Coach Tony Brunetti of Pearl-Cohn High School has been named 2023 Tennessee Titans High School Coach of the Year presented by Whataburger. In 2023, Coach Brunetti led his football team to a perfect 15-0 season for the first time in the school's history. The team also ended the season by winning the Class 4A Tennessee State Championship, marking the first state football championship for a Metro Nashville Public School since 2008.
"Coach Brunetti is a perfect representation of everything we look for in a Coach of the Year honoree," said Titans Senior Director of Marketing and Social Responsibility, Josh Corey. "He has worked tirelessly throughout his career to enrich the lives of his players on and off-the-field, leaving a lasting imprint on our community. His dedication to the game of football and his passion for developing young people is unmatched."
Coach Brunetti has a 169-64 overall record through his 18 seasons at Pearl-Cohn High School and coached the Firebirds to their first undefeated season in history and third state championship. Brunetti is the winningest coach in Metro Nashville Public Schools history. The Firebirds defeated Upperman High School 36-27 in the Class 4A State Football Championship.
As the 2023 Tennessee Titans Coach of the Year, Brunetti received a grant in the amount of $2,000 from the Titans to benefit his football program and a $1,000 personal award from the NFL.
This honor also qualifies Coach Brunetti for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award, honoring high school football coaches that display integrity, achievement and leadership exemplified by the coach with the most wins in NFL history, Don Shula. The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award winner – announced in January – receives grant prizes over $25,000 for personal and football program use.
The Tennessee Titans High School Coach of the Year award is an extension of the High School Game of the Week and Coach of the Week programs, all presented by Whataburger. Each Coach of the Week (10 total) received a grant from the Titans in the amount of $1,500 to benefit each high school's football program. All 11 award winners – 10 Coach of the Week winners and Coach of the Year – were recognized at Nissan Stadium during the Titans vs. Texans game on Dec. 17, 2023.
Whataburger serves as the presenting sponsor for Coach of the Week, Game of the Week and Coach of the Year. The company provided prizing for the honored coaches and schools.
For more information on the Tennessee Titans High School Game of the Week or Coach of the Week programs, visit www.tennesseetitans.com/gameoftheweek.
2023 Coach of the Week Winners:
Devin Arnold – Antioch High School
Tony Brunetti – Pearl-Cohn High School
Clint Finch – Brentwood High School
Johnnie Frost – Riverside High School
Brent Hughes – Knoxville Halls High School
Derek Hunt – Maryville High School
Josh Jones – Bearden High School
Will Kriesky – Riverdale High School
Brian Rector – Father Ryan High School
Gene Robinson – Germantown High School
Previous Coach of the Year Winners:
1999 Jim Wilson, Glencliff High School 2011 James Counce, Henry County High
2000 Tom Weathers, Red Bank High School 2012 Rodney Saulsberry, Whitehaven High School
2001 Ralph Potter, McCallie High School 2013 Darren Bowling, Union City High School
2002 Robert Lassiter, Gallatin High School 2014 Ingle Martin, Christ Presbyterian Academy
2003 Jeff Morris, Milan High School 2015 Scott Blade, Independence High School
2004 Buck Coatney, Knoxville Fulton High School 2016 Rodney Saulsberry, Whitehaven High School
2005 George Quarles, Maryville High School 2017 Cody White, Brentwood Academy
2006 Philip Shadowens, Smyrna High School 2018 Kevin Creasy, Oakland High School
2007 Ralph Thompson, Maplewood High School 2019 Shawn Witten, Elizabethton High School
2008 Scott Blade, Hillsboro High School 2020 Keith Henry, Coalfield High School
2009 Anthony Crabtree, Beech High School 2021 John Olive, Tullahoma High School
2010 Gary Rankin, Alcoa High School 2022 Lamar Brown, Knoxville West High School