The USA Football National Conference is the premier educational and networking event for high school football coaches and administrators.
Sessions will feature insight from top coaches, administrators and medical staff members along with discussions about key trends and topics in and around the sport. Check back to this page throughout the coming weeks as we add top speakers to our lineup.
Acosta has been involved in coaching at various levels, from high school to the NFL, for 19 years. Recently, he spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons at Syracuse before moving on to Cornell in 2015. At Syracuse in 2015, he served as the Orange’s wide receiver coach and recruiting coordinator, ¬where he helped attract 18 three-star recruits and five players ranked among the top 50 at their positions in the country, according to 247 sports.
Before his stint at Syracuse, Acosta spent one year as head coach at Widener (2013) and five seasons as assistant coach at TCNJ (2008-12), the last four as offensive coordinator. That came on the heels of two seasons as the tight ends coach at Delaware, where he helped the Blue Hens reach the 2007 FCS National Championship game and assisted in the development of future Super Bowl winning quarterback Joe Flacco.
Acosta served as head coach at both Marlboro HS (2002-04) and Monmouth Regional HS (2006-07), sandwiched around three years as wide receivers coach at TCNJ. He began his coaching career at Rowan (1999-2001) as the team’s defensive backs and special teams coach. In addition, he spent the 2008 (Cleveland Browns) and 2010 (New York Jets) NFL preseason in coaching internships.
In his one season as head coach at Widener, the Pride went 6-4 and averaged 439.7 yards and 31.8 points per game. At TCNJ, his offense set school records for passing yards (2,491) and completions (269) in a season in 2012. During the 2009 campaign, the offense scored the most points in a single-season in program history (309), as well as yards in a game (708 vs. FDU-Florham).
Acosta played four seasons at Rowan, helping the team to the Stagg Bowl, the Division III national championship game, each year. He graduated in 2000 with a degree in health and exercise science.
Now in his 6th year as the Head Football Coach and Assistant Athletic Director, Rich Alercio has taken the Hilltoppers to three state championship appearances in the past four years. Highlighted by an undefeated 2018 State Championship season. Prior to coming to St Johnsbury, Alercio was named the first Head Football Coach in the history of Castleton State College. In only their second year, the Spartans had a winning record and finished second in their conference. During that second season at Castleton Alercio’s offense ranked in the top 10 nationally in five statistical categories.
Alercio began his career at West Chester University as a Graduate Assistant Coach. In his first year, they won the conference championship and went to the national playoffs. Two years later he moved to East Stroudsbury University as an assistant coach helping them win their conference championship and appear in the national playoffs. Most of his career was spent at The College of New Jersey (formerly Trenton State College) where he served as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. During his 15 years there, the Lions set nineteen individual and team records in rushing, passing and scoring, made six post-season appearances, won five conference championships and finished three seasons ranked in the nation’s top 10. In July, 2008, Alercio was featured in American Football Monthly where he was described as “a guru of offensive line play in the northeast part of the country.
Alercio lives in Vermont with his wife of 23 years, Kim. Their oldest son, Jake, is a senior baseball player at Fairleigh Dickenson University. Middle son, Shane, is a freshman football player at the University of New England in their inaugural season. Youngest son, Trey, is a junior wide receiver and cornerback for the Hilltoppers.
Learn more about Rich at olineskills.com
Bobby April is a veteran in the coaching game, with more than 40 years of experience. Having coached at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels, April has extensive knowledge of the game. He had stints at Southern Mississippi, Tulane, Arizona, Southern Cal, and Ohio State before moving up to the NFL. While in the NFL, April coached nine different teams and was awarded the NFL Special Teams Coach of the Year in both 2004 and 2008. Most recently, April moved back to the college level as the special teams analyst for Louisiana State University in the 2017 season before retiring.
Sherman Armstrong grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He was a member of the Track and Field Team at the University of Illinois from 1997-2001, where he graduated with a degree in Speech Communications. During his time at the University of Illinois, he was the Big 10 Athlete of the year 2000, four-time NCAA All-American, nine-time Big 10 Champion, school record holder in the 400m hurdles, and was the only collegiate athlete to make the Olympic Trials finals for the USA in the 400m Hurdles in the year 2000.
Armstrong competed professionally for five years for Nike Athletics and the Santa Monica Track club. During his pro career, he made the US Championships finals 4 times and made the Olympic Trials finals in 2004. Armstrong was able to leave his mark as a highly decorated student-athlete and professional. In 2013 he earned his Master’s Degree in Human Movement Science as well as the CSCS, which is the top certification for professionals in his field. Armstrong was the Associate Strength and Conditioning Coach for the University of Georgia Football Program from 2012-2015. While at Georgia he assisted the program in becoming SEC East Champions in 2011-2012, and making three Bowl game appearances going 2-1.
Armstrong is the Owner and Head Performance Director of VAST Sports Performance where he helps athletes at all levels elevate their game. Having trained hundreds of current professional athletes Armstrong is considered among some of the best Performance Specialist in his field. Armstrong joins PCA with a mission to help athletes realize their true greatness.
Ballard was a one-year starter at Wilmington College then transferred after his freshman year to Mount Union College. While at Mount Union, Ballard broke numerous school, conference and NCAA records en route to leading the Purple Raiders to their first ever Division III National Championship in 1993.
A two time First Team All-American Team member in 1992 and 1993, and an Honorable Mention All-American in 1991, Jim shattered 17 Division III records and threw for over 12,000 yards and over 150 touchdowns. The two-time recipient of the Mike Gregory Award, which is given to the Ohio Athletic Conference’s top offensive back, he was a three time All-Conference selection and suffered only one OAC loss during his college career. Ballard won the inaugural Melberger Award and the Gagliardi Trophy as Division III’s Player of the Year. He held every Mount Union passing record by the end of his career and still holds the NCAA record for highest number of touchdowns thrown in a playoff game (8).
In addition, Jim was selected as the 1993 Joe Fogg Award Winner, given to the top collegiate player in all divisions in the Midwest by the Cleveland Touchdown Club. In 2008, Jim was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Ballard was an All-American at Mount Union College.
Coach Brogan has been a coach for 47 years, 38 of those being as head coach all at Lumen Christi High School in Jackson, Michigan. He has an overall record of 356-83, with 9 State Championships including the last 3 in a row. He is a graduate of Jackson St Mary and Kalamazoo College.
Coach Brogan has been married for 45 years to Mary Pat with 4 children, who are on staff with him, along with 8 grandchildren.
Larry is a Colorado native, heading into his 31st year in public education. Currently he is the Director of Athletics and Activities in the Cherry Creek School District, though he has been a Special Education Teacher, Dean of Students, Athletic Director and Assistant Principal. In 2009 he was the Colorado Assistant Principal of the Year.
He has coached high school football, boys basketball and girls soccer. He has been involved in various committees in the Colorado High School Activities Association. Presently he is the Chair of the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC), the Ice Hockey committee, and is a member of the Boys Lacrosse committee. He has had the amazing opportunity to serve on the NFHS Ice Hockey Committee as well as a Board Member of the Colorado Athletic Directors Association for the last three years.
The 2018 season is the first for Kevin Carberry as Stanford’s offensive line coach and running game coordinator.
Carberry spent the 2016-17 seasons as the assistant offensive line coach with the Washington Redskins and the 2014-15 seasons as an offensive assistant with the Dallas Cowboys.
In his first season with the Redskins in 2016, Carberry and offensive line coach Bill Callahan presided over one of the league’s top units, producing two Pro Bowlers (tackle Trent Williams and guard Brandon Scherff) for the Redskins for the first time since 1991. The unit helped power the Redskins to the third-ranked offense in the NFL, allowing the team to average more than 400 yards/game for the first time in team history, while allowing only 23 sacks — fourth in the NFL. The Redskins also finished ninth among league teams in rushing yards/attempt (4.5).
The tutelage and guidance of Carberry and Callahan were paramount in helping the Redskins offense overcome a season-long rash of injuries and still average nearly 325 yards/game in 2017. The Redskins used 36 unique groups of offensive linemen (including seven different combinations of six-lineman groupings), as well as eight different starting lineups along the offensive line. Members of the unit were once again honored for their excellence, as Scherff earned his second Pro Bowl selection and Williams earned his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl nod despite battling a year-long knee injury. Together, Scherff and Williams became the first Redskins offensive line duo collectively named to the Pro Bowl in consecutive seasons since the duo of Russ Grimm and Joe Jacoby earned four straight selections following the 1983-86 seasons.
