Longtime Highland Park football coach Randy Allen earned some deserved recognition on Sunday, when he was honored with the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award.
Allen, who led the Scots to the Class 5A Division I state championship in December, was nominated for the award by the Dallas Cowboys. Of course, HP quarterback John Stephen Jones is the grandson of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who watched several of the team’s games in person this season.
The perks are pretty cool. Allen appeared on the ESPN broadcast of the Pro Bowl on Sunday from Orlando, Fla., and will be a guest of the NFL during Super Bowl LI in Houston next weekend. He’ll even walk the red carpet the night before the game at the NFL Honors event.
The award also carries a cash prize of $25,000 from the NFL Foundation, of which $15,000 will be donated directly to the school’s football program.
In terms of career victories, Allen is one of the leading active coaches in the state, and he has won two state championships since coming to HP in 1999. He was chosen for the Shula award from 32 nominees — one from each NFL team.
“Randy is someone that I respect and admire greatly. He is a man who understands the fundamental responsibility of being a high school football coach — and that is to build character and shape young lives,” Jerry Jones said in a press release. “He teaches integrity and life lessons as well as he does the X’s and O’s, and he is very successful builder of character.”