Tarboro football coach wins trip to Super Bowl to watch Todd Gurley

TARBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- Tarboro's Jeff Craddock lives in a full-time state of pinching himself these days. "I'm blessed and thankful - you can't write a script like that," said Craddock.

He's a North Carolina coaching titan.

The 5-time state champion won an all-expenses-paid trip to Atlanta this past weekend for the Pro Bowl when he was named national runner-up for the Don Shula High School Coach of the Year award.

"It basically says that we have a great program here," Craddock told ABC11, "You can't do these things without great assistant coaches and players."

The greatest of Craddock's Vikings? Rams superstar running back Todd Gurley. Gurley was the high-performance engine behind the Vikings back-to-back state titles in 2010 and 2011. Now, he's on the verge of winning the biggest prize in football.

Craddock has only glowing words for his former player. "He was great, he was a hard-working kid. He didn't want to stand out, he didn't like any of the attention. He just wanted to be a great team player. You see that with the Rams."

Craddock had not yet received a full itinerary when we were talking to him, but he anticipates a busy schedule in Atlanta. Whatever comes his way, he's ready to embrace the moment with his wife by his side.

"Whatever they have us do, I'm gonna be excited about it. The thrill is seeing a young man that I coached in high school playing in the Super Bowl."

As thrilling as this upcoming adventure will be, his main satisfaction remains in the coaching and teaching work rooted at home

"We're community driven. We want our community to be proud of who we are and what we represent and that's what makes us go and why we work so hard," he said.

Pressed for a Super Bowl prediction, you know Craddock had to go with Gurley and the Rams. "Twenty-seven to twenty-four" he said with a laugh.

As part of the coaching recognition, Tarboro High School will get $10,000.

While Craddock didn't want to give away any specifics, his players and coaches can likely count on a weight room upgrade.
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