The Ed Doherty Award

Ed Doherty

The Ed Doherty Awards annually recognize athletic achievements as well as academic performance and overall character of its honorees. An advisory board comprised of sports writers and football experts annually select five award finalists. The Ed Doherty Committee hosts a luncheon for the nominees to honor their achievements and to announce the respective winners of the Ed Doherty Award, as well as the Active 20-30 of Arizona Award.

Presented annually to the “Arizona High School Football Player of the Year,” the Ed Doherty Award is one of the most recognized football awards in the state of Arizona. Mr. Doherty had a long and distinguished football career as both a player and coach. He began his career as quarterback for Boston College in 1941 and went on to coach several teams at the high school, college, and professional levels. In Arizona, Coach Doherty served as head coach for Salpointe Catholic High School and St. Mary’s Catholic High School, as well as head coach for both Arizona State University and the University of Arizona – the only coach to hold both positions. Mr. Doherty is a member of the State of Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, Arizona State University Sports Hall of Distinction, and Boston College Hall of Fame.

The Ed Doherty Committee presents the Active 20-30 of Arizona Award to the player demonstrating outstanding character and leadership both on and off the field. Each year, committee members have the opportunity to meet with the nominees, as well as their coach, to learn more about the players’ contributions to their team, school, family and community. These meetings determine the recipient of the Active 20-30 of Arizona Award.

Coach Ed Doherty (1919-2000)

Quarterback for Boston College (1941 – 1943)

  • Made several All-American teams
  • Orange Bowl vs. Alabama – Jan. 1 1943
  • QB in The East West Shrine Game – Jan. 1 1944

Backfield Coach of the Following Teams

  • Notre Dame
  • Boston College
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • St. Cecilia H.S. (Vince Lombardi was Head Coach)

Head Coach of the Following Teams

  • Arizona State University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Rhode Island
  • Xavier University
  • Holy Cross College
  • Only coach ever to coach both ASU and U of A

Coached 12 years at Two Arizona High Schools

  • St. Mary’s – 6 yrs; Salpointe – 6 years
  • Made playoffs nine times
  • Won four division titles and two state championships
  • Runner-up state champion twice

Major Honors

  • Border Conference Coach of the Year – 1949
  • Arizona H.S. Football Coach of the Year – 1967-1968
  • Nat’l H.S. Football Coach of the Year (Dist. 6) – 1968
  • Arizona Coach of the Year (All Sports) – 1968
  • New England College Football Coach of the Year – 1971
  • All Metro (So. Arizona) Football Coach of the Year – 1981
  • State of Arizona Sports Hall of Fame – 1983
  • Arizona State University Sports Hall of Distinction – 1985
  • Boston College Hall of Fame – 1986
  • Tucson All-Star Football Coach of the Year – 1977 & 1981

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