Vote For Coach of the Year Finalists in DISH’s Home Town Heroes

Images of the finalists for Dish's Hometown Heroes high school coach of the year

Update: Congratulations to our winner Michael Nordeen. Learn more about the finalists below and visit the Hometown Heroes website to vote for other local heroes!

DISH’s Hometown Heroes has named the five finalists for High School Coach of the Year.

From now through the end of September, you can use this link to make your pick for the coach who should win the honor and take home a prize package worth over $6,400. The finalists are:


Michaela Curran

Head Cross Country Coach and Assistant Track Coach, Arlington Public High School

Arlington, Nebraska

Coach Curran has such a great program. She gives each of them hand written notes with their goals and encouragement before each meet. Each kid is treated as an individual and she pushes each of them to be their best on the field, in the classroom and in life! She expects the best they have to give and these kids give it! She gives each kid the same encouragement – whether they are coming in first or coming in last, she coaches them all to the best of their ability! Whether it’s cross country or track, you will see her with EVERY race, running to certain points giving these kids their times and encouragement, and pushing them to meet goals! I would love to know how many miles she puts on each meet! In a few short years, she has already grown the program and improved the athletes! Kids have changed sports because they want to be a part of her team! I feel very lucky to have her as a role model for my kids! She deserves to be recognized as she is the coach DISH is looking for!” – Stacy O’Daniel, Nominator


Carl D. Lee, Jr.

Head Basketball Coach, Theodore Roosevelt High School

San Antonio, Texas

He has always been my hero, since the day he was born. Now that he has grown up, he has paid it forward. Not only is he the head Basketball Ball coach, he also teaches Special Ed. He is helping these young folks with special needs learn how to adapt, learn, grow and develop life skills while in school, which they can hopefully carry on to adulthood. He is a father of 3 sons, so coaching is never done once he arrives home. Coach Lee continues to instill in his sons values, responsibilities and teamwork, just as he does while coaching at school. He is a mentor and sometimes a father figure to some of his team and students. He truly believes that helping betters others’ lives, and has positive impacts on his own. It is just amazing to see how well he interacts with them all. He volunteers at all the school events – this is year-round and not just when school starts. Coach Lee has been gifted with this smile that makes people want to flock to him and to get to know him. Thank you.” – Edith Lee, Nominator


Michael Nordeen

Head Football Coach, Red Oak High School

Red Oak, Iowa

Michael Nordeen came to our town last summer as our new head football coach. Our team hadn’t won a game in years; in fact we had 26 losses before he took over. From the day he walked into our auditorium and met our players, he believed in our kids! He told them they will make the playoffs this year. We have a lot of work to do but I know we can get there! The more he talked and practiced, they started to believe in themselves and as a team! They made the playoffs for the first time in years. Not only has Coach built them back up on the field, he also feels volunteering and giving back to your community is just as important. These football players have volunteered over 200 hours in their community; they clean out pools, mow lawns, shingle roofs, move furniture, etc., for free. When there is someone in town that needs help with anything, they contact Coach Nordeen. He sends out a mass text to all players. They all show up to help.” –  Julie Fouts, Nominator


Dan O’Shea

Head Football Coach, Corona Del Mar High School

Newport Beach, California

“Coach Dan O’Shea has been coaching for 25 years, 11 at CDM High School and is a two-time CIF State Champion. Dan loves to win, but even more, he loves developing and preparing young men for a successful life. He puts integrity and character above all else, often referring to “The Brotherhood” that high school football creates for these boys. Our son (Jack) played for Coach O’Shea for three years – a two year starter. We lost Jack in a tragic accident in 2019. Coach O’Shea and his staff helped us create The Jack Elliott Character Award and Scholarship. The rising Senior Recipient is selected by Dan and his staff as the player who best exemplifies Character, Integrity and commitment to the team. The recipient also gets to wear #2 for the season, Jack’s number. This is becoming a community event and a celebration, and it’s growing bigger and bigger every year. It wouldn’t have been possible without Coach O’Shea and his staff.” – Brett Eliott, Nominator


Mark Peck

Head Wrestling Coach, Butler High School

Vandalia, Ohio

“Coach Peck is awesome. My son has autism, and he wrestled for Coach Peck. Coach Peck saw beyond autism and saw my son for who he was: A hard-working, dedicated athlete, a caring person, and a good student. My son was able to compete at the highest level because of Coach Peck. Not only did he take these boys under his wing, but he also made responsible men out of them. They did community service around the community when needed. If someone needed help, Peck made sure that the boys showed up and helped. Coach Peck did not accept disrespect of any kind from his wrestlers; he used that time to teach life lessons. He had rules and the boys knew them and were expected to follow them. I am not very good at writing and there is so much more I want to say but cannot find the words. I am forever grateful for the man my son is today and He owes most of that to Coach Peck.” – Lou Young, Nominator

For more information, visit the DISH Hometown Heroes website and stay tuned for more opportunities to nominate a hometown hero from your community!