Belfry Coach Named USA TODAY Best High School Football Coach

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

BELFRY, Ky. (WASZ) -- A Pike County , Ky football coach has been voted the USA TODAY High School Sports' first-ever Best High School Football Coach.

Belfry High School Football Coach Philip Haywood won the top stop out of 408 candidates across the country.

Coach Haywood received more than two million votes in the contest.

"We have a team saying and this fits in with it well," Haywood said. "We tell our team, 'It's not about me, it's not about you, it's about us.' I think that is what our community feels about the football program and that is what this is about."

The Belfry athletic department will receive $2,000 for Haywood's victory and a banner for the school.

"We've been hit hard in recent years," Haywood said. "Something like this, as a community, it gives you a little perk. The whole community felt like this could be a ray of sunshine in tough times."

Haywood has been coaching at Belfry for 29 years, after spending nine years as the head coach in his hometown of Prestonsburg, Ky. His overall career record is 371-125, with two state titles in six trips to the championship game.

USA TODAY staffers selected eight active head football coaches in each state and Washington, D.C. after more than a month of conversations with local media and other state/school officials with high school football expertise. From there, the fans decided which coach emerged from a list of 408.

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