FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Hilton Head Island football coach nominated
for national honor by NFL’s Carolina Panthers
CHARLOTTE – The Carolina Panthers have nominated Hilton Head Island High School’s BJ Payne as the team’s nominee for the 2016 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award.
The annual award honors a high school football coach who displays the integrity, achievement, and leadership exemplified by Don Shula, who concluded his 36-year NFL coaching career as the league’s all-time winningest coach.
Payne is in his fifth season as head football coach for the Seahawks and was named South Carolina 2015 3A Lower State Coach of the Year. He has compiled a career mark of 34-22 while taking the Seahawks to five straight playoff appearances. During his tenure, he has increased student-athlete participation in the football program while establishing a dozen new team statistical records. The Carolina Panthers said that his guidance and motivation has led to new levels of success in the football team’s classroom performance through academic support programs.
Payne provides similar leadership for the Hilton head community. Through his efforts, the Panthers said, Seahawk players are engaged throughout Hilton Head’s youth football organizations, while Payne provides annual youth football coaching clinics and summer football camps. He undertakes an annual effort to raise funds for breast cancer research. Recently, Payne was a galvanizing community leader in the wake of Hurricane Matthew and helped lead efforts that reestablished homes for fifty island families, as well as coordinated a donation relief campaign.
“The Carolina Panthers are pleased to nominate BJ Payne for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award,” said Panthers director of community relations Riley Fields. “Coach Payne is a strong model of how a football coach can dynamically impact his school and community. His exemplary leadership is a benefit to both his student-athletes and our region.”
The 2016 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award winner will be recognized in Houston during the NFL Honors program, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 4, the night before Super Bowl LI, from 8-10 p.m. (ET and PT) on FOX. The winner will receive $25,000 from the NFL Foundation, which includes a $10,000 donation to their high school football program.