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contents issue 10 • summer 2009

12 Art of the Read: How Linebackers Anticipate Run or Pass
By Chris Shepard
13 Meet A USA Football Member: Billy Richardson
14 Takeaway-Giveaway with Larry & David
By Larry Canard & David Marco
15 “What If?”: Coaching Members Share Solutions
16 USA Football Coaching Schools Teach the Teachers
By Chris Shepard
18 Now Playing: USA Football’s Film Room
By Chris Shepard
18 Dual roles as “Coach” and “Parent” need to take turns
By Tom Bass

health & Fitness

20 What football has taught my son: Tom Conner

By Nicole Lukosius
21 Using Your Head: Proper Helmet Fitting
By Rose DiPaula
21 Hydration 411


22 Youth Football Community Values Coaching Education

By Chris Shepard
23 USA Football Regional Managers
24 NFHS & USA Football partner for coaching innovation
By Rose DiPaula
25 Quick-Hitter Grid: Thoughts from USA Football
Commissioner Members
26 BRAX Spirit Cups help commissioners power programs
By Rose DiPaula


27 Professionalism is key for game officials

By Chris Shepard
27 USA Football = Miracle-Gro for Officiating Knowledge
By Micah Simon

inside slants
2 Kickoff with Scott Hallenbeck
10 “I Played”
11 Defense DVDs bolster coaches’ Xs & Os
By Chris Shepard
features 11 USA Football First and Ten Fund Moving the Chains
9 USA Football, Riddell team By Nicole Lukosius
4 USA Football Junior National up for Refer-a-Friend Helmet 19 Meet a USA Football Staffer: Nicole Lukosius
Team ready for Canton Program
USA Football Player Academies offer 19 USA Football’s Tom Bass Receives Football
By Steve Alic
campers a free Riddell helmet Contributor Honor
By Nicole Lukosius By Chris Shepard
7 USA Football on Wheels
28 Meet a USA Football Board Member: Tom Cove
29 Jack Kemp (1935-2009)
8 Football history comes to USA Football’s First Chairman – Football 30 Football Facts, Stats & Figures
Canton … again Champion & American Patriot 32 What Football Taught Me
By Steve Alic By Steve Alic Tom Bessant, CFO, Cash America
USA Football Player Academies (pg. 9) are under way, giving players an edge for
the 2009 season. Front Cover
Photo by Shawn Hubbard photos by usa football, japan photo by preston consulting

Dear Readers,

You have put in the preparation time.

