Dalton, GA-(WDEF-TV) Dalton coach Matt Land spent the Christmas holidays with his family at Disney World.
Little did he know he would be back in Orlando this month.
Land is headed to the Pro Bowl after being named one of 32 finalists for the NFL’s Don Shula high school coach of the year award.
An honor like that is crazy to think about for Land because his path to being a head coach was a little different.
When your last name is Land, it’s kind of ironic you dream of being in the sky.
Said Land:”I wanted to fly, but I was still wanting to follow my degree. My degree was in aerospace engineering.”
Reporter:”How many people say you’re crazy. You have an aerospace engineering degree, and you’re in coaching.”
Said Land:”Inside my family or outside my family?”
Said Land:”Both. it’s a great conversational piece for sure.”
Land soon ventured into coaching, but not full time.
Said Land:”For 17 years I worked for myself, but was a full time community coach here at Dalton. The way they do that. In the state of Georgia in fact 1993, I was one of the first five that got my community coaching license.”
And then in 2010, Land got the Dalton head coaching job.
Said Land:”To be at a place that’s so storied. So traditional. And to be given this honor. I really don’t consider myself a head coach. I’m more of a trustee.”
Last month, Land was named the Atlanta Falcons high school coach of the year in Georgia, which put him in the running for the Don Shula national high school coach of the year honor.
Said Land:”She informed me at the presentation that from this point forward, I would be the Atlanta Falcons representative. They would then fly us down to the Pro Bowl, at which point all 32 of us. All 32 representatives. From that will be chosen two finalists. The two finalists the next week will be flown to the Super Bowl, and they will recognize the final champion or the official Don Shula head coach of the year award for the NFL at the Super Bowl.