Since 1986, the Ed Doherty Award has been the State of Arizona’s highest individual high school football honor and is awarded annually to the state’s most outstanding high school football player by the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club. The Ed Doherty Award recognizes the player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. The winner of the award epitomizes great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. In addition to on-field performance, the Ed Doherty Award recognizes the well-rounded accomplishments of community involvement, school pride, and academics.
July 25, 1918 – January 2, 2000
Ed Doherty holds the unique distinction of serving as head coach for both the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. A former quarterback for Boston College from 1941 to 1943, Doherty was known by the moniker "The Brain" due to his innovative approach to the game.
Although he was selected 39th overall in the 1944 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, Doherty chose to serve in the United States Navy. After a brief stint as an assistant at the University of Notre Dame in 1946, he took the reins at Arizona State University from 1947 to 1950. He later led the University of Arizona's football team in 1957 and 1958.
Doherty's impressive coaching career extended to several schools, including Punchard High School, Lawrence High School, Holy Cross University, University of Rhode Island, Xavier University, St. Augustine High School in San Diego, St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix, and Salpointe Catholic in Tucson.
Among his accolades are an NCAA National Championship at Notre Dame and two state titles at St. Mary’s High School. He concluded his coaching journey in 1982.
In recognition of his contributions to Arizona football, the Active 20-30 Clubs of Arizona named the high school football player of the year trophy the "Ed Doherty Award," with its inaugural presentation in 1987. Furthermore, in 1991, Salpointe Catholic dedicated their new stadium in his honor.