Foxcroft Academy soccer and wrestling coach Luis Ayala has a lot to smile about today - he is the 2017 national Most Valuable Coach and wins a $50,000 grant for his school.

The MVP Coach Award is a program sponsored by U.S. Cellular and Samsung.

It began with nominating high school coaches from around the country who have made a difference in their community.

Ayala was the top vote-getter through online voting as the list of 50 was narrowed down to 15 finalists.

A panel of judges that included former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner and former NBA player Michael Cage selected the winner after reviewing bios and essays.

Ayala earned $5,000 for his school for finishing in the top 15.

Now, another $50,000 grant goes to the school in Ayala's name.

Ayala is a teacher and coaches soccer and wrestling at Foxcroft. He is originally from Ecuador and grew up in Virginia. He was a combat medic in the U.S. Army and deployed to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait

NOTE: Ayala will be a guest on Tuesday's 'Morning Pitch Show' on Sports Radio 92.9 The Ticket.

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