St. James football coach Robert Valdez looks on after his team defeated Jennings in the LHSAA Class 3A state championship game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA.

St. James High School coach Robert Valdez is the New Orleans Saints' nominee for the Don Shula Award to honor the top high school coaches in the country.

Valdez led the Wildcats to the Class 3A title last season.

The nominees, one for each of the league's 32 teams, will be invited to attend the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Florida, on Jan. 26, when the winner will be announced. The winner will also attend the NFL Honors show in Miami on Feb. 1, the night before the Super Bowl, when The Associated Press hands out its individual league awards. The winner will also attend the Super Bowl.

The award is named after the 90-year-old Shula, the Hall of Famer and winningest coach in NFL history. The winner will be selected by a panel including Shula, Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, Super Bowl winners Willie McGinest and Mark Brunell and Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker.

Two finalists will each receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to their high school's football program.