Foxcroft Academy’s Ayala named US Cellular Most Valuable Coach

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — It started with a nomination in June and ended with a win during Thanksgiving week. Word came on Nov. 20 that Foxcroft Academy teacher and coach Luis Ayala was named the 2017 US Cellular Most Valuable Coach (MVC) after a three-plus month online contest.

Ayala was nominated by Foxcroft Academy art teacher Jane Blay over the summer, and the whole contest snowballed from there. After being named to the Top 50 in the MVC, a strong social media campaign helped Ayala get into the top 15, which secured $5,000 for Foxcroft Academy and the Dover-Foxcroft community.

On Oct. 16 representatives from US Cellular visited Foxcroft Academy for the day and talked with Ayala, several faculty members and many of his players. There was a community assembly and that helped show why Ayala deserved this award.

“I am very honored and humbled by this whole experience,” Ayala said. “I teach and coach to help kids. It’s easy to get motivated when you are working with them. Throughout this whole contest, the amount of time people put into making this whole thing happen is mind blowing. I’m just so happy for our community!”

There were several factors to determine the overall winner including on-line voting, community need and an essay written by the candidate.

“His commitment to the youth of our community is truly unbelievable,” said Arnold Shorey, Foxcroft Academy head of school. “He models for our students the importance of hard work, dedication and having a positive attitude. In our eyes, Luis is truly a most valuable coach and a better person.”

With this news Ayala wins a $50,000 community grant, which will go right back to kids in the area — something he is very passionate about. For more information on the contest, go to

Observer file photo/Stuart Hedstrom
MOST VALUABLE COACH HONOR — Foxcroft Academy boys soccer and wrestling coach Luis Ayala, who also guides youth teams in each sport, is the US Cellular Most Valuable Coach. With the news, Ayala wins a $50,000 community grant which will go right back to kids in the area — something he is very passionate about. Ayala is pictured during a school assembly last month where $5,000 was presented to Foxcroft Academy on Ayala’s behalf with him being one of 15 award finalists. The contribution was given by US Cellular Local Marketing and Brand Manager Stacey York, left, and Dave’s World US Cellular Manager Ashley Hamilton.

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