Carberry helped develop rookies Chase Roullier and Tyler Catalina. Roullier started seven games at center for the Redskins, while Catalina started two games at guard and played in three games at tackle.
Carberry assisted Mike Pope in coaching the tight ends in 2015, when Jason Witten led the team in receptions with 77 and finished second with 713 receiving yards. Carberry also aided in the development of rookie Geoff Swaim. The Cowboys finished fifth in the NFL in rushing yards/attempt (4.6).
In 2014, Carberry assisted Callahan with the offensive line. The Cowboys won their first NFC East title since 2009 and finished second in the NFL in rushing (147.1) with running back DeMarco Murray leading the league in rushing and setting a franchise record with 1,845 yards.
Carberry spent the first five seasons of his coaching career at the collegiate level, serving as a defensive graduate assistant at Kansas (2009-11) and coaching defensive ends at Stephen F. Austin (2012-13). He helped the Lumberjacks defense lead the Southland Conference with 31.0 sacks in 2012 and he also assisted coaching special teams. At Kansas, he worked with the defensive line and outside linebackers.
Prior to entering the coaching ranks, Carberry attended training camps of the Cleveland Browns (2005) and Carolina Panthers (2006) and spent the 2005 season on the practice squad of the Detroit Lions. He also played for the Berlin Thunder of NFL Europe in the spring of 2006. From 2007-08, he played in the Arena Football League for the New York Dragons and Philadelphia Soul and was a member of the Soul’s 2008 Arena Bowl Championship squad.
Carberry also coached during his playing career, serving as the defensive coordinator, defensive line and inside linebackers coach at St. Ignatius College Prep (Ill.), during his AFL years in 2007-08. In 2006, he was a varsity assistant for Illinois state champion St. Rita High School, his alma mater.
Carberry, a four-year letterman at Ohio, earned All-MAC honors as senior team captain. The defensive lineman graduated from Ohio in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and earned his master’s in sports administration from Kansas in 2010.
Carberry is married to his wife, Emily. The couple has one son, Francis.
Darnell Clark is the Director of Strength and Conditioning at Charlotte Country Day School (CCDS) in Charlotte, NC. In this role, Clark and his staff are responsible for the daily development and systematic implementation for 36 junior varsity and varsity teams (24 sports). In 2014, Clark was the recipient of the NSCA’s High School Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award. Under his leadership CCDS has earned the NSCA’s Strength of America Award for seven consecutive years. He has had the privilege of coaching seven NSCA High School Strength and Conditioning All-Americans and over 250 college-bound student-athletes. From 2013-2016 he served as the NSCA’s North Carolina State Director. Currently, Clark serves as the NSCA Southeast Regional Coordinator. Clark received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University where he received a scholarship for playing football and his Master of Physical Education degree from Arizona State University.
As the Founder and Commissioner of the Pittsburgh Flag Football League (PFFL), Chris Curd brings nine years of experience in league operations and brand strategy to the flag football landscape. Under his leadership, the NFL Flag program has been thrusted into a fast track for growth in Western Pennsylvania in the recreational, interscholastic and competitive levels. Through the efforts of a dedicated staff, various strategic partnerships and diligence with respect to marketing, the PFFL is widely recognized as a leader in flag football.
Chris is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and four year letterman and scholarship member of the football team. Post college, he was fortunate enough to have a brief stint in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons along with numerous AFL teams throughout his professional playing career. With seven years of experience in the technology start-up community and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business, Chris currently serves as a development consultant for organizations with marketing and branding needs. He and his lovely wife Sharae’ currently reside in Pittsburgh with their three daughters.
Rob Currin is the Head Varsity Football Coach at Alden High School in Alden, New York. Prior to being named Head Coach in 2013, Currin served as an assistant in the Alden program from 2006-2012. Currin was the Assistant Offensive Line Coach in 2005 at Buffalo State and spent two seasons prior to that as an assistant coach at Saint Francis High School in Athol Springs, New York. Coach Currin is also a Master Trainer with USA Football and he is the Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills 13-14-year-old NFL Flag National Championship Team.
John T. Curtis, Jr. (J.T.) is the current Headmaster, Athletic Director and Head Football Coach of John Curtis Christian High School. He began teaching and coaching at JCCS in 1969. Coach Curtis spent three years at the University of Arkansas, where he signed a full athletic scholarship. He then transferred to Louisiana College and spent one season there, before coming home to work at JCCS. While working at JCCS, he continued his education where he received his bachelor’s degree from Loyola University. He would also receive his master’s degree from Loyola in Administration some years later. In 44 years as high school football coach he ranks 2nd all-time in wins with a career record of 520-54-6 on his way to 25 state championships.
Remarkably, his only losing season as a head coach was his first going 0-10. He has been inducted into the Louisiana College Hall of Fame, the LHSAA Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Sportswriter’s Hall of Fame as well as the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. He is also the pastor of Coliseum Place Baptist Church, which now meets on the high school campus after the original church in the Central Business District of New Orleans burned down following Hurricane Katrina. J.T. is married to Lydia Curtis and has two sons, Johnny and Jeff, both of whom work at the school, and one daughter, Joanna.
Vincent DiGaetano returns to Maritime and will serve as its head coach for his first season in 2018.
DiGaetano comes back to Maritime after spending the spring and summer season with Division I Football Championship Subdivision members Fordham University as a special teams quality control assistant since April. Prior to Fordham, he served as an assistant for Wagner College for the 2016 and 2017 seasons after a one-year stint at Nassau Community College at the junior college level.
A key contributor in the development of the Maritime program since its infancy in 2005, DiGaetano served as Privateers’ Defensive Coordinator from 2008 through the 2014 campaign and has coached every defensive position group during his tenure. Prior to taking over the defense, he also served as the Special Teams Coordinator from 2005-07.
During his final season at Maritime, DiGaetano served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the 2014 season. In his final season running the Maritime defense, the team was ranked 21st amongst 252 NCAA Division III programs in total defense allowing just 285.1 yards per game during the season.
Following the 2014 season DiGaetano was named a finalist for the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Assistant Coach of the Year. He was later selected to serve as the Defensive Coordinator for the USA Select Team at the International Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
Throughout his initial tenure with the Privateers, DiGaetano led 39 defensive student-athletes to Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) All-Conference honors, including 15 First Team honorees. He also coached Maritime’s only Defensive Player of the Year, which came in successive seasons in 2010 and 2011. Defensive lineman Ricky McClain ’13 was also selected to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his outstanding community service beyond the football field. McClain was recognized at the 2011 Allstate Sugar Bowl during an on-field halftime celebration.
Away from Maritime, DiGaetano was named to the USA Football Master Trainer program, and was the only collegiate coach in the nation with the assignment as the majority of the staff was comprised of professional coaches. Recognized as a subject matter expert in the area of tackling, DiGaetano has presented this NFL sponsored program to many high school and youth football programs around. His efforts in this area are helping to create a better, safer game for players across the nation. DiGaetano was also in a feature segment on the NFL Network for his work with the USA Football Master Trainer program.
Prior to his stop, DiGaetano spent four seasons as the defensive coordinator at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, coaching two future NFL players in Ramon Guzman (Indianapolis Colts) and Dequan Mobley (New York Jets).
A graduate of Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y., DiGaetano earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology in 1999 and a Master’s of Science in Education in 2001. DiGaetano was a standout defensive end for the Seahawks, lettering in each of his four years.
A native of Island Park, N.Y., DiGaetano attended West Hempstead High School, where he lettered in football, track and lacrosse.
After he graduated as Honor Man (#1-ranked trainee) of SEAL BUD/S at 26, Mark served for nine years total on active duty and eleven as a Reserve SEAL, retiring as Commander in 2011. His leadership of teams was so effective the government tasked him with creating a nationwide mentoring program for SEAL trainees. He knew he could form a fitness company that prepared civilians for the physical AND mental/emotional demands of Navy SEAL-like lifestyle. So he started SEALFIT.