You’ve attended USA Football State Leadership Forums and Coaching Schools. You’ve
taken part in our Officiating Schools and Seminars. Thousands of you have completed USA usafootball.com
Football’s Certified Coaching Education Course and youngsters across the country have
participated in USA Football’s three-day Player Academies.
Executive Director
It’s nearly time to hit the field and USA Football Scott Hallenbeck
continues to strengthen your huddle. Your state-of-the-art
membership resources give you a step ahead in running
your league, coaching your team or officiating your games. Usa football
In the 30 pages to follow, this issue of USA Football editorial staff
Magazine shares insight on numerous topics for
commissioners, coaches and officials. More information Managing Editor
related to these stories can be found at usafootball.com. Steve Alic
This summer also opens a historic chapter of football Contributors:
history – the sport’s first junior world championship Tom Bass, Larry Canard,
takes place in Canton, Ohio, from June 27 through July 5. Rose DiPaula, Rudy Klancnik,
The International Federation of American Football Nicole Lukosius, David Marco,
Chris Shepard, Micah Simon
(IFAF) Junior World Championship unites the world’s
top eight national football teams spanning four
To contact USA Football: 
continents to compete for the game’s first global title
(703) 918-0007
on the high school-aged level. The sport’s best teenaged players will compete and also share
in a celebration of the world’s greatest game. Players from all eight national teams – Canada,
France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States – will live and
practice on Walsh University’s sprawling campus in North Canton, Ohio. Walsh University traction media staff
will serve as the tournament’s international village, home to great football and lasting
friendships surpassing national borders long after July 5. Publisher
USA Football’s Junior National Team is America’s first high school-aged national team Rudy J. Klancnik
in the sport. Its 45 athletes are incoming college freshmen who will soon wear uniforms for Editorial Director
one of 33 college programs. See pages 4-6 to learn more about this abundantly talented team Tim Polzer
composed of tremendous representatives of the United States. Designer
Among those who would have most enjoyed the IFAF Junior World Championship in william Bridgeforth
Canton is USA Football’s late chairman Jack Kemp. Chairman Kemp, a life-long embodiment
of football’s inherent values and character-building qualities, passed away on May 2. We offer Traction Media
Editorial Offices
a tribute to a football champion, an American patriot, and our friend on pg. 29.
7115 Tartan Trl.
USA Football continues to serve you, led by our experienced regional managers and office staff. Refer Garland, TX 75044
to your USA Football regional map on pg. 23 and ask your regional manager how he can help you Tractionmedia@aol.com
gain an edge or strengthen your league. In addition, you’re only a toll-free call (1-877-5-FOOTBALL)
or a couple of mouse clicks away (usafootball.com) from our non-profit office in Virginia. Editorial Department Phone
USA Football continues to work for you as you organize your league registration or walk (972) 896-8006
onto your practice field. We salute and serve the men and women who power America’s Custom Publishing
favorite sport and instill our youngsters with its fundamentals and values. (972) 898-8585

Have a terrific summer and best wishes for another successful season! USA Football Magazine is published by Traction
Sincerely, Media, LLC©. All rights reserved. Traction Media
does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Publisher
assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited
manuscripts or art. No part of this magazine may
We want to hear your thoughts be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without the
about USA Football Magazine. Write to written permission of the editor.
Scott Hallenbeck us at magazine@usafootball.com today.
USA Football Executive Director

2 USA Football Magazine

USA Football’s 2009
Junior National Team

USA Football
Junior National Team
ready for Canton by steve alic

hey are 45 in number, Championship in Canton from June past 21 large-school state titles,
entering one of 33 college 27-July 5. National football teams including two USA TODAY “national
programs this fall. from Canada, France, Germany, championships.” He seeks to lead
They represent many hometowns Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Team USA to a world championship
and one homeland – in July.
the United States of “Following each Olympiad, the participants often speak “Much like the
America. country we love and
of what a powerful feeling it is to represent the United
These young men represent, this football
compose America’s States. Oday (Aboushi) and Corey (Lillard) now have the team is composed of
team playing America’s wonderful opportunity to represent our country and our immense talent and
game. And they’re Virginia team. We are proud that they have been selected strong character from
driven to prove that small towns, big cities,
they are the best in the to USA Football’s Junior National Team.” and places in between,”
world. Seven countries – Al Groh, Head Coach, University of Virginia said Kyle, whose
want the same title. team is assembled of
Only one will earn a gold medal in Sweden have qualified to join the players entering one of 13 college
Canton, Ohio, on July 5. United States to pursue the sport’s conferences, with the Big 10 having
USA Football’s Junior National first world championship on the the most players on Team USA with
Team, America’s first junior national junior level (age 19 and under). nine. “We realize – coaches and
team in football, will compete in the USA Football’s Junior National players alike – that we’re playing for
eight-nation, four-continent 2009 Team head coach Chuck Kyle of something greater than ourselves. It
International Federation of American Cleveland St. Ignatius High School is a privilege to represent the United
Football (IFAF) Junior World has led his Wildcats to 10 of Ohio’s States in this historic tournament,

