Blue Valley Northwest coach Clint Rider has been named the Chiefs Eric Driskell High School Coach of the Year and will be honored at the Chiefs game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, Dec. 12 by being named the DiPardo Spirit Leader. Blue Valley Northwest will receive a $3,000 player health and safety grant from the Hunt Family Foundation as part of Rider's Coach of the Year award. Rider was named the Chiefs Coach of the Week for week one of the season, which qualified him for the honor. The Eric Driskell Coach of the Year Award is selected by a panel comprised of the Missouri and Kansas Boards from the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association and was presented at the 2021 Simone Awards, held at Blue Valley Northwest on Tuesday, Dec. 7.
Blue Valley Northwest started its season with a 35-21 win over Blue Valley and never looked back. The Huskies' only loss of the regular season came against St. Thomas Aquinas High School before starting a dominant run to the Kansas Class 6A title. Northwest would average 52 points per game in the postseason, beating Blue Valley West 35-7 to advance to the Huskies' first-ever state championship game. In the title game, Northwest dominated three-time defending champion Derby 41-21.
"I just assumed (that I didn't get it), I hadn't heard anything," said Rider. "Just happy for our kids. No coach has ever won an award for anything that his players didn't do, so it's just a reflection of having really good players and having a really good staff. You've got to enjoy these moments and enjoy it when you have opportunities to have really special events like this. It's very special and something that I'll always remember."
In addition, unique to the 2021 season, the Chiefs elected to surprise Rider with a pair of tickets to Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, including hotel and airfare as part of the club's Super Bowl ticket giveaway.
The announcement marks the culmination of the 25th season of the High School Coach of the Week program, a joint initiative of the Kansas City Chiefs and the National Football League. This program is designed to recognize and reward Kansas City area high school coaches for superior performance on a weekly basis while honoring individuals who are shaping today's youth and tomorrow's leaders.
The Kansas City Chiefs partner with PrepsKC to select Coaches of the Week from Missouri and Kansas each week. PrepsKC is the only complete multimedia coverage of high school football in the Kansas City Metro. For the last 12 years it has combined a dynamic web site, weekly magazine and comprehensive weekly radio show. More information about PrepsKC, including scores, schedules and coverage can be found at www.prepskc.com.