He also served as adjunct professor of leadership at the University of San Diego before the Navy called him up for duty in the Iraq War. Through Mark’s teaching, entrepreneurial endeavors and travel to foreign countries, he noticed the power of mental toughness, emotional resilience, intuitive leadership and a healthy spirit for anyone wanting breakthrough performance. They weren’t solely for combat or restricted to the business world or one culture. He’d watch them transform lives in people from every background, nation and belief system. So, he wrote and self-published his first book, Unbeatable Mind, in 2011 and launched its at-home study program. Three more books poured out in a torrent … The Way of the SEAL, published by Reader’s Digest, and 8 Weeks to SEALFIT and KOKORO Yoga, both published by St. Martin’s Press.
After growing up in upstate New York, getting a degree in economics and an MBA from NYU, he prepared for life as a high-powered CPA… and then left his high paying finance career for the adventurous life of a Navy SEAL officer. Now he’s once again sought after by those same corporations and institutions, as a trainer of the mental toughness and whole person training that shaped and healed him. Mark lives with his family in Encinitas, California, where he continues to train, explore, learn from others and generate more resources to improve the lives of everyone he meets.
Rudy Fernandez Jr. is currently the Athletic Director and Head of the Physical Education Department at Alexander School in Miami, Fl and Director/Head Coach of RYAN Football. Rudy has been coaching Football for 20 years, both in flag football and tackle football.
In flag football, he started his own program, RYAN Football, winning 4 NFL Flag National Championships and countless other National Titles. He has coached optimist for 8+ years; both Pop Warner and Miami Extreme. He has had great success in the Miami Extreme league, not losing a game in 5 years and winning 5 Super Bowls. Rudy was a High School Head Football Coach, taking Palmer Trinity in Miami from a win-less season to a conference championship game in his first season. In his second season, he helped Palmer capture their first conference championship.
Rudy has a B.A. in Sports Administration. He is married to Sibyl Fernandez, has 3 sons Ryan, Sean and Nico and has one daughter Aryana.
P.J. (Philip John) Fleck was named head football coach at the University of Minnesota in 2017. When he took over, Fleck led a young and inexperienced Gopher squad to a 5-7 record. Those five wins were the most by a first-year Gopher head coach new to the program since the legendary Murray Warmath won seven games in 1954.
Fleck won his Gopher debut, which made him the school’s first head coach to win his debut since 1986. Minnesota then posted a win at Oregon State, which made Fleck the first Gopher coach to win a true road opener since 1954. Minnesota posted three 30-point wins in 2017, which hadn’t happened since 2005.
Off the field, Fleck and his team can often be found at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and gave back to the community by hosting a diaper drive, canned food drive and turkey drive this year.
Fleck came to Minnesota after spending four years as the head coach at Western Michigan, where he was 30-22 overall and 21-11 in the Mid-American Conference. While leading the Broncos, Fleck authored one of the most memorable turnarounds in college football history. The Broncos were 1-11 in his first year in 2013, but ended the 2016 season with a No. 12 ranking, a 13-1 record, a conference championship and a berth in the Cotton Bowl.
Prior to his time at Western Michigan, Fleck had stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rutgers University, Northern Illinois and Ohio State.
Fleck himself played receiver at Northern Illinois from 1999-2003 and helped lead the Huskies to a No. 10 ranking. He took his talents to the NFL breifly while playing with the San Fransisco 49ers.
Fleck and his wife, Heather, have four children, Gavin, Carter, Paisley (P.J.) and Harper.
Mike Fox joins the Brockport football coaching staff for the 2016 season as the Defensive Coordinator. Fox joins the Golden Eagles after a 12-year stint at St. John Fisher College, where he served as the Defensive Coordinator for eight seasons.
Fox’s second season with Brockport was an impressive one, as the Brockport defense helped lead them to their best season in program history with an appearance in the 2017 NCAA Final Four. The team made a living of getting after opposing quarterbacks in ’17, leading the nation with 63 team sacks, leading the second place teams by more than 20 sacks. They also finished the year ranked third in rushing defense, allowing just 54 yards-per-game on the ground. Eight defensive players were placed on Empire 8 All-Conference teams, including five on the First-Team. Five of those players were also placed on D3Football.com All-East Region teams, while safety Jake O’Connell was named a First-Team All-American.
In his first season donning the Green and Gold, Fox’s defense ranked third in the country in defensive touchdowns with six. Four Golden Eagles were named to the All-Conference team, highlighted by Jake O’Connell who ranked sixth in the country in interception return yards with 164. The defense was also active in getting after opposing QB’s, averaging over two sacks-per-game (23 total).
While with the Cardinals, Fox saw six Conference Championships, six Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships, and five NCAA National Playoff appearances including three quarterfinal finishes and a semi-final appearance.
Fox oversaw a defense that crushed over eight school and national records. His unit set the single game record with 11 sacks against Hartwick College in 2013. That same defense also caused a school record 18 forced fumbles and were ranked second in the country in interceptions.
Over his career, Fox has mentored over 50 All-Conference players, two All-American linebackers, an Empire 8 Conference Player of the Year and a d3football.com All-Decade selection.
Fox, a 2005 graduate of Fisher, was a four-year starter at Fisher and two-time All-American inside linebacker. He set the Fisher single-season record with 151 tackles as a junior in 2003 and tallied 135 tackles in 2004, while helping guide the Cardinals to their first Empire 8 Conference title and the program’s first trip to the NCAA Division III Championship.
For his career, Fox, a former All-Greater Rochester selection out of Caledonia-Mumford, ranks not only first at Fisher in career tackles, but his 478 career tackles rank third all-time in NCAA Division III.
After graduating with a degree in Communication/Journalism, Fox began his coaching career in 2005 as a junior varsity assistant. In 2006, he was promoted to varsity inside linebacker coach and junior varsity defensive coordinator, a position he held for two seasons.
Fox resides in Spencerport, N.Y. with his wife Meghan and their son Connor.
Elliott Giles has had a huge impact on the youth of Northeastern Ohio by starting Y2 Sports, a non-profit organization centered on the youth of Youngstown to help battle the worldwide dilemma of childhood obesity while building young men and women of character. Giles also founded The Youngstown Youth Flag Football Association, an NFL-sanctioned flag football league that has impacted over 10,000 children from the Tri-County area since its inaugural season in 2007.
Giles and the YYFFA continue to put the league on the map at the national level with multiple teams competing at the National Flag Football Tournament consistently over the past seven years. This includes the 8U and 12U and winning national championships last year. As well as 7u and 8u (repeating as National champs) this year. Knowing the YYFFA is one of the top 5 NFL Flag leagues in the country, the constant pursuit of excellence has become contagious throughout organization. That notoriety and expectations are what drives Giles and the YYFFA to put their best foot forward each time a new season begins.
A member of the Youngstown University Athletic Hall of Fame, Giles also gives back to the university through a scholarship endowment, the Elliott L. Giles Scholarship , which was created for a YSU student-athlete. This scholarship is awarded annually to a minority student-athlete with a GPA of 2.5 or above.
Elliott resides with his wife and children in Youngstown, Ohio. He is employed by the Ohio Virtual Academy (OHVA).
Alex Golesh is in his fourth season at Iowa State as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator, reuniting with head coach Matt Campbell.
Behind Golesh’s efforts, ISU’s recruiting has sky-rocketed, recording four of the best classes in school history.
Golesh previously was an assistant coach at Illinois, where he was the tight ends coach in 2013 and 2015, and worked with the Illini running backs/tight ends in 2014. He was also recruiting coordinator from 2012-14, the special teams coordinator in 2015 and worked the specialists all four years.
Golesh was on staff at Toledo for three years from 2009-2011, serving as both the tight ends coach and the recruiting coordinator. Golesh aided the UT program in securing the No. 1 recruiting class in the Mid-American Conference in consecutive years. The 2010 UT class was No. 1 according to Rivals.com, while both Rivals and Scout.com rated the 2011 class No. 1.
Prior to going to Toledo, Golesh spent three seasons as a graduate assistant, two at Northern Illinois (2006-07) and one at Oklahoma State. Golesh worked with the outside linebackers at Oklahoma State in 2008, helping the Cowboys to a 9-4 record and a berth in the Holiday Bowl. At NIU, Golesh worked for one season assisting with the secondary and one season with the offensive line, helping the Huskies make the 2006 Poinsettia Bowl.
Golesh got his start in the coaching business as a student assistant coach while attending Ohio State as an undergraduate. He spent 2 ½ years aiding the Buckeyes’ defensive coaches, with responsibilities that included working with the defensive line. During his time at Ohio State, the Buckeyes claimed the 2005 Big Ten Championship and went on to earn a victory in the Fiesta Bowl over Notre Dame. OSU also posted a win in the 2004 Alamo Bowl over Oklahoma State.
