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Dave Nigon to Receive John Gagliardi Legacy Award

By MN Chapter of the National Football Foundation, 04/11/17, 11:15AM CDT


MINNEAPOLIS, MN - April 11, 2017 - Dave Nigon’s two state championships were only a part of his lasting legacy at Totino-Grace High School. The Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation is pleased to announce the coaching veteran as the 2017 recipient of the John Gagliardi Legacy Award. Coach Nigon will be recognized at the 10 Year Anniversary of the Minnesota Football Honors on May 7.

Nigon achieved a coaching record of 241-91 in 31 seasons as head coach at Totino-Grace. Between 1972 and 2002 he led the Eagles to 13 conference championships, nine section championships, 13 state tournament appearances and two state championships. Nigon and Grace won the program’s first two state titles in 1978 and 1979. The Minnesota Football Coaches Association inducted Nigon into its Hall of Fame in 2003.

The school was called simply Grace High School when Nigon arrived in 1968 to teach English following his graduation from St. Mary’s in Winona. His coaching career started on a volunteer basis, but he was the head track coach and football assistant coach by 1970. Despite limited resources early in Nigon’s head coaching tenure, the Eagles rose to prominence on the Minnesota high school football scene.

Nigon’s impact reached beyond his head coaching tenure, and beyond football. He served as dean of students and had the respect of students, staff and parents in the school community. Other Totino-Grace coaches who started there under Nigon have carried on his legacy. Jeff Ferguson, Nigon’s successor, both played for and assisted Nigon before taking the reins. Ferguson has added eight state championships to Nigon’s two that started it all.

The 10-Year Anniversary of the Minnesota Football Honors will be held Sunday, May 7, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium. College and professional football Hall of Fame inductees are scheduled to attend to celebrate the best of Minnesota football. The largest football awards event in the state is presented by the Minnesota Vikings. The event is open to the public. To register or find additional information about this year’s Minnesota Football Honors, please visit For sponsorship information, please email


About the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation:
The Minnesota Chapter of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and develop the power of amateur football in developing the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive spirit and academic excellence in Minnesota’s young people. The MN Chapter recognizes legendary football icons, college football Hall of Famers and Minnesota’s top high school and college football scholar athletes. For more information, visit, Facebook or Twitter.

Lindsay Lommel, Event Manager
MN Chapter of The National Football Foundation