2017 Ravens High School Coach of the Year

Harford Tech's Timothy Palmer Named 2017 Ravens High School Coach of the Year

Timothy Palmer, varsity head football coach of the Harford Technical (Bel Air, Md.) Cobras, has been named the 2017 Ravens High School Coach of the Year. Palmer is the 21st recipient of the annual award.

Finishing with a 12-1 record this year, Palmer led the Cobras to the most single-season victories in program history and the school's first-ever trip to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) Class 2A state semifinals. Harford Tech doubled its previous win total for one season (six, most recently accomplished in 2008), and the first-year head coach helped guide the school to its only undefeated regular season.

During the playoffs, the Cobras advanced to the "Final Four" behind a 22-21 victory over the Kent Island Buccaneers in the MPSSAA Class 2A East regional final. After trailing 21-9 entering the game's final frame, Harford Tech rallied with two long touchdown passes from sophomore QB Ryan Hunt to senior WR Jordan Bright, giving the Cobras a lead they would not relinquish. A fumble recovery by sophomore LB Jonathan Fletcher on Kent Island's final possession secured the regional title for Harford Tech.

The Cobras advanced to the semifinal matchup against the Gwynn Park Yellow Jackets, but their perfect season came to an end with a narrow defeat (16-9) to the Prince George's County school.

"Our program has never been known as a powerhouse," Palmer explained. "Between our amazing staff and players, we were all part of a culture change this year. Knowing we have changed how the rest of the county and state views our football team is major."

A longtime youth recreation coach and previous junior varsity coach at Harford Tech, Palmer captured the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference Susquehanna Division championship in his inaugural year at the helm of the varsity team. Palmer also serves as a Baltimore City police sergeant and works the overnight shift at his precinct so he can attend all football functions with his team.

"For me, my purpose as a coach is to build young men – not winning or losing football games," Palmer added. Football is simply the vehicle I use to do this. I am big on character, discipline and doing things the right way, and when you combine that with athleticism and talent, the wins will come. This year, we had quality coaches teaching quality young men, and the wins followed. That's the formula I've used since I began coaching little league football years ago, and it's been powerful to see the results in the win column and in life as the boys grow into productive men."

Each week during the season, the Ravens honored a high school coach who made a significant impact on his student-athletes. Each winner was in attendance for the Ravens-Colts game at M&T Bank Stadium on Dec. 23 for the naming of the Ravens High School Coach of the Year. In addition, each coach received a $2,000 donation to his school's football program and an award from Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.

As the 2017 Ravens High School Coach of the Year, Palmer received an additional $2,000 donation toward Harford Tech's football program and an opportunity to attend the 2018 Pro Bowl in Orlando, Fla., as the Baltimore Ravens' nominee for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award.

"Any program that is successful is not a one-man show, and we are no different at Harford Tech," Palmer stated. "I have a tremendous football staff around me here that is extremely knowledgeable about the game and fantastic at teaching it. I greatly appreciate their dedication and support to the program."

The Ravens High School Coach of the Year Award has been a fixture in youth athletics since 1997. Previous recipients include: Augie Waibel of Poly (1997), Nick Arminio of Eastern Technical (1998), Pete Pompey of Edmondson-Westside (1999), Dominic Damico of McDonogh (2000), Steve Turnbaugh of Hereford (2001), Dave Eubank of Dundalk (2002), Gene Brown of South Carroll (2003), Ben Eaton of Dunbar (2004), Brad Wilson of Westminster (2005), Dante Jones of Edmondson-Westside (2006), Lawrence Smith of Dunbar (2007), Tony Shermeyer of Century (2008), Rick Conner of Linganore (2009), Damon Bomar of Forest Park (2010), Roger Wrenn of Poly (2011), Reggie White of Milford Mill (2012), Elwood Townsend of Douglass (2013), Thomas Browne of Oakland Mills (2014), Sean Sandora of Dundalk (2015) and Joe Polce of Walkersville (2016).

2017 Ravens High School Coach of the Week Recipients:

Week 1Vince AhearnTuscarora High School
Week 2Albert JonesMeade High School
Week 3Ryan PittilloTowson High School
Week 4Timothy PalmerHarford Technical High School
Week 5Brian Van DeusenRiver Hill High School
Week 6Biff Poggi & Henry RussellSt. Frances Academy
Week 7Reggie WhiteMilford Mill Academy
Week 8Josh RutterFrancis Scott Key High School
Week 9Lawrence SmithDunbar High School
Week 10Tim HolleyGilman School

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