Golesh also spent one year as a defensive line coach in a first-year football program at newly opened Westerville Central High School in 2003.
Golesh was born in Moscow, Russia, but grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Dublin, Ohio, where he was a three-year letterwinner in football at Dublin Scioto High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio State in 2006.
Golesh and his wife, Alexis, have a daughter, Corbin, and a son, Barrett.
Richie Gray is the foremost tackling expert in football and rugby. He is the founder of GSI Performance and currently serves as the Attacking & Defensive breakdown Specialist for the Montpellier Herault (France, Rugby).
He worked with the Miami Dolphins as their Tackle Specialist in 2016 and now consults other programs in the U.S. He served as contact coach for the South African and Scotland National Rugby teams and is an instructor in the Advanced Tackling System and developed the progression within it.
Scott Hallenbeck has led USA Football, the national youth and amateur governing body of America’s favorite sport, since 2005. He oversees all aspects of the organization, including football development, communications, corporate partnerships and membership programs. Under Hallenbeck’s leadership, USA Football has become recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee as well as the official youth football development partner of the NFL and all 32 NFL teams.
Follow Scott on Twitter: @USAFootballHC
Herb Hand, a veteran offensive line coach who has helped coordinate numerous dynamic offenses in his 27 years of coaching, is in his first season as co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Texas. He joined the Longhorns after coaching the offensive line at Auburn for the past two seasons.
A three-time finalist for Offensive Line Coach of the Year by Football Scoop (2008, ’16-17), Hand was also co-coordinator for an offense that led the nation in total offense for two consecutive years (2007-08) at Tulsa, one of which is the only offense to feature a 5,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and three 1,000 yard receivers (2007).
Most recently at Auburn, Hand brings a resume that includes working with programs that produced six conference championships in addition to three division championships. Offenses Hand has coached on have produced all-time leading rushers at three different schools including West Virginia, Tulsa and Vanderbilt.
While at Auburn, Hand’s offensive line was named one of three finalists for the Joe Moore Award (nation’s top offensive line) in 2017, and the unit was a semifinalist for the award in 2016. During that time, along with his time at Vanderbilt, he coached players who earned 11 SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week Awards.
Hand went to Auburn after two seasons at Penn State as the run game coordinator and offensive line coach. Before that, he coached the offensive line at Vanderbilt from 2010-13, adding run game coordinator duties in 2013. Prior to Vanderbilt, Hand worked three years at Tulsa, serving as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Hand also had successful stints with Virginia, Clemson, Concord College and Glenville State.
Hand earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Hamilton College in 1990, where he was a three-year starter on the offensive line for the Continentals, serving as team captain and earning All-NESCAC honors in 1989. He earned a master’s degree in business administration in 1993 from West Virginia Wesleyan while serving as a graduate assistant.
A native of Westmoreland, N.Y., Hand and his wife, Debbie, have three children, including two sons, Trey and Cade, and one daughter, Bailey.
Matt Heckel is proud that his entire career has been with Jeffco Public Schools, the same district where he was a student – having graduated from Bear Creek High School in Lakewood, CO. Matt’s first foray into high school coaching was football at Alameda High under Ron Woitalewicz, now the Dakota Ridge High School football coach in Littleton, CO. Matt has also coached soccer at Jefferson High School, and women’s basketball at Dakota Ridge. In addition to coaching, Matt taught English until 2005, then moved to the Athletic Director position at Dakota Ridge. As AD, Matt initiated the Dakota Ridge HS Athletic Hall of Fame, created a Super Fan group to encourage sportsmanship and founded a Leadership Council that promotes positive school culture.
Matt serves as an instructor at CADA Conferences and has been a presenter at several National Athletic Director conferences as well as the New Mexico State AD Conference. He is the 4A football league representative, and State Volleyball Chairman. Matt received the CADA 5A Athletic Director of the year award in 2013, and under Matt’s leadership Dakota Ridge HS earned the distinguished CADA State Award of Merit in 2016 — though he feels his greatest accomplishment is “proud father of two Dakota Ridge High School Graduates, Dr. Brandi Heckel and Shane Heckel.”
Scott Heitland just completed his 25th year of high school football in Iowa, the last 15 years as the head coach of the Dallas Center-Grimes Mustangs. During this time, the Mustangs have grown from one of the smallest schools in their class to now one of the biggest. During his tenure, the Mustangs have qualified for the post-season 8 times and they have been crowned district champions four of the past six years going undefeated in three of those seasons. In 2014, Heitland served as the President of the Iowa Football Coaches Association and continues to serve on the Board of Directors yet today. As an IFCA Board member, he chairs the IFCA Hall of Fame committee, co-chairs the IFCA Clinic committee and IFCA Combine committee. He has also taken a leadership role within the IFCA on connecting with youth football leagues throughout the state. Scott also serves as the Iowa representative on the National High School Football Coaches Alliance that meets this year at the USA Football National Conference.
Coach Strait Herron has coached in South Carolina for twenty-eight years, starting his career directly after high school in 1986. That’s also when he first became a member of the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association.
His career began at A.C. Flora High School in Columbia, but shortly thereafter he transferred colleges and began coaching at Strom Thurmond High School. Following the loss of a close friend and fellow coach, he took a break from coaching to obtain his BS degree in Secondary Education from Coastal Carolina University.
After graduation, Coach Herron returned to his hometown and began coaching at Rock Hill High School, where he also received his first teaching job. After three years, he took a job at Clover High School when his mentor and high school basketball coach was hired as the principal. There he worked his way up from a junior varsity coach to the varsity defensive coordinator, a position he held seven of the nine years at Clover High School. Eventually he took his talents back to his alma mater and coached for three years at Northwestern High School before moving to his current school, South Pointe High School.
Coach Herron was an assistant coach for five years until the door opened for him to move up, becoming the second head coach in school history. As a head coach, he has been reported as the fastest coach to reach 100 wins in South Carolina history. He has won five state championships in total and was also awarded the U.S. Army All-American Coach of the Year in 2018.
Coach Hester has been in the sports performance field for over thirty years as a collegiate strength and conditioning coach, as well as owning his own sports training facility and being instrumental in building a corporate sports training company. As an assistant coach at LSU, Coach Hester trained two national championship baseball teams under Head Coach Skip Bertman. The 1997 team broke the NCAA baseball home run record that has not been broken since. After leaving LSU he opened his own training facility, HS2 Athletic Performance, where he trained over 15,000 junior high, high school, college and professional athletes. After hurricane Katrina he moved to Nashville he got involved in D1 Sports Training as the National Director of Training and helped build the corporation up to thirty-two training facilities.
While at Louisiana Tech, Coach Hester has helped Skip Holtz build a yearly conference championship contender going to the conference championship twice in five years and has gone to five consecutive bowl games. He has also developed more drafted players in the last five years than any other group of five conference teams. In 2016, he was a finalist for FootballScoop.com strength coach of the year.
Loren Johnson is the Head Varsity Football Coach at Highland Springs High School. He has just finished his ninth season as the Head Coach, where he has an overall record of 101-19 and three VHSL-5A State Champions. In the last four seasons, Highland Springs has amassed a total of 20,106 yards in and 1,956 points scored.
Coach Johnson came to Highland Springs from Stonewall Jackson High School in Manassas, Virginia where he was the head coach from 2003-2007. His coaching career started as an assistant at Lord Botetourt High School in Daleville, Virginia before taking over the ranks at Stonewall Jackson.
Rick Jones has been coaching football at the high school and college levels for 41 years. He was a college assistant for three years at Missouri State University, before stepping into the role of a head coach at the following high schools: Edmond High School, Tulsa Union High School, Broken Arrow High School, and Greenwood High School.
Overall, he has nine State Championship titles, has won 18 Coach of the Year awards and was inducted into the Oklahoma High School Coaches Hall of Fame. He also earned the Positive Coaching Alliance 2016 National Double Goal Coaching Award, the 2017 Semper Fidelis Coach Award and the 2018 AFCA Power of Influence Award.
Coach Jones is a member of the Arkansas Football Coaches Association, Arkansas Activities Association Football Advisory Board, NFHS Coaches Association and American Football Coaches Association.
