HARRISBURG – Through a COVID crisis and a conference-only schedule that featured games in the spring, Hickory Ridge football coach Jupiter Wilson had a pretty impressive 2021 season.
Putting together a pair of winning streaks, Wilson led the Ragin’ Bulls to a playoff appearance for the second-year in a row this past season.
On Wednesday, Wilson was rewarded for his efforts by being selected by the Carolina Panthers as one of 32 nominees for the 2021 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award.
According to the NFL communications department, coaches across the country were recognized by their local NFL teams for the prestigious award – named after the late Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history – “for the exemplary mentorship they have provided to student-athletes.”
Two finalists will be selected, and a winner will be announced this summer. Nike, a presenting partner, and the NFL Foundation will award $12,500 to the Don Shula Award winner, while the winning coach’s high school football program will be awarded $17,500.
The second finalist will receive $7,500, while the associated high school football program will be awarded $12,500. In addition, the other 30 finalists will receive $1,000 each.
Last season, Hickory Ridge finished with a 5-3 record this past season, including a 5-2 mark in the Southwestern 4A Conference.