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.
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.
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.
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
Coach Strait Herron was born and raised in Rock Hill, S.C., where he graduated from Northwestern High School in 1986. Herron attended Coastal Carolina University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Education, then traveled to Winthrop University where he got his Masters in Education. He has taught Social Studies for nineteen and a half years, which he currently teaches at South Pointe 101.
Herron has obtained twenty-nine years of high school football coaching experience making stops at A.C. Flora High, Strom Thurmond High, Rock Hill High, Clover High, Northwestern High, and currently serves as head coach of South Pointe High.
In 2011, 2014, and 2015, Herron led his football program to State Carolina State Championships, also winning the 3A Coach of the Year for those three years.
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
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.
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.
Former NFL offensive lineman Scott Peters is a leading instructor in teaching proper and effective contact skills to players and coaches on the youth, high school, college and pro levels. A fourth-round pick by the Philadelphia Eagles out of Arizona State, Peters began studying Brazilian jiu jitsu and other mixed martial arts disciplines to rebuild strength and mobility in his ankle while recovering from an injury, and he continued to his training following his NFL career. A two-time world champion in submission grappling, Peters has combined his football and MMA knowledge to create a program that assists players in improving performance while building blocking, tackling and block defeating fundamentals.
Coach Robert Pomazak is the head football coach at St. Charles North High School in St. Charles, Illinois. He also serves as a strength & conditioning coordinator.
Follow Coach Pomazak on Twitter: @robertpomazak
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
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
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.