He himself played 4 years of football at Harding University 1973-1976.
Mike Judy, a native of Dover, Delaware, is entering his 18th season coaching football and his 6th season as Head Coach of the Smyrna Eagles. The Eagles have amassed a 42-14 record and 3 DIAA D1 State Championships in his 5 years. His 2015 championship team was a Maxpreps Top 50 Ranked Team.
Mike came to Smyrna as an assistant coach in 2007 after 3 seasons at Gar-Field High School in Dale City, VA. He started his coaching career at Wesley College (DE) in 2001 and served on the staff at Hargrave Military Academy (VA) in their Post-graduate program from 2002-2004. Judy also served as a minor league strength coach with the Philadelphia Phillies in the spring of 2004.
Brian Kight is an industry leader on leadership, culture and behavior. He provides simple, clear and immediately actionable systems that produce exceptional results for organizations, teams and people. Kight applies the “physics” of performance to the most important challenges in life and business. His clients include professional and collegiate sports teams, schools, banks, manufacturing, healthcare, accounting, insurance and others around the globe. As the CEO at Focus 3, Kight has worked for more than a decade directly with all levels of executives and associates. The trust clients have in Kight and his impact has made him one of the top-rated keynote speakers and consultants in the United States.
Follow Brian on Twitter: @TBrianKight
Dr. Koester, a pediatric sports medicine specialist, specializes in the evaluation and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. He is trained in both pediatric and adult sports medicine, but has a special interest in the evaluation and care of injuries in young children and adolescents, including concussion. He practices at the Slocum Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Eugene, Oregon where he also directs the Slocum Sports Concussion Program. He is currently serving his second term as Chair of the National Federation of State High School Associations’ Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and is also the Chair of the Oregon School Activities Association’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. He is the team physician for Marist Catholic High School, Northwest Christian University, the Eugene Emeralds baseball club, and the Eugene Generals hockey team.
In his first year at USA Football, Mike and his team are leading the efforts to design the framework for the Football Development Model. Having just recently retired as the District Athletic/Activities Director for Aurora Public Schools, Mike spent 28 years as an educator in Colorado serving in a variety of roles as a teacher, administrator and coach. As an athletics administrator he has been very active at both the State and National levels developing athletic policy and legislation, working extensively with State Activities Associations and the NIAAA. An Assistant Professor at Metro State University Denver, Mike is also a member of the National Teaching Faculty for the NIAAA and is a Past President of the Colorado Athletics Directors Association.
Saint Ignatius High School has a rich tradition of excellence in football, but few have accomplished or contributed more than Head Football Coach Chuck Kyle ’69.
Now in his 36th season, Kyle has built a winning program based on doing things the right way. The results speak for themselves during Kyle’s tenure.
Named head coach prior to the start of the 1983 season, Kyle has directed the Wildcats to a 345-87-1 (.798) record, 28 playoff appearances, 15 regional championships, and 11 state titles in that time. Kyle passed John Wirtz as the school’s all-time winning-est coach, on November 23, 1996, as the Wildcats defeated Canton McKinley, 31-24, in a state semifinal game played at the Rubber Bowl in Akron.
Saint Ignatius football has risen to unprecedented prominence in the Ohio High School Athletic Association under Kyle. The Wildcats own 11 big-school state championships and three national championships. The Wildcats are 72-17 in OHSAA playoff games since 1988.
In 2013, Kyle was inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame. In 2010, he was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame and was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.
Rob is a 13 year Youth Football Coach, and also is the Head of the House Travel and Flag Football Leagues (~600 Fall football players) for Park Ridge Sports, Inc., a 51 year old non-for-profit with over 900 combined youth athletes that is committed to providing a safe, positive, and nourishing environment where our student-athletes and volunteer coaches are afforded the opportunity to develop strength of character, build self-esteem, and realize personal development.
Coach Derek Leonard is the head coach at Rochester High School (IL), where he’s won 7 state championships. He has an impressive career record of 145-31, which has helped earn him titles such as the 2017 NFL Chicago Bears Coach of the Year, IHSA Football Coach of the Year and USA Today Illinois Coach of the Year.
Coach Ken Leonard was born July 7, 1953 in Lexington, Illinois where he grew up as one of six children. He graduated from Chenoa (IL) High School, where he was a four-sport athlete, which led him to be a starter for the Hawks of Harper Junior College then a starter for the Trojans of Dakota State University in Madison, SD. Coach Leonard then attended and graduated college at Illinois State University in Normal, IL.
After obtaining his degree, Leonard returned to his roots at Chenoa, serving as assistant coach for the team. From there, Leonard took over as head coach at Gridley (IL) High School. While at Gridley, he led his squads to 3 conference crowns and 2 consecutive playoff appearances in 1981 and 1982. He achieved a 32-9 overall record in his four years there, which remains the best among Gridley coaches.
In 1984, Leonard took the head coaching job at Griffin High School in Springfield, where he has been ever since. On September 21, 2018, with a 45-6 win over Rochester, Coach Leonard became the winningest coach in Illinois with 375 wins.
Learn more about Ken and get an exclusive look into his family and football community by watching The Leonard Story here.
Don Lindberger is an assistant football coach at 6A Perkiomen Valley High School in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. For the past four years, he has coached linebackers, running backs and serves as the Special Teams Coordinator and Tackling Coordinator. He helped lead the team to three consecutive championship seasons, winning the Pioneer Athletic Conference (PAC) League from 2016-2018.
Prior to Perkiomen Valley High School, Don spent five years as the Defensive Coordinator at Pope John Paul II High School. He began his coaching career at the Harleysville Eagles Football Club where he served as a Head Coach for eleven years and Club President for seven years.
For the past four years, Don has presented at over forty clinics as a Master Trainer for USA Football in the Northeast Region. From 2009-2015, he served on the National Youth Rules Committee. In 2012, Don was honored with “The Rock” Award for his efforts with USA Football. Don went onto to continue inspiring his players and fellow coaches and in 2013 he was recognized by the National Football League (NFL) and Courtyard Marriott with the “Inspire Greatness in Others” Award. He has also coached in the National Developmental Games in Canton, OH, from 2013-2018 and was also selected to coach in the International Bowl in Dallas, Texas, from 2016-2018.
Don is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University where he played football and rugby. From 1989-1993 he was a member of Blackthorn Rugby Club in Philadelphia, PA.
Off the field, Don enjoys spending time in Ocean City, NJ, with his family. He and his wife Barb live in Schwenksville, PA, with their four children. Jack (21), Grace (19), Marie (16) and Gus (14).
Walt is currently the President of the Northern Rocket Football League (NRFL), headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has been involved with the program as an administrator and coach for nearly 40 years and during that time has been instrumental in keeping the NRFL at the forefront in Michigan as an innovative, youth-focused organization.
He serves as the Operations & Training Manager for the Michigan State AFL-CIO HRDI program, as well as providing trainings for Career Service Providers through his own company.
He is one of 35 Master Trainers in the world as certified by the National Career Development Association, has presented, and trained individuals and organizations all over the United States. Walt is a member of the Michigan Youth Athletic Association (MYAA) and the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA).
He resides in Grand Rapids with his wife Susan, and family.
Phil Longo, engineer of the nation’s best FCS offense at Sam Houston State, was tabbed as the Rebels’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on December 16, 2016.
In Longo’s three years on head coach K.C. Keeler’s staff, SHSU won the Southland Conference twice (2014, 2016) and compiled a 34-10 overall record. The Bearkats advanced to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs in 2014 and 2015 and quarterfinals this year, while rising as high as No. 1 in the FCS national polls in both 2015 and 2016.
The red zone was a key area of success for Longo’s offense. Over the last three years, no FBS team has had more red zone touchdowns than the 145 scored by the Bearkats.
Despite featuring a pass-heavy attack, Longo’s units also ranked top 10 among FCS teams in rushing in both 2014 and 2015. Sam Houston produced 1,000-yard rushers in 2014 (Keshawn Hill) and 2015 (Corey Avery) and a 900-yard rusher this past season (Remus Bulmer).
The 1,275 plays run by Longo’s offense in 2015 was also a league record. Three times in the past three seasons SHSU ran more than 100 plays in a game, including a school-record 118 plays in the 2015 NCAA opening-round victory over Southern Utah.