4 USA Football Magazine

Oday Aboushi Robert Bell Prestin Brown Phillip Butterfield Kevin Cummings
HS: Brooklyn (N.Y.) HS: East Grand Rapids HS: Grand Prairie HS: Lake Hamilton HS: Encino (Calif.)
Xaverian Home: Grand Rapids, (Texas) Home: Grand (Ark.) Home: Hot Crespi Home: Culver
Home: Brooklyn, N.Y. Mich. Prairie, Texas Springs, Ark. City, Calif.
Ht: 6-6 pos: Ht: 6-0 pos: Ht: 6-3 pos: Ht: 6-2 pos: Ht: 6-2 pos:
Wt: 300 OL Wt: 222 LB Wt: 242 DE Wt: 210 QB Wt: 180 WR
College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach:
Virginia; Al Groh Toledo; Tim Beckman Texas State; Brad Wright Arkansas State; Steve Roberts Oregon State; Mike Riley

Zach Cutkomp Jamal Davis Tyler Dippel Aaron Dobson Tariq Edwards
HS: West Des Moines HS: Coral Springs (Fla.) HS: Hartford-Union HS: South Charleston HS: Marlboro (S.C.)
Valley Home: West Charter Home: Coral (Wis.) (W.Va.) County
Des Moines, Iowa Springs, Fla. Home: Slinger, Wis. Home: Dunbar, W.Va. Home: Cheraw, S.C.
Ht: 5-11 pos: Ht: 6-3 pos: Ht: 6-4 pos: Ht: 6-3 pos: Ht: 6-3 pos:
Wt: 185 RB Wt: 185 WR Wt: 250 FB Wt: 185 WR Wt: 215 LB
College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach:
Northern Iowa; Mark Farley Florida Atlantic; Howard Schnellenberger Wisconsin; Bret Bielema Marshall; Mark Snyder Virginia Tech; Frank Beamer

A.J. Ferguson Brian Fields Noel Grigsby James Hall Chris Henderson
HS: South Brunswick HS: New Castle (Del.) HS: Los Angeles HS: Las Cruces (N.M.) HS: Dallas Carter
(N.C.) William Penn Home: Crenshaw Home: Los Home: Las Cruces, Home: Dallas, Texas
Home: Southport, N.C. New Castle, Del. Angeles, Calif. N.M.
Ht: 6-3 pos: Ht: 5-9 pos: Ht: 5-11 pos: Ht: 5-8 pos: Ht: 6-1 pos:
Wt: 250 DE Wt: 190 RB Wt: 175 WR Wt: 170 RB Wt: 280 DT
College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach:
N.C. State; Tom O’Brien Western Michigan; Bill Cubit San Jose State; Dick Tomey New Mexico St.; DeWayne Walker Texas A&M; Mike Sherman

David Herman Pat Hinkel Storm Klein Corey Lillard Mike Loftus
HS: Cincinnati HS: Cleveland St. HS: Licking Valley HS: Bealeton (Va.) HS: Anaheim (Calif.)
St. Xavier Home: Ignatius Home: (Ohio) Liberty Servite Home: Villa
Cincinnati, Ohio Cleveland, Ohio Home: Newark, Ohio Home: Remington, Va. Park, Calif.
Ht: 6-3 pos: Ht: 6-1 pos: Ht: 6-2 pos: Ht: 5-11 pos: Ht: 6-2 pos:
Wt: 230 LB Wt: 190 S Wt: 225 LB Wt: 205 S Wt: 190 P/K
College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach:
Holy Cross; Tom Gilmore Miami (Ohio); Michael Haywood Ohio State; Jim Tressel Virginia; Al Groh SMU; June Jones

Erik Lora Jordan Lynch J.R. McConico Jack Mewhort Khaled Mheisen
HS: Miami Christopher HS: Chicago Mount HS: Los Angeles (Calif.) HS: Toledo (Ohio) St. HS: Detroit Catholic
Columbus Carmel Venice Home: Los John’s Central
Home: Miami, Fla. Home: Chicago, Ill. Angeles, Calif. Home: Toledo, Ohio Home: Canton, Mich.
Ht: 5-11 pos: Ht: 6-2 pos: Ht: 5-9 pos: Ht: 6-6 pos: Ht: 6-5 pos:
Wt: 175 WR Wt: 205 S Wt: 175 CB Wt: 285 C Wt: 290 DL
College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach:
Eastern Illinois; Bob Spoo Northern Illinois; Jerry Kill SMU; June Jones Ohio State; Jim Tressel Undecided

