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Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

North Gwinnett's Stewart is one of 32 finalists for NFL high school coach of year

Bill Stewart, who led North Gwinnett to its first state championship in football this past season, is a finalist for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award.

The 32 finalists, chosen by each NFL team, will be recognized at various events during Pro Bowl week in Orlando later this month. Stewart, selected as the Atlanta Falcons’ nominee, can participate in a coaches’ clinic and attend Pro Bowl practices and the USA Football National Conference.

Two finalists each will receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, with $10,000 going to their high school’s football program.

The Don Shula Award winner will be announced during the third quarter of the Pro Bowl, which airs Jan. 28 on ESPN. The nominees are chose based on their program’s football success but also on character and integrity, leadership and dedication to the community and commitment to player health and safety.

Stewart is the AJC’s Class AAAAAAA coach of the year. North Gwinnett, in Stewart’s first season as head coach, defeated Colquitt County 19-17 on a last-play field goal in the championship game Dec. 15.

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