through this program, U.S. Cellular is looking for the coaches who are helping to shape the future members of our communities by acting as teachers, friends and mentors to high school students.”
Once a coach is nominated, U.S. Cellular will evaluate each nominee based on leadership qualities and the positive impact they have had on their community. The top 50 coaches will be announced on Oct. 4.
Public voting then begins at TheMostValuableCoach.com and runs through 1 p.m. on Oct. 17, when the top 15 vote-getters advance as the Final 15. Each of the Final 15 coaches will receive $1,000 from U.S. Cellular for their school to use however they choose. The company will also host a celebratory event to honor each coach and create a short video detailing the coach’s story and impact on their players, school and the community.
The two winning coaches will be determined by a public vote taking place Oct. 20 through Nov. 18 and will be announced as a U.S. Cellular Most Valuable Coach on Nov. 21. The winning coaches and their guests will receive a trip to Orlando, Fla., and be recognized live on the Citrus Bowl’s field during the nationally-televised Under Armour High School All-America Game on Jan. 1 on ESPN.
For information and to view the official program rules, please visit TheMostValuableCoach.com.