A cloudy Monday did not stop Basha High School‘s head football coach, Chris McDonald from being on cloud nine.

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It makes it a lot easier when you have great young men, who are really good at football too,” said McDonald with a chuckle.

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Just a month ago, Coach Mac and those young men were celebrating the program’s first State Championship. Topping Saguaro High School in an epic battle 28-21.

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“I had a lot of text messages to go through that weekend,” said McDonald. “I made sure to reply to every one of them too because there are so many people that have helped make all this happen.”

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It’s been the run of a lifetime, the dedication and passion from his team only matched by his own.

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McDonald’s love for the game and the molding of young athletes clearly his life’s work.

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He says without his family none of it would be possible. Sharing a story to articulate the support he receives from his wife even if it’s their wedding day.

“We had a game that day, a 9 a.m. game, it’s a Saturday youth game, pee-wee, and she just said hey be in the limo by noon, and I said alright,” said McDonald with a laugh.

He’d make it on time and the wins kept coming.

Last week, the father of two learned he’d been nominated for the NFL Don Shula National High School Coach of the Year award.

“I didn’t throw any footballs I didn’t make any tackles, I didn’t block anybody, I didn’t run or catch, I didn’t any of that they did it so I’m just really grateful in all honesty,” said McDonald.

When you talk to his players, a common theme quickly arises.

“He really cares about us as people,” said Junior Cornerback Miles Lockhart. “He always deflects the credit even when he’s deserving.

“It’s always about us and how we’re feeling, how we’re feeling mentally how we’re feeling physically,” said Senior Left Tackle James Durand.

Needless to say, they need a little convincing on who should take home the award.

“He’s done everything that we could have ever asked for and even more, I think there’s nobody more deserving than that,” said Durand.

Win or lose, for these players and their humble coach, 2022 will leave a lasting mark on them all.

Coach Mac is up against 31 other coaches across the nation for the award. If he’s one of two grand prize winners, the Basha football program will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL and Nike.