Former Dalton High football coach Matt Land picks up national honor

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Former Dalton High School head football coach Matt Land was named one of the 20 most influential high school football coaches in the country by Friday Night Football Coaches magazine.

Matt Land may no longer be the head football coach at Dalton High School, but he's still picking up recognition from his time walking the sidelines at Harmon Field.

Land, who resigned in December after 11 seasons as Dalton's head coach, was named one of the 20 most influential high school football coaches in the country in Friday Night Football Coaches magazine, a quarterly, coach-focused offshoot of national high school football magazine Friday Night Football (FNF) magazine.

Land is recognized in the winter 2020 issue, which was published in December. The list was complied by the magazine and USA Football, a nonprofit governing organization of amateur football in the United States.

The list is made up of coaches from around the country that impact "the game outside of his own region or state," whether through on-field or off-field accomplishments, according to the magazine.

Land was the recipient of the 2019 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award given each year by the professional league "to honor exemplary high school football coaches for their character and integrity, leadership and dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety and on-field success," according to the NFL's website.

That award, which is named in honor of the late Shula, the NFL's all-time leader in wins as a head coach, was listed by the magazine as a factor in Land's recognition as an influential coach.

Land resigned in December after leading the Dalton football program for 11 years. Prior to that, he spent 17 years as a Catamount assistant and played at Dalton in high school.

Dalton has not yet hired Land's successor.

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