In 2014, Longo’s attack led the Southland in rushing (241.6 ypg, 9th nationally) and red zone offense (90 percent, 8th nationally).
Longo began his coaching career in the high school ranks. He was the winningest coach in school history at Parsippany Hills High School in Troy, New Jersey, serving as head coach from 1996-99. In 1999, his team competed in and won the 11th-highest scoring game in the history of high school football in the U.S. Longo earned NJ Star Ledger and Daily Record Coach of the Year honors in 1998-99 and was awarded the Sportsmanship, Ethics & Integrity Award by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
He entered the college ranks as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at D-III William Paterson University (2000-01) and was head coach at FCS La Salle in 2004 and 2005.
A running back at Rowan University from 1988-91, Longo was a member of the school’s first New Jersey Athletic Conference championship and NCAA Division III playoff team. The New Jersey native earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Rowan in 1992.
Longo, 48, and his wife Tanya are the parents of daughters Gianna and Macaria.
Coach Lynott attended Shepherd University in 1989, graduating in 1993. While at Shepherd his team was the 1991 and 1992 WVIAC Conference Champion and also in 1992 they made it to the Final Four NAIA National Championship. He was the 1992 and 1993 Team Captain and an All WVIAC offensive tackle.
Kevin Lynott’s coaching experience includes assistant and head coaching jobs at two Frederick County Maryland schools.
In 2003 he was named the head football coach at 1A Brunswick High School where he remained until 2008. Ironically his first win as a head coach was over 2A State powerhouse Middletown High School in double overtime breaking a 23 year old drought for BHS against Middletown. His team at BHS went on to be the 2005 1A North Regional Champions and 1A State Championship Semi-finalist. He left with a 27-26 overall record at Brunswick to become the 2008 Head Coach at Middletown High School. In his first year at Middletown, he took the team to the West regional championship game where they finished as the runner-up. Each subsequent year, Middletown has not only made it to that West regional championship game, but won it 6 times in a row. The team has played in 4 2A state championship games coming in second the first year, followed by 3 championship years in a row. During Coach Lynott’ s time at Middletown, his teams have gone 86-27 and had a 36 game win streak dating back to October 2011 and also had not been beaten on their home field since September 2010 which lasted until September 1, 2014.
Coach Lynott has been named the 2008 Piedmont Conference Coach of the year, the 2011 and 2013 Baltimore Touchdown Club Coach of the year and the 2012 Associated Press Maryland Coach of the year while two of his coordinators have been named Assistant Coach of the year. In 2013 he was named the USA Today Maryland Coach of the year and the USA Today National Co-Coach of The Year During his time at Middletown, Coach Lynott has developed numerous players that have moved on to college football programs, in particular he has had many who have accepted Divisional One scholarships to Syracuse, Clemson, Florida State, and Harvard among many others. In February of 2017 Coach Lynott stepped down as head football coach at Middletown to accept a new administrative position at Middletown high school and to pursue a new career with Government Relations. He capped off 24 years of coaching, 14 year as a head coach with a combined record of 112 wins and 53 loses. Coach is currently still involved with the MHS program serving now as the Director of Operations and serves as a Master Trainer for USA Football. In addition Coach Lynott is as a consultant with a Washington DC firm and has had built experience working with Government Relations both on the Federal and State levels. His client list has local school board leaders, state delegates, the Lt. Governor’s office of Louisiana, and the 3M Military Bowl committee among others.
Van Malone, who has several ties to the Big 12 and was a successful defensive back in both college and the NFL, was hired as cornerbacks coach at Kansas State in December 2018.
Malone comes to Manhattan after one year working as a defensive quality control coach at Mississippi. Prior to Mississippi State, Malone was the defensive coordinator at SMU for three years, including the 2017 season when he was named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) National FBS Assistant Coach of the Year.
Malone went to SMU after a three-year stint at Oklahoma State where he coached the Cowboys’ safeties in 2012 before switching to cornerbacks for the next two seasons. Malone’s move to Stillwater came after two years serving as secondary coach and recruiting coordinator at Tulsa. Malone first coached in the Big 12 from 2006-09 when he worked at Texas A&M.
Malone coached defensive backs at North Texas during the 2005 season and also assisted coaching the special teams. Before that, Malone served as the cornerback coach and worked with the special teams at Western Michigan in 2004.
Malone played five seasons in the NFL after being drafted in the second round – the 57th selection overall – by the Detroit Lions in 1994. He played in every game as a rookie and was a standout special teams player, earning Special Teams Player of the Week on six different occasions.
During his time with the Lions, Malone also served as a marketing intern with Reebok International and provided post-game analysis and commentary for Fox Television Sports as a co-host in Detroit. He was a True Value NFL Man of the Year semifinalist and was called on by the club to speak to many organizations.
Beginning in 1997, Malone was a youth camp director and football coordinator at the Texas Sports Development Academy in San Antonio. He also co-founded and headed up the “New Beginnings,” a non-profit charity organization in Houston.
Malone himself was a four-year letterman (1990-93) at Texas, earning All-America honors and All-SWC accolades as a defensive back his senior season.
A native of Houston who majored in education/sports management, Malone completed his undergraduate work through the NFL’s degree completion program and earned his degree from the University of Houston in 2002.
Malone and his wife, Nedra, have three sons, Van, Vaughn and Vincent.
Noel Mazzone has spent the majority of his coaching career as an offensive coordinator, with a vast coaching history spanning across college and the National Football League. With stints at Ole Miss, Auburn, the New York Jets, UCLA, Texas A&M and more – Mazzone has remarkable experience with it comes to coaching. Currently, Mazzone is the offensive coordinator for the University of Arizona.
Head coach at Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago, Troy McAllister was one of two national recipients of the this year’s Gatorade Coaching Excellence Award. McAllister not only led the school to the only state football titles in Chicago Public League history, but he’s also had tremendous feats off the field. At McAllister’s first practice as coach in 2010, only 12 showed up. Eight years later and Phillips High School is a two-time state champion.
Matt, a Michigan native, is currently entering his 33rd year in serving and operating youth programs. He started as a coach and official at the age of 18. He played football at Grand Valley State University, where he received his BS in Phys Ed/Recreation, and then attended Western Michigan University, where he earned his MA in Sports Studies. His first job was at Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI) as an Assistant Director of Recreational Sports, Director of Intramural Sports and Activity Director of the NCAA sponsored National Youth Sports Program (NYSP), where he led a staff and team to be the #1 Program in the Nation in 2004.
Returning to Michigan in 2006, he became the Program Coordinator for the grant funded Recreation Reaps Rewards program, offered through the City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department. Currently, Matt is the Recreation Director for the City of Coopersville and serves the Northern Rocket Football League as part of the Executive Council as the Director of Personnel and League Scheduler.
In his eight years as a head coach, Nate Moore has compiled a 64-34 overall and a 13-5 playoff record between three different programs. Moore coached in the highly respected Midwest Athletic Conference while at Minster, the nationally recognized GCL South while at La Salle, and has navigated a rugged independent schedule at Massillon. In his eight years as a head coach, Moore has lost to non-playoff qualify-ing teams only three times. Prior to Moore’s arrival at La Salle, the school had never won a playoff game and had shared the GCL South title just twice in its 53 years of existence. In Moore’s second year at La Salle he led the Lancers to the 2014 Division II State Foot-ball title, finishing with a 14-1 record and a GCL South Co-Championship. In 2017, Moore’s third year at the helm in Massillon, the Tigers returned to statewide prominence by capturing the Division II, Region 7 Championship.
General Raymond T. Odierno culminated his nearly 40-year military career as the 38th Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 7 September 2011 to 14 August 2015. A native of Rockaway, New Jersey, General Odierno graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1976 with a commission in Field Artillery. He commanded units worldwide at every echelon, from platoon to theater. General Odierno served in Europe as a battalion executive officer and division artillery executive officer including deployment for Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. He later commanded 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery, 7th Infantry Division, and the Division Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division.
In 1998, he was the Deputy Commanding General for Task Force Hawk in Albania during the War in Kosovo. General Odierno commanded the 4th Infantry Division during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from April 2003 to March 2004. In December 2003, the 4th Infantry Division was responsible for the capture of Iraq’s deposed dictator, Saddam Hussein. From December 2006 to February 2008, he served as the Commanding General, Multi-National Corps – Iraq (III Corps), the operational commander of the surge forces. He next served as the Commanding General, Multi- National Force – Iraq and subsequently United States Forces – Iraq, from September 2008 until September 2010. From October 2010 until August 2011, he was the Commander of United States Joint Forces Command. Other significant assignments include: Arms Control Officer, Office of the Secretary of Defense and Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he was the primary military advisor to Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.
