Eden Prairie head football coach Mike Grant was named the Don Shula NFL National High School Coach of the Year Friday morning in New York City.
Sid Hartman reported the NFL flew Grant to New York City for the Super Bowl. In addition to the award, Grant will receive $10,000 and Eden Prairie High School will receive $15,000. Grant has guided the Eagles to nine state championships, including three consecutive in Minnesota's largest class.
He was nominated for the award by the Minnesota Vikings. The 56-year-old was named one of three finalists for the award, which honors "exemplary high school football coaches who demonstrate a commitment to player health and safety, and to the integrity, achievement, and leadership exemplified by the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula," according to NFL Communications.
After being nominated, Grant was asked to write about his responsibilities as a coach.
“You have to make great decisions. We talk about thoughtfully deciding who you are going to run with in your group of friends. What is your story going to be when you are done here? Will people think of you as an outstanding person or as someone who never achieved what they could have? We provide support through our school and coaches for kids struggling with family issues and let them know that they have a family here with our football team that will have their back!”
Grant's father, Bud Grant, led the Vikings to four Super Bowl appearances during his 18-year career as Minnesota's head coach. He compiled a lifetime record of 158-96-5.
“The Vikings have enjoyed a strong connection to the Grant family over several decades,” said Vikings Owner and President Mark Wilf in a statement. “Like his father Bud, Mike has been an outstanding representative of the state of Minnesota. His advocacy for the Vikings youth football efforts is appreciated and we are extremely proud of Mike’s well-deserved accomplishment.”