Chris Norman Matthew Page Chris Payne Bryce Petty John Plasencia
HS: Detroit HS: East Chicago (Ind.) HS: Columbia (S.C) HS: Midlothian (Texas) HS: Tampa Jesuit
Renaissance Central Home: East Home: Columbia, S.C. Home: Midlothian, Home: Tampa, Fla.
Home: Detroit, Mich. Chicago, Ind. Texas
Ht: 6-2 pos: Ht: 6-6 pos: Ht: 5-10 pos: Ht: 6-3 pos: Ht: 6-5 pos:
Wt: 225 LB Wt: 300 OL Wt: 173 S Wt: 220 QB Wt: 245 TE
College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach:
Michigan State; Mark Dantonio Ball State; Stan Parrish South Carolina; Steve Spurrier Baylor; Art Briles Northwestern; Pat Fitzgerald

Jordan Poyer Aaron Price Tevin Reese Micajah Reynolds Jordon Roussos
HS: Astoria (Ore.) HS: Bloomington HS: Temple (Texas) HS: Lansing (Mich.) HS: Carlynton (Pa.)
Home: Astoria, Ore. (Ind.) South Home: Home: Temple, Texas Sexton Home: Carnegie, Pa.
Bloomington, Ind. Home: Lansing, Mich.
Ht: 6-1 pos: Ht: 6-4 pos: Ht: 5-11 pos: Ht: 6-5 pos: Ht: 6-4 pos:
Wt: 180 CB Wt: 285 OL Wt: 160 WR Wt: 310 G Wt: 240 DE
College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach:
Oregon State; Mike Riley Indiana; Bill Lynch Baylor; Art Briles Michigan State; Mark Dantonio Bowling Green; Dave Clawson

Bryce Schwindt Brandon Sharpe Brian Smith Kurt Stottlemyer Evan Swindall
HS: Columbine (Colo.) HS: Ocean Lakes (Va.) HS: Cuyahoga Falls HS: Bothell (Wash.) HS: LaFayette (Ga.)
Home: Littleton, Colo. Home: Virginia (Ohio) Walsh Jesuit Home: Bothell, Wash. Home: LaFayette, Ga.
Beach, Va. Home: Medina, Ohio
Ht: 6-3 pos: Ht: 6-2 pos: Ht: 6-7 pos: Ht: 5-10 pos: Ht: 6-3 pos:
Wt: 280 OL Wt: 220 DE Wt: 277 OL Wt: 165 S Wt: 290 C
College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach:
Northern Colorado; Scott Downing Syracuse; Doug Marrone Northwestern; Pat Fitzgerald Yale; Tom Williams Mississippi; Houston Nutt

Phillip Thomas Shamarko Thomas David Wilson Brian Winters Nick Zachery
HS: Miami (Fla.) HS: Ocean Lakes (Va.) HS: Danville (Va.) HS: Hudson (Ohio) HS: Sheridan (Ind.)
Edison Senior Home: Virginia George Washington Home: Hudson, Ohio Home: Sheridan, Ind.
Home: Miami, Fla. Beach, Va. Home: Danville, Va.
Ht: 6-0 pos: Ht: 5-10 pos: Ht: 5-11 pos: Ht: 6-5 pos: Ht: 6-1 pos:
Wt: 185 CB Wt: 198 CB Wt: 192 RB Wt: 310 OL Wt: 200 CB
College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach: College/Coach:
Syracuse; Doug Marrone Syracuse; Doug Marrone Virginia Tech; Frank Beamer Kent State; Doug Martin Indiana; Bill Lynch
chuck kyle Steve Specht Gary Swenson Tom Bainter Marcus Boyles
Head Coach Defensive Coordinator Offensive Coordinator Running Backs Wide Receivers
USA Football’s 2009 Cleveland St. Ignatius Cincinnati St. Xavier West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley Bothell (Wash.) Wayne County (Miss.)
Junior National Team Ed Croson Jeremy Gold Frank Lenti Chris Merritt Allen Wilson
coaching staff Offensive Line Defensive Line Offensive Line Defensive Backs Linebackers
West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade Ann Arbor (Mich.) Pioneer Chicago Mount Carmel Miami Christopher Columbus Dallas Carter