Currently, General Odierno is the President of Odierno Associates, LLC. He is a Senior Advisor to JPMorgan Chase & Company to provide strategic advice and global insights to Chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon and members of the Operating Committee. The general serves on the Board of Oshkosh
Corps. He is a Senior Advisor to Teneo Holdings, LLC; and NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell. General Odierno is the Vice Governor for the Florida Panthers Hockey Team, the Chairman of the Board of USA Football and a member on the Boards for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, the Mission Continues, the Patriot Foundation and the Institute of World Politics. He is a member of the
Board of Visitors for North Carolina State University and the Ethics Chair for the Simon Center for Professional Military Ethic at West Point. General Odierno provides insight on a broad range of issues including international planning and country risk analysis, technology, operations and the rapidly evolving issues of physical and cyber security.
General Odierno holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from West Point and a master’s in Nuclear Effects Engineering from North Carolina State University. He is a graduate of the Army and Navy War Colleges and holds a master’s in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. He holds an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from North Carolina State University, of Laws Honoris Causa from the Institute of World Politics and of Military Science from Norwich University.
General Odierno is married to his high school sweetheart, Linda. They have three children and four grandchildren.
LaTonya Pinkard, born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee and later moved to Atlanta, Georgia, has always known she wanted to be in a position to serve others. She volunteered with Hamilton County Juvenile Court System which allowed her the opportunity to work with youth in her community. She has served as a Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society advisor and assists as a corporate writing coach in her spare time. LaTonya developed a love and passion for education, specifically in English, and made the decision while living in Atlanta and attending Georgia State University to focus on higher education as her career path. Continuing her education at Troy University, LaTonya received her Master’s degree in Post-Secondary Education with a concentration in English. With her education and experience, she expects only the best of her students. Understanding the diverse student population she teaches, she felt becoming a Certified Life Coach would assist professionally.
Ms. Pinkard is currently an Associate Professor of English at Independence Community College and was featured on the Netflix docuseries, Last Chance U season 3.
She is the daughter of Nathaniel and Mildred Pinkard and mother of two wonderful young men, Michael and Nathaniel. She instills in her sons to always be open to possibilities and appreciate the journey life will take you.
Rob Pomazak has spent 17 years as a physical education teacher and coach. In 2013 Coach Pomazak became the head coach at St. Charles North in St. Charles Illinois. In 6 seasons at the helm Coach Pomazak has amassed a 49-18 record and led the North Stars to a school record 10 wins and a 7A State Championship appearance this past 2018 season. The North Star football program prides itself on character development, believing that they cannot succeed on the field until each player succeeds off. Preparation, Investment, Accountability, Selflessness and Leadership are the core tenants that the North Star Football program lives each day. It is the development of the individual that creates the bond that has made the North Stars a top football program in the state of Illinois.
Robert has been with his wife Rebecca for 10 years and has five year old twin daughters, Morgan and Isla.
Kelly Pribbenow, Senior Account Executive has been a licensed insurance agent for 20 years. Kelly joined Integro Sports & Entertainment three years ago and focuses primarily on amateur youth sport risks including over 10 Olympic Governing Bodies. Kelly is responsible for the day-to-day servicing of USA Football’s insurance and risk management needs.
Jeremy Pruitt was introduced as the head coach of Tennessee football in 2017, taking the helm of the Volunteers after cementing himself as the nation’s top defensive coordinator during stints at Alabama (2016-17), Georgia (2014-15) and Florida State (2013).
Pruitt comes to Rocky Top with five national championships to his credit, including the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship victory he helped lead Alabama to a month after taking the UT job. He also was part of three national championships (2009, 2011, 2012) on the staff of the Crimson Tide from 2007 to 2012, and was the defensive coordinator during the Seminoles’ undefeated national championship season in 2013. Pruitt was a standout high school coach before joining the Alabama staff as the Director of Player Development. He played collegiately for coaching legends Boots Donnelly, at Middle Tennessee State, and for Gene Stallings, at Alabama, after growing up in Rainsville, Ala., a town just 45 minutes south of Chattanooga.
Pruitt is a teacher at heart, spending time as a physical education instructor right out of college while serving as an assistant football coach for his father at Plainview and Fort Payne high schools. In his introductory press conference, Pruitt joked that he taught every kid in Fort Payne, Ala., how to tie their shoes from 2001-04.
Pruitt played collegiately at Middle Tennessee and Alabama, serving as a two-year starter at safety for the Blue Raiders, before transferring to Alabama and playing in 16 games as a reserve defensive back for Stallings. He was a member of the 1996 SEC Western Division Championship team that won the Outback Bowl.
He got his first taste of coaching as a student assistant at Alabama in 1997 before entering the high school coaching ranks. He also coached defensive backs at West Alabama for a season in 1999 when he earned his bachelor’s degree.
Pruitt and his wife Casey have three sons, Jayse (22), Ridge (3) and Flynt (1).
Matt Reimel has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management w/ Minor in Coaching. He also has 13+ years of Coaching Experience, including being chosen to coach the 2018 U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach. For 6 straight years, he led teams to the NFL FLAG National Championships (Boys and Girls Teams). Currently Matt has a position as National Flag Football Tournament Director where he manages and coordinates over 35 nationwide events a year.
Andy Ryland is USA Football’s senior manager of education and training and has been with USA Football since 2010. He is a former Penn State linebacker and member of the U.S. Men’s Rugby team. Ryland was instrumental in the development of USA Football’s Heads Up Football and Master Trainer programs.
Follow Andy on Twitter: @USAFootballMT
Danny Shields has been a football official since 1977, officiating at the high school level in Indiana since 1983. In his career, he has officiated from youth through high school varsity and all levels between. He also officiated small college basketball for over 40 years. Shields umpires high school softball as well, having reached the state championship game in 2018. He has served as a rule interpreter for the state high school association and has been the chief rules writer for the Monroe County Youth Football Association since 1997. During that time, Shields has been responsible for writing and interpreting the league’s rule modifications as well as scheduling, coordinating payments and training the officials used in the league.
As Sales Manager of Riddell Smart Helmet Technologies, Matt plays an integral part in supporting smart helmet sales and implementing strategic plans to grow smart helmet adoption to continue to improve head impact monitoring products and overall capabilities.
Since joining Riddell, Matt has played an integral role growing Riddell’s InSite user database and helped ensure positive customer experiences through onboarding, training and troubleshooting exercises with football team staff. He’s also worked closely with R&D to develop Riddell’s InSite Training Tool and completed dozens of media engagements educating consumers on the benefits of ITT.
Prior to joining Riddell, Matt was a Territory Manager at CR Bard in Boston, where he sold and serviced accounts in medicine. Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Colgate University where he was a 3-year letter winner as a member of the school’s football team.
A lawyer by training, Matt is a veteran sports industry executive who joined the Integro Entertainment & Sport team in 2013. Integro is a global leader in insurance and risk management services for sports businesses. As a Principal, Matt leads Integro Entertainment & Sport’s Colorado-based operations, delivers exceptional risk management and insurance services to sports clients, and provides in-house legal expertise across the business. His sports career began with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, where Matt served as the Director of Corporate Partnerships and Legal Affairs. Following his time at the Foundation, Matt served as the General Counsel and Senior Director of Business Operations for USA Football. Matt has extensive experience in business operations, program development, strategic planning, risk management, and legal affairs inside sports businesses and non-profits. A native of Wellesley, Massachusetts, Matt received his Juris Doctor from George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia and his Bachelor’s degree in Geoscience and Environmental Studies from Hobart College, in Geneva, New York, where he also served as Captain of the Men’s Soccer team.
Brother Ken Smith has been a pastor since 1974, where he began his career at the Killarney Baptist Church in Winter Park, Florida. He has since served as a Pastor all throughout Florida, including churches in Miami, Tallahasee, Gainesville, and and Wachula. Ken currently serves as a Bible teacher and Speaker wherever he is needed.
Outside of his ministry work, Ken is a member of the National Board of Trustees for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Ken was formerly the team Chaplain for Florida State University, University of South Carolina, Mississippi State and MSU. Additionally, he is the author of several books, including Lessons From the Top.
