2010 Recipient: Brent Steuerwald, Shenendehowa (N.Y.) High School

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  November 22, 2010
AFCA CONTACT: Vince Thompson,
Director of Media Relations


Brent Steuerwald Shenendehowa WACO, Texas—Shenendehowa (N.Y.) High School head coach Brent Steuerwald has been named the 2010 Power of Influence Award recipient. Steuerwald was nominated by the New York State High School Football Coaches Association. Presented jointly by the American Football Coaches Association® and the American Football Coaches Foundation®, the award will be given to Steuerwald at the AFCA Coach of the Year Dinner on Tuesday, January 11, at the 2011 AFCA Convention in Dallas, Texas. 

 The Power of Influence award was created as a way for the AFCA and AFCF to honor a deserving high school football coach. Coaches who receive this award are recognized for their impact on their team and players, as well as the legacy they leave with the school and community. This award is not based on wins and losses; however, it is noted that coaches of powerful influence have longevity and success. It is the first AFCA award specifically designed to honor a high school coach. 

 “This is by far the most prestigious award that I’ve received in my career,” Brent Steuerwald said. “I’ve had other kinds of recognition that just don’t equate to this because of its national stature and its competitive nature from all of the other deserving coaches. It’s an honor I take great pride in, and I will cherish this for the rest of my life.”

 Steuerwald began his coaching career in 1957 as the varsity line coach at Olean (N.Y.) High School. He left after the 1963 season to begin in the same role at Glens Falls (N.Y.) High School, where he stayed until 1967. At that time, he was hired at Shenendehowa High School as the school’s first athletic director. It wasn’t long before Steuerwald began work to create a football program at Shenendehowa. With complete support from the community and the Board of Education, the first football team took the field for the 1968 season. In his 43 years as head coach, Steuerwald has coached the Plainsmen to several titles. Shenendehowa won back-to-back-to-back state championships in 1982, 1983 and 1984. In 1992, they were New York State runner-up, state finalists from 1995-2002, and state semi-finalists in 2003. Steuerwald has guided the Plainsmen to 25 Section 2 AA – Empire League Championships and 10 Section II Championships. Steuerwald’s overall coaching record stands at 307-87-4 after guiding Shen to a 7-3 mark and an appearance in the Section II Class AA Super Bowl in 2010. 

 Brent Steuerwald Shenendehowa“Brent Steuerwald is a true leader with vision,” said Thomas W. Heinzelman, president of the New York State High School Football Coaches Association. “The true measure of his success and contributions to the game of football lie in the thousands of interpersonal relationships that he has developed throughout his illustrious career.” Steuerwald is described by his colleagues and former players as a man of great integrity, and a coach who promotes character and sportsmanship. To him, football is more than just winning. “Coach instilled in me a focus, discipline and commitment that has led to my successes throughout my entire life,” said former player, Michael E. Peacock. 

 In addition to the 2010 Power of Influence Award, Steuerwald has received several other recognitions for his coaching talent. He has been honored 19 times as Area Coach of the Year, and was named National Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches’ Association in 1995. In 1981, he was named New York State Champion Coach of the Year. He won Region One Winner National Coach of the Year five times over, first in 1982, and then in 1985, 1988, 1992 and 1995. New York’s State Coaches Association recognized Steuerwald as Coach of the Year in 1982, 1988, 1992 and 1995. For three years in a row, the New York State Sports Writer’s Association named Steuerwald Coach of the Year (1982, 1983, and 1984). He served as president of the Capital District chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame from 1987 to 2009 and won their prestigious Leadership Award for Contribution to Amateur Football in 1994. Most recently, Steuerwald was inducted into the Shenendehowa Hall of Fame in 2009.

 Other finalists for this year’s award were: Buddy Anderson, Vestavia Hills High School (Vestavia Hills, Ala.); Michael Gimenez, Whitney High School (Rocklin, Calif.); Robert McCoy, Bedford Community High School (Bedford, Iowa); Don Melby, Pike Valley High School (Scandia, Kan.); Noel Dean, Lowell High School (Lowell, Mich.); Dwight Lundeen, Becker High School (Becker, Minn.); Mark Wortman, Elkhorn High School (Elkhorn, Neb.); Randy Vigen, Central Valley High School (Buxton, N.D.); Tom Culver, Avon High School (Avon, S.D.); Glenn McCadams, David Lipscomb High School (Nashville, Tenn.); Larry Hill, Smithson Valley High School, (Spring Branch, Texas); Sam Harrell, Ennis High School (Ennis, Texas); Brad Lutz, Broadway High School (Broadway, Va.); and Tom Ingles, Puyallup High School (Puyallup, Wash.). 

 Past Power of Influence Award winners include: Larry Dippel, Amarillo (Texas) High School (2002); John McKissick, Summerville (S.C.) High School (2003); Marcus Borden, East Brunswick (N.J.) High School (2004); Ron Stolski, Brainerd (Minn.) High School (2005); Sid Otton, Tumwater (Wash.) High School (2006); Rob Younger, Sweet Home (Ore.) High School (2007); George Smith, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) High School (2008), and Jim Drewry, Booneville (Miss.) High School (2009).


“Coach George Smith is not only an influence on young people, but the influence is multiplied many times in the beliefs of the young people he helped mold into amazing human beings. George is an outstanding coach, but more importantly, he is an outstanding gentleman.” —Tina Jones, Principal of St. Thomas Aquinas High School