Thompson’s DeFoor wins national award for coaching

Published 1:37 pm Monday, October 17, 2022

By LAUREN SEXTON | Sports Reporter

LITTLE ROCK – For almost three decades, the Frank Broyles Foundation has awarded its football coaches across the country. In 2018, the award expanded to honor the careers of high school coaches.

The selection committee is made up of some of the 16 national championship-winning coaches and famed ESPN broadcasters.

The committee announced On Monday, Oct. 10 the committee announced the 19 winners from 19 different states for the annual award. Alabama, one of the states recognized out of the 19, announced that Thompson’s Shawn DeFoor was the recipient of the 2022 Broyles award.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” DeFoor said about receiving the award. “I think the biggest thing is just the honor of the award and what the award stands for. It’s a testament to the kids that I coach and the coaching staff.”

DeFoor’s journey as a coach started long before his career at Thompson. Having been a player himself and working with his father-in-law, Thompson head coach Mark Freeman, DeFoor described his journey as a coach as a blessing.

“We coach them hard,” DeFoor said about Thompson cultivating the relationship between their players and coaching staff. “But they respond to it because deep down they know we care about them.”

As for DeFoor’s future endeavors, he believes to focus on the now and being there to encourage his players into being the best they can be on and off the field.

“I think that’s the hardest thing when you’re a young coach, everybody wants to go, run their own program,” DeFoor said. “I have the best job in the state by far, probably in America.”

DeFoor currently coaches at Thompson with Freeman and the rest of the coaching staff and has led one of the best defenses in the country the last two years in a row. 

Currently, the Warriors are giving up less than 14 points per game on the defensive side of the football as they look to win a fourth state championship in a row this season.

Thompson finished last season giving up 7.1 points per game, while the Warriors have given up 21 or less the last eight seasons in a row and 15 or less each year since 2020.

DeFoor leads a defense that has two seniors ranked in the top 20 nationally as recruits, while several other young players are also being heavily recruited as top players. 

After a battle with Hoover for the region championship on Friday, Oct. 21, DeFoor, Freeman and the rest of the Thompson coaching staff will shift their focus toward vying for another state title.