Walters' Griffin in running for U.S. Cellular Most Valuable Coac - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Walters' Griffin in running for U.S. Cellular Most Valuable Coach award

WALTERS, Okla (KSWO) - U.S. Cellular is on the hunt for the most valuable high school football coach in America. Among the 50 that were chosen was Walters Head Coach Faron Griffin. Over the last couple of weeks voters got the chance to narrow it down to 15, which will be announced on Thursday. Griffin is expected to be one of the finalists. He was 8th in the voting just hours before the deadline

“It's obviously an honor that people think that much of you. You know, kind of a pay off for a lot of hard work put in,” Griffin said.

Coach Griffin has coached the game of football for over 20 years, with the last four being in Walters as the Blue Devils’ head coach. He says coaching seemed to always be a calling in life for him.

“It just allows me to work with young people that face similar situations and help them through those times. And hopefully, they can go out into the world and makes something of themselves,” he said.

“We went from not winning a game for a long time, to the last three years making the playoffs. And the last two years, having a shot at winning district. I don't know of very many other coaches that can do that,” said Walters senior C.J. Gibbs.

In the classroom, Griffin's passion continues to be a force. He teaches History and Government at the high school, subjects that allow him to teach even greater lessons.

“I want to teach kids to get involved. No matter what their belief is, be passionate about it, and to stand up for what they believe in. Not just follow the crowd,” Griffin said.

“There is never a dull moment in his classroom,” said Walters High School Principal Laura Booher. “He uses a lot of different tools to teach them about the classroom. He's just a real, natural educator.”

Outside of school, Griffin's influence on the community shows on every Friday night when the Blue Devils step on the field.

“It's a community event when we have a game. And I think that part of it. He has jumped right in and been a part of the community. He's been a motivating force in the community,” Booher said.

“We've went through some adversity since I've been here. Losing one of our players. Having another player injured seriously. And then one this past summer. And you just feel the people pull together and the love of this community. It's a great place to be and to live,” said Griffin.

“Every day asks me how I'm doing,” said Gibbs, who broke his pelvis this summer. “He tells me to keep my head up and everything's going to be okay. He was there when I got hurt this summer. Just been a big impact and been visiting me and stuff and talking to me all the time. Keeping my spirits up.”

Former player Noah James, who suffered a broken neck two years ago, echoed those sentiments.

“He keeps me around. He has me calling plays in. He wants me to stay around,” James said. I know the offense pretty well, just like he does. We've studied it for three years together.”

“He's determined to make sure we're great young men on and off the field. He strives for greatness on and off the field, and that's great for us,” senior lineman Tyler Anderson said. “We love him and we hope he gets this award.”

To vote for Coach Griffin head to Voting for the next round begins October 20 and ends November 18.

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