BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Bennett football coach Steve McDuffie will attend Super Bowl LVII as a special guest of the NFL after he was nominated by the Bills for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award.

McDuffie guided Bennett to its first state championship season in the weeks after a clerical error forced the team to forfeit four victories, threatening to derail the title pursuit. He became the first Black coach to win a NYSPHSAA championship. McDuffie and his assistants also were recognized by the Bills for community outreach with YMCA Buffalo Niagara and the Westside Little League program.

“We are honored to celebrate the 32 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year nominees, as each embodies the integrity, commitment and character of Coach Shula,” former NFL player Roman Oben said in a news release. “High school football coaches serve as leaders and role models dedicated to shaping the lives of young high school players both on and off the field and this group represents the very best from across the country every year.”

The Bills and ADPRO Sports awarded McDuffie as Coach of the Year for Buffalo on the field during halftime of Sunday’s regular season finale. Coach of the Week recipients also were recognized.

McDuffie, a former University at Buffalo player, is now eligible to receive a $15,000 award for the Bennett program from the NFL Foundation and Nike, along with a $10,000 cash prize. A committee of former players, coaches and executives will pick one coach from each conference to be recognized at the Pro Bowl Games on Feb. 5 in Las Vegas, and the NFL Honors awards show during Super Bowl week. Team nominees who don’t win the conference award receive a $1,000 prize.


Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.