further propelling football’s Northwestern University. Tight end believe that both will be tremendous
international strength.” John Plasencia (6-5, 245; Tampa representatives for the United
All eight national teams will live Jesuit) and offensive lineman Brian States. Both young men are very
and practice at Walsh University in Smith (6-7, 277; Cuyahoga Falls achievement-focused and team-
North Canton, Ohio, throughout the (Ohio) Walsh Jesuit) both rank in the oriented players who will do all they
tournament. can to make our
If Virginia Tech- “We’re very proud and excited that Robert Bell will team as strong as
bound running back possible.”
David Wilson of
represent the United States at the IFAF Junior World Players
Danville (Va.) George Championship. He’s going to have a chance to play with selected for USA
Washington High School the best and against the best. And it’s a great opportunity Football’s Junior
had not received an National Team
athletic scholarship, he
for him to play for an outstanding coach like Chuck Kyle.” were nominated
would have enlisted in – Tim Beckman, Head Coach, University of Toledo by college coaches
either the Air Force or from around
the Navy. So it’s easy to understand top 100 nationally at their respective the country. Roster selections were
the excitement that the 5-11, positions. ultimately determined by USA
192-pounder felt when contacted in “We take great pride in recruiting Football’s coaching staff, which
early March to represent his country young men who are not only collectively possesses 33 state titles
with USA Football. outstanding football players, but and 155 high school head coaching
“I ran downstairs to tell my dad,” also tremendous individuals in the seasons of experience.
said Wilson, whose 24-year-old classroom and the community,” With national football federations in
brother, Ronald, serves in the Navy. “I said Northwestern head coach existence worldwide for decades, IFAF,
wanted to tell everyone the news.” Pat Fitzgerald. “John and Brian the sport’s international federation,
Rivals.com ranks Wilson as the are terrific examples of the kind was created in 1998 to organize and
country’s 40th best player graduating of student-athletes we want at further develop the game through global
from high school this year, regardless Northwestern. cooperation and competition. All IFAF
of position. “We’re extremely proud that Junior World Championship games will
“This is overwhelming,” says Jack they’ve been named to the USA be played in Canton’s historic Fawcett
Mewhort of Toledo (Ohio) St. John Football Junior National Team and Stadium, home of the NFL’s annual Pro
H.S. about being named Football Hall of Fame
to Team USA. Mewhort, “It will be an historic moment for American football Game, adjacent to the
a 6-6, 285-pound center Pro Football Hall of
as great athletes from around the world come to Canton
entering Ohio State, Fame.
is the country’s No. to see who will be crowned Junior World Champion. It’s Follow IFAF Junior
2-ranked center entering great that a couple of Ohio guys and Buckeyes will be World Championship
college this fall. able to represent their country in such a competition. I action in real-time
Another Big Ten at jwcfootball.com.
school with strong Team
know it will be an unforgettable experience for them.” Tournament games
USA representation is – Jim Tressel, Head Coach, Ohio State kick off on June 27.

