NEWBERRY — Newberry High’s head football coach Phil Strickland is in the running for the title of best high school football coach in the country.
Strickland is up against seven other coaches across the state in a contest sponsored by USA Today High School Sports. The contest opened Sept. 30.
The staff chose eight active head football coaches in each state after more than a month of conversation with local media and other state and school officials with high school football expertise. From that point, the fans decided which coach is the best from a list of 408.
Voters must visit the following link to the contest at http://contest.usatodayhss.com/vote/bestcoach2013/sc and scroll down until they see Strickland’s name.
The first round of voting — the state round — began noon Sept. 30 and ends at noon Oct. 8. The 51 winners — all states plus Washington, D.C. — advance to the regional round where they will be divided among eight regions of six or seven coaches a piece.
The regional round begins at noon Oct. 9 and ends at noon Oct. 18. The eight regional coaches then move onto the national round which starts at noon Oct. 21 and ends at noon Oct. 29.
The athletic department of the winning coach receives $2,000. The second through fifth places receive cash prizes for the athletic departments as well. Second place receives $1,000, third place receives $500, fourth place receives $250 and fifth place receives $100. All eight finalists receive banners for their schools.
Strickland has won five state titles (three at 4A) and placed second three times in 2A. Over 26 years, he has posted a 268-83 record.