2003 Riddell Footwear Coach of the Year


Coaching Awards
The Riddell Footwear High School All-America Football Team consists of the best football players in the entire country. Additionally, the team will bestow seven special coaching awards - one to the national high school coach of the year and six more to regional coaches of the year throughout the country. Here are the winners for national and regional coaches of the year.

Riddell Footwear National Coach of the Year

Bill Dee
Hampton (Va.) Phoebus HS

In his 18 years as head coach of the Phantoms, Dee knows if he can compete with his neighbors, he’s got a good shot a winning a championship.

Dee owns a 189-49-1 record in 22 years overall as a head coach.

“I’ve always said the hardest part here is getting out of our region,” Dee said of the talent-rich area in eastern Virginia. “We’ve always had an outstanding program, but this group of kids was the best among some incredible teams in our region and finally put us over the top.”

Phoebus, which won its first state title in 2001, now has back-to-back Class 3A-Division 5 crowns and a 26-game winning streak. The Phantoms downed Stafford 39-13 in the championship game.

“This group of kids who just went out as seniors had a 43-5 record,” he said. “For the type of competition they played, that’s just incredible. We’re really going to miss their senior leadership, kids like Xavier Adibi and Phillip Brown who played banged up and fought through some injuries. It was a tough, single-minded group of kids.”

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Regional Winners

| South | Southwest | Atlantic | East | Midwest | West |

South Region

Cecil Flowe
Lilburn (GA) Parkview HS

Winning one Class 5A state championship in the Peach State is hard enough, but Flowe’s Panthers have captured three consecutive titles and now own the state’s all-time win streak at 45 after defeating Brookwood 28-7 in this year’s final.

“Being undefeated in a three-year span is unheard of in Georgia,” said Flowe, who has a 118-18 record in 10 years as the Parkview coach. “I’m just really humbled by the whole thing. So many great coaches in our state never get the opportunity to even play for a championship. I’ve just been blessed with some great kids. They’re the ones who make it happen. Their work ethic and that of our assistant coaches and parents and whole support staff deserve a lot of the credit.”

Parkview’s run has been powered by perhaps the best offensive line in the nation, anchored by guard Zeb McKinzey (the Atlanta Journal-Constitution state Player of the Year) and tackles Brandon Pilgrim and David Overmyer. All three will be signing with major college programs.


Southwest Region

Todd Dodge
Southlake (TX) Carroll HS

Under Dodge’s direction, the Dragons have been knocking on the door of a state championship for the last two years. They broke through this season, rolling past Smithson Valley 45-14 in the Class 5A-Division II title game.

Southlake Carroll became the first team in the Lone Star State to ever win a championship in the first year after moving up in classification.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling and matter of pride for everyone in our program,” said Dodge, who was in his 17 season overall and third at Southlake Carroll. “We just got our (championship) rings in, and we’re having a chance to reflect on everything we accomplished. I think this team will go down as one of the great 5A team of all-time.”

The Dragons (16-0) were the second-highest scoring team in Texas history, racking up 775 total points while averaging 45 points and 460 yards of total offense per game.


Atlantic Region

Greg Toal
Ramsey (NJ) Don Bosco Prep

The Ironmen, who captured state championships in 1983-84-90, returned to glory this season by defeated Bergen Catholic 26-7 in the Parochial Group 4 title game.

It marked Toal’s eighth championship as a head coach but first at Don Bosco. He also led River Dell to a pair of titles and Hackensack to five straight from 1992-96.

Led by equally potent units on both sides of the ball, Don Bosco was rarely threatened on its way to a 12-0 campaign. Ironman quarterback Mike Teel carved up opposing defenses for more than 2,100 yards and 28 scores through the air, and the stingy defense, spearheaded by first-team all-staters Brian Toal and Marquise Liverpool, allowed only four touchdowns the entire season.

“They’re as good as any team I’ve ever had,” Toal told The Star-Ledger.

East Region

Bill Dee
Hampton (VA) Phoebus HS

In his 18 years as head coach of the Phantoms, Dee knows if he can compete with his neighbors, he’s got a good shot a winning a championship.

“I’ve always said the hardest part here is getting out of our region,” Dee said of the talent-rich area in eastern Virginia. “We’ve always had an outstanding program, but this group of kids was the best among some incredible teams in our region and finally put us over the top.”

Phoebus, which won its first state title in 2001, now has back-to-back Class 3A-Division 5 crowns and a 26-game winning streak. The Phantoms downed Stafford 39-13 in the championship game.

“This group of kids who just went out as seniors had a 43-5 record,” he said. “For the type of competition they played, that’s just incredible. We’re really going to miss their senior leadership, kids like Xavier Adibi and Phillip Brown who played banged up and fought through some injuries. It was a tough, single-minded group of kids.”

Dee owns a 189-49-1 record in 22 years overall as a head coach.


Midwest Region

Matt Senffner
New Lennox (IL) Providence Catholic HS

The Celtics added to their remarkable tradition with their eighth state championship under Senffner since 1987. After winning the Class 5A title in 2001, they moved up to dominate 6A this year with a second straight 14-0 campaign.

“We only had four starters back from last year’s team, so we started the year cautiously optimistic,” said Senffner, who has been at Providence since 1966 and owns a 273-105-1 mark in 35 years as the head coach. “We don’t use the word ‘rebuilding’ around here. I think that kind of plants the wrong message in the kids’ heads when you start the season, so we told everyone we were ‘cautiously optimistic’ and just went about working hard and improving each game.”

Providence featured one of the best defensive units in Illinois. Opponents scored only 56 points in 14 games, and the starting unit allowed only three touchdowns and a field goal during the course of the season.

“I believe in the old adage,” Senffner said. “Offense wins games, but defense wins championships. We always hang our hat on defense and try to set the table for the offense.”


West Region

Andy Lowry
Littleton (CO) Columbine HS

Fewer high school programs across the country have been able to put together an emotional run quite like Columbine.

In the four years since the school shooting tragedy which shocked the nation and left an entire community grieving, the Rebels have rallied around team unity and this season captured their third Class 5A championship in four years by defeating Fairview 38-10 in the title game.

“It’s been a big motivating factor,” said Lowry, who has coached nine years at Columbine. “Football is the ultimate team sport, an emotional sport, and the passion here has been extremely high ever since the tragedy. None of the kids on this team were in the building that day, but they all know someone who was. It’s a driving force connecting all of them.”

The Rebels (14-0) averaged 38 points per game – led by an offensive line that helped paved the way for a trio of 1,000-yard runners – and gained over 5,500 yards rushing. That marked the second highest figure in Colorado history and the eighth highest nationally.




 

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