NFF and Nine State HS Coaches Associations Partner to Establish National High School Academic Excellence Award

Award aims to inspire culture of academic excellence on high school football teams nationwide.
IRVING, Texas (Feb. 4, 2021) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame in partnership with state high coaches associations from nine states, with Nebraska and Texas leading the initial effort, announced plans today for the creation of the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award, the first nationwide recognition honoring individual high school football teams for excellence in the classroom.
“Academic and athletic success go hand-in-hand, and we are proud to partner with the high school coaches associations on this award” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “By honoring team achievement in the classroom, we hope to provide high school coaches nationwide a powerful new tool for instilling a culture on their teams that recognizes the chance of winning on the field significantly increases when student-athletes also excel in the classroom. We hope by inspiring teams to compete in the classroom with the same competitive spirit that it takes to win on the field we will better prepare high school football players for success later in life.”
Launching in the fall for the 2021 season, the award currently has nine high school coaches associations from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oregon, Mississippi and Texas partnering with the NFF, and the expectation is for coaches associations from the rest of the country to also participate. The initiative will recognize team winners from each state as well as one overall national winner.
“We are excited to promote this award to all the high school football teams in the state of Texas,” said Joe Martin, the Executive Director of the Texas High School Coaches Association. “We are also happy to join with other high school coaches’ organizations across the nation in one cohesive collaboration to recognize high school football teams for excellence in the classroom. Academic success is as important as athletic success, as it can take student-athletes to the next step in their lives and on the paths to being successful citizens. This is a team-oriented award that promotes team-building traits, and we are proud to encourage participation in this award to all Texas teams.”
“The Nebraska Coaches Association (NCA) is proud to partner with the National Football Foundation to recognize team distinction in the classroom,” said Darin Boysen, the Executive Director of the NCA. “Football is an integral part of education-based athletics across America. The NCA looks forward to partnering with the NFF to showcase team excellence beyond ‘Friday Night Lights’ through the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award.”
The NFF and the nine associations are currently compiling feedback from high school principals, administrators and guidance counselors to streamline and finalize the nomination and selection process.
About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Future For Football, The William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Presented by Fidelity Investments and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Goodyear, Jostens, Mazda, the New York Athletic Club, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the Sports Business Journal. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NFFNetwork and learn more at
The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
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• 768 Colleges & Universities • Over 81,000 College Football Players
• 15,810 High Schools • Over 1.04 Million High School Football Players

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