Tim Palmer was named the Ravens High School Coach of the Year on Saturday after leading Harford Tech to its best season in program history and an appearance in the state semifinals.
The Cobras had never won more than six games in a season, but under their first-year coach, they finished 12-1 with the No. 13 ranking in The Baltimore Sun. Harford Tech opened the season with 12 straight wins and captured its first Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference Susquehanna Division championship and its first Class 2A East title.
Palmer, The Baltimore Sun’s All-Metro Coach of the Year, had coached the Cobras’ junior varsity team before spending two years as Joppatowne’s offensive coordinator. Although he had a young team this fall, he also had about a dozen seniors who played for him their freshman year and he said they understood his coaching style and helped the rest of the team buy into his philosophy of accountability, responsibility and discipline. Harford Tech outscored its regular-season competition by an average of 36 points.
The Cobras, who had never been to the playoffs before, won the East title with a 22-21 win over Kent Island in their closest game of the season. They trailed 21-9 at the half before rallying to victory. In the state semifinal, they stuck with Gwynn Park until the Yellow Jackets scored a late touchdown to win, 16-9.
As Coach of the Year, Palmer wins a $2,000 donation to Harford Tech’s athletics program, as well as trip to the NFL Pro Bowl on Jan. 28 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.
Other finalists for the award, which was presented during the second half of the Ravens-Colts game: Vince Ahearn, Tuscarora; Albert Jones, Meade; Ryan Pittillo, Towson; Brian Van Deusen, River Hill; Biff Poggi and Henry Russell, St. Frances; Reggie White, Milford Mill; Josh Rutter, Francis Scott Key; Lawrence Smith, Dunbar; and Tim Holley, Gilman.