6 USA Football Magazine

Watch exciting tour video at

USA Football on Wheels

Summer is here, bringing cookouts, beach towels and road trips. On April 20, USA Football began a gridiron road trip of its
own spanning 1,700 miles with the Team USA Road Tour.
The tour, which lives online at usafootballtour.com, concluded on June 26 celebrating USA Football’s Junior National Team
and IFAF Junior World Championship in Canton, Ohio. The Team USA Road Tour reached five midwestern states, including
several Team USA players’ high schools and hometowns.
Tune to exciting tour video and learn about Team USA players and coaches at usafootballtour.com.

Football history comes
to Canton … again by steve alic

ighty-nine years ago, the National Jan Jenmert when standing beside the Jenmert. “It helped me understand
Football League was formed bronze bust of Hall of Fame coach the complex situation of building an
in Canton, Ohio, a short Bill Walsh. Jenmert, who led Sweden American football team. Being here
distance from the front steps to a second-place finish in the (in Canton) to actually play football in
of the Pro Football Hall of European Junior Championship Fawcett in the game’s first junior world
Fame. last summer to qualify for championship is so surreal. I have to
That first NFL season Canton, owns an autographed pinch myself.”
featured teams from four copy of Walsh’s book, Finding the Football fans in all corners of the
states. Winning Edge. globe can follow IFAF Junior World
This summer in Canton, “That has been a bible for me,” added Championship action at jwcfootball.com.
football’s first junior world championship
features teams from four continents.
“Bringing a team to Canton is a
Tune to Fox College Sports on July 4-5 to catch
tremendous step for us,’’ said Peter
IFAF Junior World Championship action live from
Springwald, Team Germany’s Director of Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio!
Youth Operations.
The International Federation of Sat., July 4 Bronze Medal Game 7pm ET
American Football (IFAF) Junior Sun., July 5 Championship Game 1pm ET
World Championship is a tremendous
step for football the world over. A Fox College Sports resides at Channel 617 for DirecTV customers. Check with your cable
global competition for the game’s best provider for local listings. Live stats, game stories and more can be found at jwcfootball.com.
teenaged athletes has already served as a
springboard for national team programs, 2009 IFAF Junior World Championship Game Schedule
including the United States. Led by All Games will be played at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium, adjacent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
head coach Chuck Kyle of Cleveland St.
Ignatius High School, USA Football has Saturday, June 27
assembled America’s first junior national 10am Game 1 Canada vs. New Zealand
team in our country’s favorite sport. 1pm Game 2 Japan vs. Germany
‘’I love this game and to be here where 4pm Game 3 Mexico vs. Sweden
football was born … so many legends 7pm Opening Ceremony
are here,” said Team Mexico head coach 8pm Game 4 United States vs. France
Ernesto Alfaro Del Villar. “This is so
exciting for me.” Wednesday, July 1
Representatives from national teams 10am Game 5 Losing team Game 2 (JAP/GER) vs. Losing team Game 1 (CAN/NZ)
of all eight countries – Canada, France, 1pm Game 6 Losing team Game 3 (MEX/SWE) vs. Losing team Game 4 (USA/FRA)
Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, 4pm Game 7 Winning team Game 1 (CAN/NZ) vs. Winning team Game 2 (JAP/GER)
Sweden and the United States – attended 7pm Game 8 Winning team Game 4 (USA/FRA) vs. Winning team Game 3 (MEX/SWE)
public events and tournament meetings in
Canton from May 7-9. Amidst discussions Saturday, July 4
regarding logistics and tours of the 1pm 7th place playoff Losing team Game 6 vs. Losing team Game 5
tournament’s superb practice facilities at 4pm 5th place playoff Winning team Game 5 vs. Winning team Game 6
Walsh University in North Canton, the 7pm Bronze Medal Game Losing team Game 8 vs. Losing team Game 7
team reps were able to be football fans when
experiencing the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sunday, July 5
“That’s the guy that taught me what it is 1pm Gold Medal game Winning team Game 7 vs. Winning team Game 8
I’m doing,’’ said Team Sweden head coach
* Home teams to be determined; all times local (ET)

