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

Tom Knotts
Charlotte (NC) Independence HS

Skeptics found out that there was a lot more to Independence's streak of three NCHSAA championships than All America quarterback and now Florida Gator starter Chris Leak. In 2003, Head Coach Tom Knotts led his Patriots to a record fourth-straight 4AA state championship with a 54-7 victory over New Bern. The win gave Independence a state record 62-straight victory. That active win-streak is second only to De La Salle's 151 games.

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Regional Winners

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

South Region

Tom Knotts
Charlotte (NC) Independence HS

Skeptics found out that there was a lot more to Independence's streak of three NCHSAA championships than All America quarterback and now Florida Gator starter Chris Leak. In 2003, Head Coach Tom Knotts led his Patriots to a record fourth-straight 4AA state championship with a 54-7 victory over New Bern. The win gave Independence a state record 62-straight victory. That active win-streak is second only to De La Salle's 151 games.


Southwest Region

Mike Papas
Fort Worth (TX) North Crowley HS

The title for the amazing run by North Crowley High School and Head Coach Mike Papas in 2003 could of easily been Against All Odds. Entering the season, the Panthers needed to replace several starters lost to graduation. On top of that, North Crowley started off the 2003 season with a less than impressive 1-4 start. After a heart to heart talk with his team, Papas and the Panthers went on a nine game win streak culminating with a 20-6 victory over Bay City for the Class 4A Division 1 state title. Before 2003, the Panthers had never made a playoff appearance in school history. On road to the title, North Crowley upset several of the State's top ranked teams in Class 4A Division 1, including the defending state champs Texarkana Texas High, 17-13 in the semifinal round.


Atlantic Region

John DiBiaso Jr
Everett (MA) Everett HS

Head Coach John DiBiaso led his team to its ninth straight Greater Boston League title, and state-record third straight Division 1 Super Bowl title by defeating Marshfield, 21-0. The team was led by two brothers who provided a solid rushing attack and stifling defense. Junior quarterback Matt Nuzzo led the way on offense with 188 rushing yards, while his brother Frank led the defense in tackles with nine. DiBiaso has coached Everett to four Division 1 title in five years. Everett has now won 25 straight games and did not trail in any game this year.

East Region

Doug Ramsey
Cincinnati (OH) Elder HS

By defeating Lakewood St. Edward 31-7, Elder became the first Cincinnati team to repeat as Ohio big-school champion since Moeller did it 23 years ago in 1979 and 1980. Coach Tom Ramsey's team is also one of just four other teams (Canton McKinley, Moeller and Cleveland St. Ignatius) to capture back-to-back big school titles. Ramsey's tightly-knit offense set an individual Division I state championship record for rushing as senior Bradley Glatthaar rushed for 252 yards. The previous mark was 196 yards by Mike Nicholson of Toledo St. Francis DeSales in 1984. The Panthers have now won 13 straight games, and are 28-0 against Ohio teams over the past two years.


Midwest Region

Karl Hoinkes
Oswego (IL) Oswego HS

Hoinkes is a 23 year veteran head coach, all at Oswego High School located 65 miles Southwest of downtown Chicago. Hoinkes has built a traditional power at Oswego, and his teams are run-oriented and are always physical. Despite being considered underdogs throughout the playoffs, Oswego defeated Libertyville 28-21 in OT to win the Class 7A state title in one of the most memorable state final games in Illinois playoff history. Oswego finished the season with a 13-1 record, while defeating three undefeated teams in the playoffs (East St Louis, Downers Grove North, Libertyville) in its last three games to win the school's second state title. Hoinkes' overall record now stand at 168-77 in 23 years at Oswego High School.


West Region

Steve Grady
Los Angeles (CA) Loyola HS

Head Coach Steve Grady could be considered without question the poster boy for the Loyola Cubs football program. Grady was a standout running back for Loyola during his prep football career, and in 1962 Grady led the state of California in both rushing yards (2,097 yards in 12 games) and scoring (35 touchdowns), and is considered one of the best players of all-time in the state of California. In 1976, Grady took over the coaching reins at Loyola and has since compiled an impressive 260-76-6 record, and in 2003 Grady led the Cubs to the CIF Southern Section Division I title with an 11-3 overall record. Grady has now won his second CIFSS division title (Grady's first title at Loyola was in 1990), considered by many to be one of the toughest playoff division in the state.




 

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