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VanLeur finishes 7th in USA Today football coaches contest

EMERY — After reaching the final round of USA Today’s contest for the nation’s best football coach, Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan football coach Jeff VanLeur received 42,168 votes.

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Of the top eight coaches, VanLeur was seventh and Philip Haywood took top honors with 1,529,789 votes after the contest concluded Tuesday. Haywood, a coach for Belfry, Ky., has two state championships in Kentucky and a record of 362-125 in 38 years of coaching.

Philip received $2,000 for his school’s athletic department and the second- through fifth-place finishers also received funds for their athletic departments.

VanLeur finished ahead of Mike Herrington, who coaches at Hart High School in Newhall, Calif. The other six coaches in the national round are from Louisiana, New York, Mississippi, Maryland and Arkansas.

VanLeur won the regional round, which includes coaches from Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, by receiving 163,444 votes.

The 34-year Seahawk head coach has won five Class 9AA state championships and serves as the athletic director for Bridgewater-Emery.

VanLeur and the Seahawks advanced to the second round of the Class 9AA playoffs Tuesday after beating Deuel 50-0.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.