Harford Tech football coach Tim Palmer has been nominated for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award.
Palmer was nominated by the Ravens after being named Ravens High School Coach of the Year for turning around the Cobras program in his first season as head coach. He was one of 33 coaches nominated Thursday by NFL teams for the award.
The NFL Foundation will present $15,000 to two finalists, including $10,000 for their high schools’ football programs. The winner will be honored during NFL Honors, a two-hour awards show broadcast the night before the Super Bowl, Feb. 3 on NBC.
Palmer was also named The Baltimore Sun’s Coach of the Year for leading Harford Tech to the best season in program history. The Cobras had never won more than six games in a season before finishing 12-1 with The Sun’s No. 13 ranking in 2017. They not only qualified for the playoffs for the first time, but they reached the state semifinals.
Under Palmer, who had coached the Harford Tech junior varsity team before moving to Joppatowne as an assistant coach for two years, the Cobras started their season 12-0 and captured their first Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference Susquehanna Division championship and their first Class 2A East title.
A sergeant with the Baltimore City Police Department, Palmer works the night shift to be able to coach Harford Tech.
Palmer will be recognized with the other nominees during Pro Bowl week in Orlando, Fla. He will attend Pro Bowl practices, take part in a coaches’ clinic and attend the USA Football National Conference.
Among those on the panel to select the Coach of the Year: former Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history; Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker; former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy; former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning; former New England Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest; executive director of USA Football Scott Hallenbeck; former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan; and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
"High school football coaches serve as role models for young athletes and their impact goes well beyond the playing field," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "We are proud to honor this year's nominees who embody the character, integrity and spirit of Coach Shula. Their commitment to improving the lives of students and developing young men of character is commendable."