Tompkins High School, Todd McVey, Falcons, NFL, High School Coach of the Year, Don Shula award, Katy ISD

Tompkins’ McVey honored as NFL’s H.S. Coach of the Year nominee

By DENNIS SILVA II, Times Sports Editor
Posted 1/16/20

When he was eight years old, Todd McVey was handed a flyer. It had the Miami Dolphins on it.

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Tompkins High School, Todd McVey, Falcons, NFL, High School Coach of the Year, Don Shula award, Katy ISD

Tompkins’ McVey honored as NFL’s H.S. Coach of the Year nominee

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When he was eight years old, Todd McVey was handed a flyer. It had the Miami Dolphins on it.

“And that’s who I started following pro football with,” McVey said.

McVey, a quarterback growing up, idolized Dan Marino. Then-Dolphins coach Don Shula, he said, “was way ahead of his time. A great coach.”

So when McVey, now the head football coach at Tompkins High, learned he was the Houston Texans’ nominee for the 2019 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award, he was humbled. And a bit amused.

“It’s kind of coming full circle, from an 8-year-old to now, and the guy it’s named after is Don Shula,” McVey said. “How cool is that?”

McVey is one of 32 nominees for the award after leading the Falcons to a program-best 11-2 season in 2019. He is one of two nominees from Texas. The Dallas Cowboys nominated John Paul II’s George Teague.

Coaches were recognized by their local NFL team for the award, which is named after the winningest coach in NFL history. It is based on the coach’s character, integrity, leadership, dedication to the community, commitment to player protection and on-field success.

The award winner will be announced during the 2020 Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m. on ESPN and ABC.

“I was very humbled,” McVey said. “What a great honor to represent the Houston area and for Tompkins. This is really ‘Staff of the Year.’ It’s a lot of people doing a lot of work. It’s a proud moment for the school.”

All award nominees will attend the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Fla. and be recognized during the NFL’s week-long celebration.

Coaches will have VIP access and accommodations at events, including Pro Bowl practices and the Play Football High School Skills Showdown. They will also have a chance to interact with members of the NFL.

Two finalists will each receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to their respective football program. They will also attend Super Bowl LIV in Miami as guests of the NFL.

“I’m excited about it. You get to be around football,” McVey said. “I might be able to steal some nugget from listening to somebody or I might see a drill I like. But I’m just going to absorb and enjoy it.

“I do the second-best thing I get to enjoy in the world, and that’s coach. I wanted to play pro football, but I’m not 6-7 with ‘Elway’ or ‘Marino’ on my back, so it kind of didn’t work out. For me, it’s going to be like a kid in a candy store.”

McVey is beloved by his players.

“Coach McVey is the type of coach that everyone wants as their coach,” senior offensive lineman Hayden Burke said. “Throughout my time with him, he was the hard-nosed coach who made sure he got what he wanted out of the program, but also he’s that coach that is loving and caring. His passion for the players is immense. I remember him telling us when he got hired, that he did it because he loves being around us, the players. The way he cares for the players makes you want to play for him, because you know you have someone who truly wants the best for you.”

McVey has Tompkins on a fast rise. In his first season at the helm, the Falcons went 0-9. Then they went 10-3 in 2018, recording the biggest turnaround in Texas high school football that season, and bested that record in 2019.

“Every day, he has a new story he heard about or a few quotes from books that he reads. At all times, he’s got a lesson to give to me,” junior defensive back Colby Huerter said. “He’s an amazing coach, but an amazing teacher, too.”

The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year winner is selected by a panel of eight distinguished individuals:

>> Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker.

>> Former Dallas Cowboys Personnel Director and NFL.com contributor Gil Brandt.

>> Super Bowl XLIV winner and NFL Legends Youth Advisory Committee Member Mark Brunell.

>> Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy.

>> Executive Director of USA Football Scott Hallenbeck.

>> Three-time Super Bowl champion and NFL Legends Youth Advisory Committee member Willie McGinest.

>> Two-time AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year, current head coach at the Sayre School (Lexington, Kentucky) and NFL Legends Youth Advisory Committee member Chad Pennington.

>> Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula.

“I’m proud of the coaches’ and kids’ buy-in and work ethic,” McVey said. “Like we say here, ‘Chop wood, carry water.’ They’ve bought in. Even that first group in 2017 bought in. Just the work … every program works hard, but we work extremely hard. This is a staff and player award. I just get to be the one going.

“More than anything, I hope what the kids get out of Tompkins football is where and what they are 10 years from now. We’re very blessed. We want them to continue paying things forward.”

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