COW: Robert Dean Boyd

Robert Dean Boyd has been coaching high school football in the state of South Carolina for the past 22 years. He assumed the head coaching position at Marlboro County High School (Bennettsville, SC) in 1997 and hasn't looked back since.

Through eleven seasons, Coach Boyd and his Bulldogs have gone 101-39, winning two 4A DII State Championships and seven regional championships. At Marlboro County, Boyd has been selected twice as South Carolina High School Coach of the Year and is an eight-time regional coach of the year.

Boyd says the greatest part of coaching high school football is, "teaching life lessons and watching his young men develop into mature young adults. It's amazing what the game of football can do for these kids."

However, Boyd's influence goes far beyond his impressive records on the football field. Bennettsville, SC is known as a largely rural, low income area where, for some, college is not an option. However, as football coach at Marlboro County, Boyd has seen 73 of his student-athletes receive athletic scholarships to attend college; an average of over six per season. Of those 73 student-athletes, four have gone on to play professional football; including current Carolina Panthers defensive back Quinton Teal.

"Coach Boyd is one of those coaches that you want to play for because he always has the best interest of his players in mind," said Teal. "Personally, Coach Boyd was there for me through the recruiting process and helped me choose the college that fit me best."

Although coaching the football team at Marlboro County is very important to Boyd, he is equally committed to helping the Marlboro County community. His efforts as the March of Dimes Walk America County Chairman helped raise over $500,000 for the organization. He is also serves on the American Cancer Society's local Relay for Life committee, is a board member for the District 7770 Rotary Club and is a former Deacon of the First Presbyterian Church of Bennettsville.

For all of this work and the countless other ways in which Coach Boyd has given back to the Marlboro County community, he was named as a 2001 national runner-up for the Most Caring Coaches' Award presented by the CBS Early Show and USA Today, as well as, being named to the Class of 2002, Distinguished Alumni list at Winthrop College; where he received his undergraduate degree in physical education. From there, he went on to receive a Master's Degree in sport science from the United States Sports Academy and a Doctorate Degree in child and youth studies from Nova Southeastern University.

In recognition of Boyd's achievement, the Marlboro County High School Athletic Department will receive a $1,000 donation from the Carolina Panthers and the National Football League. During the 2008 season, the Panthers will select 10 High School Coach of the Week winners, who will all be honored during an on-field presentation at the Panthers home game versus the Denver Broncos on December 14. At that time, the 2008 Carolina Panthers High School Coach of the Year will be announced, and the winning coach will receive an additional $1,000 donation to his school's athletic department.

The Carolina Panthers High School Coach of the Week program recognizes high school coaches who, through their hard work and dedication to young people, have made a difference in the lives of their players, school and community, and provides high schools with financial assistance to help maintain and upgrade their football programs.

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