2002 Recipient: Larry Dippel, Amarillo (Texas) High School

Amarillo High School's Larry Dippel received the Power of Influence Award from AFCF President Ken HatfieldAmarillo (Texas) High School Head Coach Larry Dippel has been named the winner of the inaugural Power of Influence Award.

Dippel was nominated for the award by the Texas High School Coaches Association.

"Larry Dippel embodies everything the Power of Influence Award was created to acknowledge," AFCA Executive Director Grant Teaff said. "He is a tremendous and deserving recipient of our first award."

The Power of Influence Award was created as a way for the AFCA and AFCF™ to honor a deserving high school football coach for his influence on his players, school and community. It is the first time the AFCA has presented an award specifically to honor a high school coach.

Dippel has coached in the state of Texas for more than 40 years and has been the head coach and athletics coordinator at Amarillo High School for 27 years. In that dual role he has touched the lives of thousands of young men and women and has earned numerous awards because of the role he plays in the community. Dippel has continued to serve in both roles despite suffering from multiple sclerosis, a condition that he was diagnosed with several years ago.

He is a past president of Texas High School Coaches Association and a past winner of the THSCA's Tom Landry Award. He has inducted into the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor and the Texas Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame. He received the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Achievement Award in 1998.

Dippel was one of 12 finalists for the Power of Influence Award. Nominations for the award were made by state high school coaches associations. The individuals nominated must be active head football coaches and must embody the life-changing qualities of respect and inspiration. They must have touched lives and caused student-athletes and others to want to emulate their honesty, patience and modesty. This award is not based on wins and losses, however, it is noted that coaches of powerful influence have longevity and success.

Dippel was selected by a committee comprised of members of the AFCF™ Board of Directors.

Return to Power of Influence Award

“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