8 USA Football Magazine

USA Football, Riddell team up for
Refer-a-Friend Helmet Program
USA Football Player Academies offer campers a free Riddell helmet
By Nicole Lukosius

ith the regular season Alexandria, Va., and saw that if
around the corner, now is someone else registered for the
the perfect time for players Academy and used his son’s name as a
to improve their fundamentals, which reference, Alex would be eligible for the
is why USA Football has 12 Player helmet.
Academies scheduled through July. So Kolencik decided to get some
Besides receiving expert other parents on board and soon
instruction from talented coaches, after, Alex’s McLean (Va.) Mustangs
individual attention and first-class teammate, Kevin Green, signed up for
facilities, players also have the the same Player Academy using his
opportunity to earn a free helmet Alex Kolencik, left, and his McLean (Va.) Mustangs friend as the referral.
from Riddell, the official equipment teammate Kevin Green will attend the USA Football Player “The Riddell brand is a household
provider for USA Football. Academy in Alexandria, Va., from July 6-9. name and makes you feel comfortable
The helmet offer is through USA and safe knowing that your son will
Football’s Refer-a-Friend program, and it’s pretty simple. Just ask be wearing top of the line protective gear from the industry leader,”
Frank Kolencik. said Frank Kolencik, who has been coaching his son’s McLean Youth
The USA Football coaching member signed up his son, Alex, Football team for four years, which is a part of the Fairfax County
for the Player Academy on July 6 at Episcopal High School in Youth Football League.
Registrants choose from three Riddell helmet styles: Revolution
Youth, Revolution Little Pro and Attack. The helmets come in 12
colors and are valued from $89.99 to $155.95.
“The Refer-a-Friend program is a great way to encourage these
young athletes to get involved in football,” said Riddell President
Dan Arment. “The free helmet is an added bonus for the player.
We want these kids to have the best protective equipment from an
early age and continue to use Riddell products throughout their
football careers.”
Registration is closing fast – sign-up today for a USA Football
Player Academy near you at usafootball.com – roll over the yellow
“Players” tab and click “Player Academy.”

Remaining USA Football Player

Academies for 2009:
Date Location Venue
June 29-July 2 Hempstead, N.Y. Hofstra University
July 6-9 La Mesa, Calif. Helix High School
July 6-9 Alexandria, Va. Episcopal High School
July 13-16 Southern Pines, N.C. Pinecrest South Pines H.S.
July 20-23 Aurora, Colo. Regis Jesuit High School
July 20-23 Severn, Md. Annapolis Area Christian School
July 20-23 Marietta, Ga. Lassiter High School
July 27-30 Downingtown, Pa. United Sports Training Center
July 27-30 Zephyrhills, Fla. Zephyr Palms Event Center

USA Football’s “I Played” campaign has reached more than 100 million Americans through television coverage on
CBS, ESPN, FOX, NBC and NFL Network as well as Westwood One Radio’s national airwaves. Since “I Played” kicked off in August
2008, several hundred thousand usafootball.com visitors have read or submitted an “I Played” story. To share your football story
or to read those of others, visit usafootball.com. Below are excerpts of recent “I Played” story submissions.

Chris Medina Jim Goodmiller Ike Jordan

Major, U.S. Army Sales Representaitve Medical Sales
Leavenworth, Kan. Saint Charles, Ill. Rochester, N.Y.

