Eagles nominate Matta for NFL HS coach of the year

Michael Matta

Michael Matta, head coach of the Downingtown High School East varsity football team, has been selected as the Philadelphia Eagles nominee for the 2017 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award. Representing the best at the high school level, Matta was nominated for the national award, named for the winningest coach in NFL history, for his character and integrity, leadership and dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety, and on-field success.

Under Matta’s direction in 2017, Downingtown East finished with a 10-2 mark and earned a berth in the district playoffs.

Coach Matta has been credited for not only establishing the football program at Downingtown East in 2003, but building a perennial powerhouse in the Greater Philadelphia region. Over the past 15 years, Matta has led the Cougars to six conference championships, 13 district playoff appearances and 125 wins. He has been recognized as a six-time league coach of the year, a four-time county coach of the year, district coach of the year and most recently, the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles High School Showdown Coach of the Year, presented by the Rothman Institute at Jefferson.

“For nearly two decades, Michael Matta has demonstrated leadership, integrity and a staunch commitment to the Downingtown High School East football program,” said Julie Hirshey, Director of Community Relations, Philadelphia Eagles. “Not only is coach Matta a role model to his players on the field, but his devoted work as a school counselor continues to enrich the lives of his students, while fully preparing them for the road ahead. We are proud to nominate him for this distinguished honor.”

Off the field, coach Matta works closely with the school’s “Best Buddies” chapter, an organization that sets out to enhance the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Adding to those efforts, he is also deeply invested in the Chester County Valor Bowl which has raised more than $450,000 for the county’s Special Olympics program.

Coach Matta is one of 32 nominees representing each NFL club that will participate in the NFL’s week-long celebration of football at the 2018 Pro Bowl in Orlando, FL. He will visit Pro Bowl practices, attend the USA Football National Conference and participate in a special coaches’ clinic.

Two finalists will each receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to his high school’s football program. The Shula Award winner will be announced during the 2018 Pro Bowl, airing Sunday, Jan. 28 at 3:00 PM ET on ESPN and simulcast on ABC. The winner will be recognized and walk the red carpet at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special airing nationally on NBC on Saturday, Feb. 3, the night before Super Bowl LII.

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