NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award
2022-23 State Winners
(Name preceded by class/division/level within each state)

Delaware
1A – Charter School of Wilmington
3A – Middletown St. Georges Technical High School

Florida
4M – Tampa Plant High School

Illinois
1A – Forreston High School
3A – Robinson High School
4A – Geneseo High School
7A – Yorkville High School
8A – Lincolnshire Adlai E. Stevenson High School

Indiana
1A – Indianapolis Lutheran High School
2A – Evansville Mater Dei High School
3A – West Lafayette High School
4A – Columbia City High School
5A – Whiteland High School
6A – Indianapolis Cathedral High School

Iowa
A – Grundy Center High School

Louisiana
1A – Monroe Ouachita Christian High School
3A – Iowa High School
4A – Lafayette St. Thomas More Catholic High School
5A – New Orleans Brother Martin High School
5A – Geismar Dutchtown High School
5A – Benton High School

Michigan
1 – Brighton High School
6 – Clinton High School
8 – Marine City Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School
8 Man (Div. 1) – Adrian Lenawee Christian High School

Minnesota
1A – Parkers Prairie High School
2A – St. Clair/Mankato Loyola High School
3A – East Grand Forks High School
4A – Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School
5A – Mahtomedi High School
6A – Farmington High School
9 Man – Kittson County Central High School

Nebraska
A – Kearney High School
B – Elkhorn Mount Michael Benedictine High School
C1 – Minden High School
C2 – Malcolm High School
D1 – Hemingford High School
D2 – Elgin High School-Pope John Central Catholic High School (Coop)
D6 – Hampton High School

Oregon
1A – St. Paul High School
2A – Oakland High School
3A – Warrenton High School
4A – Slayton High School
5A – Bend Summit High School
6A – Portland Jesuit High School

Texas
1A – Chester High School
2A – Tioga High School
3A – Spearman High School
4A – Boerne High School
5A – Lake Belton High School
6A – Tomball High School
Private – Houston St. Thomas Catholic High School

Wisconsin
1 – Appleton North High School
2 – Lake Geneva Badger High School
3 – Monroe High School
4 – Madison Edgewood High School
5 – Stratford High School
6 – Cuba City High School
7 – Eau Claire Regis High School
8 Man – Wabeno/Laona High School

“Academic and athletic success go hand-in-hand,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “We are proud to recognize these 60 outstanding high school football teams as the top academic performers in their states. These schools, coaches, players and their families should all be incredibly pleased with their accomplishments, and we look forward to announcing the overall winner of the Hatchell Cup on February 8. We hope by inspiring teams to compete in the classroom with the same competitive spirit that it takes to win on the field, we will better prepare high school football players for success later in life.”

The NFF announced the creation of the award in February 2021. One-year later, Cypress Woods High School (TX), led by Head Coach Cody Simper, claimed the inaugural Hatchell Cup. This season marks the second season the awards are being presented. The initiative is designed to inspire and foster a culture of academic excellence on high school football teams throughout the nation.

Eligibility requirements for the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Awards include:

  • A minimum cumulative team GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Superior academic application and performance.
  • Successful football season.

The 60 winners from each division of play were selected by the individual states’ high school coaches associations from a pool of nominees submitted by each school’s head coach. A selection committee, compiled and led by the NFF, will be responsible for choosing one school as the recipient of the Hatchell Cup as the best team in the nation.

The NFF Hatchell Cup is named in honor of NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. Since taking over the helm of the NFF in 2005, Hatchell has overseen numerous programs expanding the NFF’s reach and impact as it continues to promote the scholar-athlete ideal. His career in athletics administration spans more than five decades and includes countless accomplishments, including serving as the first commissioner of the Big 12 Conference and holding the top jobs at the Southwest Conference and the Orange Bowl.

This past December, “The Original” Bob’s Steak & Chop House became the presenting sponsor of the Hatchell Cup. Since its 1993 opening in Dallas, Texas, Bob’s Steak & Chop House has proudly offered the best cuts of meat available to guests, making the name “Bob’s” synonymous with a best-in-class steakhouse experience. Over the years, the restaurant has built upon the reputation that it earned at the original Dallas location by opening restaurants across the nation, providing guests a first-class experience no matter where they call home.

State High School Coaches Associations Quotes

Delaware Interscholastic Football Coaches Association President John Wilson
“NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award is important for recognizing those schools who not only perform well on the field but also achieve academic success in the classroom. It’s a great way to emphasize the importance of education-based athletics.”

Florida Athletic Coaches Association Executive Director Shelton Crews
“We are extremely proud to partner with the National Football Foundation in awarding the Academic Excellence Award in the state of Florida. Plant High School in Tampa, has a long tradition of excellence in their Academic and Athletic programs. They are very deserving and we wish to congratulate them for this outstanding accomplishment.”

Indiana Football Coaches Association Executive Director Bob Gaddis
“NFF National High School Academic Excellence Awards are a tremendous way for outstanding football programs around the USA to recognize the accomplishments of the student athletes in the classroom. The state of Indiana is excited to participate in recognizing our national finalist and state champions. We applaud their work and appreciate the NFF making this an annual award. We honor our team’s coaches at our state convention.”

Iowa Football Coaches Association President Paul Patterson
“The IFCA is excited to be involved with the NFF and the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Awards each year as an opportunity to celebrate our school’s success in the classroom. As high school coaches, we stress the importance of maintaining high standards in the classroom and appreciate the recognition of a job well done. We are thankful for the partnership the IFCA and the NFF have in celebrating our coaches and players here in Iowa.”

Michigan HS Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) Region 14 Director Al Boydston
“For more than two decades the MHSFCA has rewarded teams and athletes for their achievements off the field as well as those on the field. Being part of the NFF’s Academic Excellence Awards program has given us another great way to recognize schools and coaches for their emphasis on the high school student-athlete.”

Nebraska Coaches Association Executive Director Darin Boysen
“We appreciate the National Football Foundation’s efforts in helping recognize high school student-athletes that are excelling on the football field and within the classroom. Our youth are being pulled in many directions today, but the teams being recognized with the NFF Academic Excellence Award are clearly surrounded by talented coaches and educators who bring out their best. Communities and schools across America should celebrate the cumulative team dedication being recognized through this award.”

Oregon Athletic Coaches Association Executive Director Rob Younger
“The NFF National High School Academic Excellence Awards have become one of the most prestigious recognitions that we give at our Annual Awards Banquet. This award recognizes the ‘Best of the Best’ football programs in our state. The recognition is a great way to promote the great game of football, and it provides a great showcase of our schools and communities by honoring the players and coaches for their work on the field and in the classroom.”

Texas High School Coaches Association Executive Director Joe Martin
“Texas is excited to again partner with the National Football Foundation in an effort to recognize team academic excellence. This unique, national award recognizes High School Football teams that have excelled in academics during this football season. Not only does the game of football teach life lessons, but the teams receiving this award are proving they can compete in the classroom as well as on the gridiron.”

Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Executive Director Dan Brunner
“We are extremely proud to participate in this award. We salute the National Football Foundation for recognizing the importance of Academic Achievement by sponsoring the Academic Excellence Awards.”

For more information on the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award or to learn how your state high school coaches association can participate next season, please contact the NFF at [email protected].