USA Football and high school coaches associations in 37 states announced today the formation of the National High School Football Coaches Alliance. The new Alliance will foster frequent and meaningful collaboration between its members, advance best practices across high school football, and unite and serve its coaching community.
“Helping form and assist the Alliance is consistent with how we have served the high school coaching family for years,” USA Football CEO Scott Hallenbeck said. “This is a community formed by coaches for coaches. They are teachers and mentors – their work is self-giving and inspires student-athletes to be their best both on the field and off it. The formation of this Alliance presents a powerful opportunity for us all to share and learn from each other to keep football growing and moving forward.”
The Alliance, led by state high school association directors, will provide access to unique and progressive professional development and continuing education platforms, digital and physical coaching tools, and communication vehicles that extend beyond state borders.
Coaches association leaders met at January's 2018 USA Football National Conference in Orlando, Florida, which along with dozens of strategic workshops and presentations, also included memorable speeches by Hall of Fame Chicago Bears linebacker Mike Singletary, Super Bowl champion quarterback and on-air personality Trent Dilfer and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
The coaches convened with USA Football to discuss forming the Alliance, to benefit their members and football-playing student-athletes across the country.
“This is a significant ‘first’ for high school football,” said Oregon Athletic Coaches Association Executive Director Rob Younger, a 30-year educator and high school football coach who will serve as the inaugural Alliance president. “The Alliance will bring coaches together in ways we’ve not seen before and will strengthen our community through USA Football’s exceptional and vast coaching resources.”
The Alliance’s physical and digital platforms will be powered by USA Football, the sport’s national governing body and the only member of the U.S. Olympic Committee that's dedicated solely to football.
Along with Younger, Indiana Football Coaches Association Executive Director and Columbus East High School coach Bob Gaddis was part of the initial Alliance planning process.
“I think we’ve come to some good collaborative decisions for what’ll be good for our sport, and in particular, a unified voice for high school football,” said Gaddis, whose program was featured in last fall’s USA Football Power of Football campaign on its way to a state title. “When we gathered in Orlando, it was great to see so many guys from throughout the country. A lot of the time, we’re all dealing with the same things. What’ll be most exciting is how we identify how we can help coaches at all levels.”
Columbus East coach Bob Gaddis celebrates with his players following a 42-28 victory over Kokomo in last fall's Class 5A championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
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Gaddis said USA Football’s increased focus on high school football coaches as the lynchpin of football in their communities is already paying dividends.
“I think what it says is we should be the faces of football in our communities, in how high school, middle school and youth football all come together,” he said. “That way we can consistently train our coaches and our kids, and communicate with the public.”
Another plus, Gaddis said, is that the Alliance will provide the ability to present a unified front when necessary, like in situations such as last year’s decision by the Big Ten Conference to play games on Friday night, which drew scorn from coaches and football people across the country.
“When that news came out, we wondered how we could get all the coaches together in one voice,” Gaddis said. “Now we have a way to accomplish that.”
Coaches associations comprising the National High School Football Coaches Alliance are:
Alabama Football Coaches Association
Arkansas Football Coaches Association
California Coaches Association
Connecticut High School Coaches Association
Delaware Interscholastic Football Coaches Association
Florida Athletic Coaches Association
Georgia Athletic Coaches Association
Idaho State Coaches Association
Illinois Coaches Association
Illinois High School Football Coaches Association
Indiana Football Coaches Association
Iowa Football Coaches Association
Kansas Football Coaches Association
Kentucky Football Coaches Association
Kentucky High School Coaches Association
Louisiana Football Coaches Association
Louisiana High School Coaches Association
Maryland Football High School Coaches Association
Michigan High School Football Coaches Association
Minnesota Football Coaches Association
Mississippi Association of Coaches
Missouri Football Coaches Association
Montana Coaches Association
Nebraska Coaches Association
New Jersey Football Coaches Association
New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association
New Mexico High School Coaches Association
New York State High School Football Coaches Association
North Carolina Football Coaches Association
North Dakota High School Coaches Association
Ohio High School Football Coaches Association
Oklahoma Coaches Association
Oklahoma Football Coaches Association
Oregon Athletic Coaches Association
Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association
South Carolina Football Coaches Association
Southern California Football Coaches Association
South Dakota Football Coaches Association
Tennessee Football Coaches Association
Utah Football Coaches Association
Vermont High School Football Coaches Association
Wisconsin Football Coaches Association
Wyoming Coaches’ Association