Chris Snyder is the director of coaching and coach education for the United States Olympic Committee. In his current role, Mr. Snyder and the coaching department support the USOC sport performance department by working in coach education, coaching development and coach recognition for all Olympic and Pan-American Sports, as well as, working as an advisor for US Paralympic sport on coaching. The coaching department has created various resources that aid the National Governing Bodies of sport from a mobile application system for sharing coaching resources, to a formal long term athlete development system called the American Development Model (ADM). The coaching department also operates several high performance coaching programs to grow the level of quality coaching by national team level coaches that lead Team USA into the Olympic, Paralympic and Pan-American Games. Mr. Snyder also represents the USOC in a leadership role with project play 2020, where the USOC is helping to impact the U.S. through youth coaching and ADM programming that can grow great coaching in America.
Previously, Mr. Snyder served as the manager of coaching education and training for U.S. Lacrosse in Baltimore. He has also coached competitive sports for over 15 years at the collegiate, high school and competitive club levels.
Coach Steve Specht is currently the head coach at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, where he’s been coaching since 2004. Known for his leadership and coaching philosophy, Specht’s success is recognized throughout the country. Specht has been named the NFL High School Coach of the Year, an Ohio Coach of the Year twice, and recognized as one of the top 10 high school coaches in America by Athlon. Also a USA Football board member, Specht has coached in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Coach Jeff Steinberg was named the Head Football Coach at Beaumont High in March of 2018. Known for his organization & program building experience, Jeff has been successful at 5 high schools in Southern California while winninig 2 CIF Southern Section Championships and amassing over 155 wins entering the 2018 season. Coach Steinberg and his wife Jocelyn reside in Beaumont, CA with their 4 children.
Follow Coach on Twitter: @CoachSteiny
Born and raised in Gresham, Oregon, Terry was one of five siblings of Elmer and Donna Summerfield. He graduated from Gresham HS in 1981 then attended Portland State University and played Quarterback from 81-85 (1984 Division II Western Conference Champions, All Conference QB honors, Threw for over 6,500 yards, 36 TD passes in his 2 – ½ seasons as a starter).
Signed free-agent contract with Seattle Seahawks in 1986. Started teaching career in 1987 at Lake Oswego High school. At LO he was the Offensive coordinator in football and coached basketball and baseball. After six years at Lake Oswego, Terry wanted to become a Head Football Coach. In 1992, Terry became the Head Football Coach at Central Catholic HS in Portland, Oregon. At the same time of being a Head football coach, he also was the Athletic Director. Terry re-built that program and took his team as far as the State Quarterfinals. Notables that Summerfield coached at Central Catholic were ex-Oregon Duck, Heisman Trophy finalist and NFL standout – Joey Harrington. From 1998 to present Coach Summerfield has been the Head Coach at Barlow High School in Gresham, Oregon. He has had successful teams at Barlow, taking his teams to the State Quarterfinals numerous times. He has also coached young men that have played at every level collegiately and professionally. Coach Summerfield has worked with USA Football for the last five years in the promotion and education of making the game of football better and safer both at the state of Oregon level and nationally.
He truly enjoys the process of coaching and working with his student-athletes and fellow coaches in making them the best men they can be. Coach Summerfield has been married to his wife Jeannine for 33 years (who also works at Barlow High school in the special education department). Terry and his wife Jeannine have four kids. 28 year old Twin daughters – Gabrielle and Alexandria who are college graduates in Nursing and Business, Son Campbell 25, an education graduate of Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon and Masten, 21 yr old son who is a Junior at Lewis & Clark College studying biology and environmental science.
Mike Tomlin was named the 16th head coach in Pittsburgh Steelers history on January 22, 2007. Hired at the age of 34, Tomlin became only the third head coach hired by the Steelers since 1969.
In his first 11 seasons, Tomlin has accomplished many things that have never been done in the team’s storied history. His 116-60 regular-season record (.659) is the best start in franchise history. He reached 100 career wins in the fewest games (157) in team history. Tomlin became the eighth head coach in NFL history to reach 100 regular-season wins in their first 10 seasons. His 103 regular-season wins are tied for the fourth-most wins by an NFL head coach in their first 10 seasons as a head coach.
Tomlin also became the youngest head coach in NFL history to both coach in and win a Super Bowl when he led the Steelers to a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII (36 years, 323 days). By winning the Super Bowl in only his second season as a head coach, he also became the fastest to win a Super Bowl title in Steelers history.
Over the past five seasons (2013-17), Tomlin has led the team to a 20-3 record in the month of December/January, which are the most wins in December/January over that span.
In his 11 years as head coach of the Steelers, Tomlin has led Pittsburgh to six AFC North titles, most recently in 2017, and has guided the Steelers to the playoffs eight times, including two trips to the Super Bowl (XLIII and XLV). Tomlin has won at least five home games in each of his first 11 years, including six at Heinz Field in 2017.
He spent the 2006 season as the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive coordinator. That season, the Vikings ranked eighth in the NFL in total defense and first against the run while not allowing a 100-yard rusher the entire season.
Tomlin was the defensive backs coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2001-05. In 2002, Tomlin guided one of the most productive defensive backfields in the NFL, culminating with its performance in Super Bowl XXXVII. The secondary recorded four of the team’s five interceptions, returning two for touchdowns, to help Tampa Bay capture the franchise’s first Super Bowl title.
Before joining Tampa Bay’s staff, Tomlin served two seasons as the defensive backs coach at the University of Cincinnati (1999-00). He took over a secondary that ranked 111th in the nation in pass defense in 1998 and helped them improve to 61st overall in his first season. Under Tomlin’s direction in 2000, the Bearcats ranked eighth in the nation in interceptions as well as fourth nationally in total turnovers.
Prior to joining the Cincinnati staff, Tomlin had stints on the coaching staffs at Tennessee-Martin, Arkansas State, University of Memphis and Virginia Military Institute.
Tomlin himself was a three-year starter at wide receiver at William & Mary (1990-94) and finished his career with 101 receptions for 2,054 yards and 20 touchdown catches. A first-team All-Yankee Conference selection in 1994, he established a school record with a 20.2 yards-per-catch average.
Steve Trivisonno had a goal when he graduated from Mentor in 1981.“I knew when I left that someday I wanted to come back and help make this a great football program,” Trivisonno said. Thirty-five years later, he is still striving to keep the scarlet and gray among the elite of all programs in the state of Ohio. Along with success, innovation and consistency, Trivisonno has been a shining example of longevity in a business that does not always show patience. The man in charge of Mentor’s consistent and successful football program led his team onto the field for this year’s season opener for the 21st time. In his 21st season as head coach at his alma mater, Trivisonno is as passionate about the game as when he played in the late 70’s and early 80’s at Mentor, and when he was a young up-and-coming assistant with the Cardinals in the 90’s. He has three Division I state runner-up finishes, has coached two Mr. Football winners in the state of Ohio and has seen several of his players go on to earn D-I college scholarships. A state title remains the goal and is always motivation, but Trivisonno says it does not define the program or his legacy.
Coach Wargel is entering his 27th year of coaching, 17 of which have been spent at the youth level in Frisco, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. In addition to coaching, he has served on the Board of Directors for 12 years in several roles, including his current as President. Prior to joining the Frisco Football League, Coach Wargel coached both at the Youth and High School level in his home state of Indiana.
Coach Wargel and the Frisco Football League were instrumental in launching USA Football’s Rookie Tackle Initiative in 2017, serving as a pilot league, as well as assisting with writing the overall rules and structure.
When not coaching or managing the Frisco Football League, Coach Wargel can be found working his day job, where he is a Regional Sales Manager for a semiconductor company or at the local High School games, with his wife, Lisa, watching his 2 sons compete.
Ron has been a member of the youth tackle football community for 30+ years serving as Board President, USA Football Task Force Member, community sports advocate, and currently as Executive Director of Golden Empire Youth Tackle Football and Cheer located in Bakersfield California.
Additionally, Ron is a standing member of the Kern County Concussion Consortium and Executive Vice President of Standards and Practices and founding member of the California Youth Football Alliance as well as a founding member of the California Youth Football Coalition.
Ron has an industry background in league administration with a focus on player and product safety development in addition to serving as a football coach and mentor at the youth, high school, and Junior College level spanning three decades.