As the NFL playoff season unfolds and players use skills they learned on the high school football field, more than 75 players recognized the coaches who helped shape them during their teenage years by nominating them for the 2009 NFL High School Football Coach of the Year Award. Created in 1995, the award honor coaches who profoundly impacted the athletic and personal development of NFL players.
Winston Justice of the Philadelphia Eagles nominated Coach Raul Lara of Long Beach Polytechnic High School. Justice remarked "[He] was a good example on and off the field and expected the same from his players." Justice’s Philadelphia Eagles teammate DeSean Jackson is also a graduate of Coach Lara’s football program.