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McDermott announced as top 50 candidate for U.S. Cellular’s Most Valuable Coach

September 20, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

North Tama football coach Tom McDermott has been voted as one of 50 coaches nationwide as a U.S. Cellular Most Valuable Coach, a contest that honors coaches that make an impact in their community and awards them a grant for their school district.

Whannel's Cellular brought the Most Valuable Coach promotion to light in recent weeks, asking for residents to vote for McDermott this year. In previous years, the business has nominated other area coaches, including John Olsen from Gladbrook-Reinbeck last year.

"We try to pick a coach from a local school district or district near our store," Alaina Jantzen, a Store Manager said. "Coach McDermott has been involved in the football program at North Tama for many years and we've want to nominate him for quite a few years, but this was his first year back as a head coach. A lot of us here are North Tama alumni, and I had him as a superintendent and another employee was there when he was a principal. Parents in the area had him as a coach, teacher, principal and superintendent."

Article Photos

Coach Tom McDermott speaks at the Homecoming Pep Rally on Friday, Sept. 14, hours before the game.

McDermott previously was the head coach of the Redhawks from 1973 to 1987, posting an 87-48 record in that time. He would later become principal of North Tama High School and Superintendent from 1998 to 2008, later retiring and coaching football as an assistant for the 2008 State Runner-up and 2010 State Champion teams. In 2006, McDermott was named Assistant Coach of the Year by the Iowa Football Coaches Association and was inducted into the same organization's Hall of Fame in 2017 during halftime of the Class 3A State Championship game.

"Growing up in Traer and being around Coach McDermott as a friend of his daughter, I wanted to give back to him after all the things he's done for the school and for our community," Jay Whannel Jr, owner of Whannel Hardware/Cellular said.

Voting for the top 50 down to the top 15 has already begun and will last until October 8. Each coach selected for the top 15 will receive a $5,000 grant for their school district. The top 3 is the next step and voting will begin on October 11. The three winners will be announced November 20, with third place receiving $10,000, second place $20,000 and the the Most Valuable Coach receiving $50,000 for the school. In years past, the top 15 are featured in a video campaign by U.S. Cellular, with the videos being shown during the top 15 voting process. Schools also may hold a special recognition event for their coach if they so choose.

To vote for Most Valuable Coach, head over to to vote once every day per email address.



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