The fourth installment of USA TODAY High School Sports' "Best Of" contest kicked off Monday, Sept 30 with the first-ever Best High School Football Coach contest.
In each state, USA TODAY staffers selected eight active head football coaches after conferring with local media and other state/school officials with high school football expertise.
Three of the eight chosen in the state of Florida are from the Tampa Bay area and we are encouraging everyone in the community to get involved and vote for one of those coaches who has made a difference in local athletes' lives.
The coaches are:
* Joe Kinnan of Manatee High School
* Robert Weiner of Henry B. Plant High School
* Bill Castle of Lakeland Senior High School
There will be three rounds of voting. The state round is now going on until noon Oct. 8.
The 51 winners - each state plus Washington, D.C. will advance to the regional round, beginning Oct. 9. The eight regional winners will then move on to the national round, which starts Oct. 21 and ends Oct. 29.
The champion will be crowned based on the most votes in the final round.
The athletic department of the winning coach will receive $2,000. Second through fifth places also receive cash prizes for the athletic departments: second ($1,000), third ($500), fourth ($250) and fifth ($100).
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