He was first named the Steelers 2021 High School Coach of the Year, and now Mt. Lebanon High School football coach Bob Palko is the 2021 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year.
The yearly honor is awarded to the high school football coach that best demonstrates integrity, achievement, and leadership, as well as a commitment to the health and safety of their players, as well as the impeccable characteristics of the late Shula.
Palko was announced as the winner during the Pro Bowl at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday.
"I think just meeting and being able to learn from the young kids," said Palko during the broadcast on ESPN of what he loves about coaching. "You got to learn to adapt and adjust through life and these kids have really helped me do that. So it's kind of a work in progress, but just proud."
In his third season at the school, Palko led the Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils to the WPIAL and PIAA Championships in Class 6A. The Blue Devils finished the season with a 15-0 record en route to winning the school's first ever state championship when they defeated three-time defending champion St. Joseph's Prep (Philadelphia), 35-17.
Palko is only the second WPIAL coach to win a state championship with two different schools, previously winning the state title while at West Allegheny in 2001.
During his high school coaching career Palko has won nine WPIAL Championships, tying him for first in WPIAL history in that category. Palko, who was also named the Pennsylvania Football Writers Coach of the Year, has an overall record of 241-81 during his time coaching high school football.