Previous winners include Phil Jackson, Bill Belichick, and Bob Hurley. This year will be different.
Since 1993, ESPN has handed out ESPY awards to the best coach or manager in a professional North American or collegiate sports league.
Previous winners include luminaries such as Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers and Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots. In 2017, the ESPYs handed the award to its first high school basketball coach, Bob Hurley, who won 26 state championships and more than 1,000 wins in 39 years as a coach.
Photo by Disney ABC Television Group/Flickr.
But this year will be different. The 2018 ceremony will posthumously honor three high school coaches for their work on the sidelines and heroism during a national tragedy.
ESPYS to honor coaches killed in Parkland shooting.— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) June 13, 2018\n
ESPN announced that family members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School heroes Aaron Feis, Scott Beigel and Chris Hixon will receive the Best Coach Award during the show on July 18.
Aaron Feis, Scott Beigel, and Chris Hixon were all part of the athletic program at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and lost their lives during the horrific mass shooting on Feb 14, 2018. According to Alison Overholt, vice president and editor in chief of ESPN The Magazine, the three will receive awards for “their immeasurable bravery in the face of danger and for their ultimate sacrifice to protect the lives of countless students.”
Beigel, a cross-country coach, reportedly protected students who were stranded in the school hallways by ushering them into his classroom. He was shot and killed as he attempted to lock the door.
“He was my hero, and he will forever be my hero,” a student saved by Beigel told CNN. “I’ll never forget the actions he took for me and for fellow students in the classroom. He was an amazing person, and I am alive today because of him.”
Chris Hixon, the school’s athletic director, and wrestling coach was killed while reportedly attempting to disarm the shooter. Fies, a football coach, was killed while reportedly shielding students from the spray of bullets.
Family members of the three coaches will accept the awards at the ceremony on July 18.