Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas awarded a scroll to a local high school football coach who has mentored student athletes in South Los Angeles for over 30 years, helping some achieve their dream of playing in the NFL. As head coach of the Crenshaw Cougars at Crenshaw High School, Robert Garrett teaches youth in at-risk communities how to become champions – lessons that they carry with them throughout their lives.
Coach Garrett was recently named 2017 Don Shula National Football League High School Coach of the Year during the recent Pro Bowl in Orlando, Florida, which aired nationwide on ESPN. The Los Angeles Chargers nominated Coach Garrett for the award named after the winningest coach in NFL history, which honors exemplary high school football coaches for demonstrating a commitment to player health and safety, and the integrity, achievement and leadership exemplified by Don Shula. The award included a $25,000 cash prize from the NFL Foundation, $15,000 of which will benefit Crenshaw High School’s football program, a much needed contribution.
“Coach Garrett often says that although he loves football, his favorite part of his job is helping his young players become better men,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “We can see from all that they have accomplished – from winning state titles to being drafted into the NFL – he has been very effective in doing just that.”
“Coach Garrett is a symbol of how discipline, focus, hard work, humility, and determination can make a difference in young lives,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas added.
As the entire Crenshaw High School football team enthusiastically watched their mentor receive the scroll, Coach Garrett said, “It is my passion and my ministry to be involved with young people. I am commissioned by a higher authority to continue to fight that fight to give my self-worth to the betterment of the young people in our communities.”
This year, Coach Garrett led the Crenshaw Cougars to the 2017 CIF Division 4-AA State Championship. He has inspired many student athletes to victory, including Hayes Pullard and Brandon Mebane, who now play for the Los Angeles Chargers as a linebacker and a defensive tackle, respectively.
Mebane attended the scroll presentation, saying, “I’m now in my 12th year in the NFL, and I give Coach Garrett credit for a lot of it. He did a lot of things for me to help me get to this stage in my career.
“I feel very good about Coach Garrett receiving these honors,” he added. “It’s good to recognize all the great work he’s been doing for over 30 years at Crenshaw High School.”