I’m a major in the United States I grew up playing football from As a father, husband and business
Army attending the Command third grade all the way through high professional, I can’t imagine not having
and General Staff College in Fort school. My dad coached my teams up the breadth of experiences I gained
Leavenworth, Kan. until high school. I always felt that from football to help shape many of my
I wasn’t a big, fast or outstanding created a special bond between us. daily interactions and activities.
football player while in junior or high My senior year we went on to win the My father worked for a major
school in a small Texas town, however Class 6A Illinois State Championship. I corporation during my childhood and
the lessons that football taught me spent that year on the sideline with a torn relocations were always a possibility.
have guided me through my life and ACL. I wanted to so bad to contribute. We moved around as a result of these
while in the Army. It was then I recognized that I could opportunities but the chance to play
Football taught me about contribute. Even though I wasn’t on football – to be a part of the school team
teamwork. It’s a sport where everyone the field, I could push myself to get – provided an easier transition into new
is dependent on each other in order stronger after surgery. I found that I schools and circle of friends, respectively,
to win. We had to synchronize our could encourage my teammates and be to what would have been a more difficult
efforts in order to be successful. None a positive influence on those around me. adjustment. Football made a difference.
of us could do it without the other. We This stayed with me throughout my life. As I continued to excel in the sport, I
had each other’s back and would do When I face challenges, I am became more confident in everything I
anything for each other. reminded that you can find some did. Football helped my self-esteem and
I realize now how much football way to stay in the “game.” Whether confidence. That confidence propelled
prepared me for a career in the Army. it is family, work or other issues, me to Cornell University where I spent
It showed me the importance of football has taught me so much about four wonderful years, worked hard and
teamwork, fitness, integrity, loyalty and adapting to change and adversity. played Cornell University Sprint Football
selfless service. Sometimes we came Life has turnovers, and these football for two years. I still enjoy getting back to
up short, but we would learn from our lessons help me to overcome them. campus whenever possible for Alumni
mistakes and drive on with our mission. Today I have three sons of my own. Weekend (photo above).
Throughout the years as I led a I know that more than wins and losses, My playing days are over but now
platoon in Bosnia, a company in Kosovo they will remember the memories that I’m involved in my son’s football
and Germany and while deployed to I was with them on the sideline. And journey. I help him identify many of
Afghanistan, I have counted on, and like my dad, my hope is they never the sport’s attributes – hard work,
built upon these lessons football taught forget that I am with them no matter discipline, competitiveness, emotional
me some 20 years ago. what obstacle they may face. and physical fortitude.

10 USA Football Magazine

Defense DVDs bolster USA Foot
ba ll

coaches’ Xs & Os

By Chris Shepard

It’s an old football adage that defense wins championships. The addition to the instructional DVDs featuring Larry Canard, the store
response from coaches and commissioners at USA Football Shop is stocked with USA Football-branded Under Armour apparel, the
(shop.usafootball.com) indicates strong agreement with this philosophy. USA Football Coaches Handbook, coaching memberships and more.
Defense-focused DVDs at usafootball.com instructs coaches on The DVDs, which feature USA Football in-house coaching
5-3 and 4-4 alignments to build the contributors Larry Canard and David Marco (pg.
foundation they need for a successful 14), tackle key points of schemes that may
2009 season. be foreign to some youth players as they
“I wanted to understand some of progress to a more pass-oriented level. The
the layouts of the two different defenses DVDs ($20) may also be purchased as part of
and seeing what would actually work a Head Coach’s or Assistant Coach’s Pack.
for our kids,” said Sterling Coleman, “When I first watched them I thought
head coach of the Atlanta-based Ben Hill they were tedious because I had coached
Tigers. “Coaching 7- and 8-year-olds, we at the college level,” said Bill Jansen, a
usually ran a 6-2, but now at the 9- and member of the Board of Directors for
10-year-old level, we’ll be seeing a lot Wisconsin’s Foxboro Pop Warner and
more passing. 10-year coaching veteran. “But after I watched them again, they are
“I went on usafootball.com and looked at all of the information very to the point, they teach the progression well, and they leave little
provided and I think it can really help me this coming season.” to the imagination. They show you the pluses and minuses, the do’s
Since opening for business in October of 2008, USA Football Shop and don’ts – when it’s all said and done you’ve learned that position
has delivered goods to the doorsteps of customers in nearly all 50 or that technique.”
states. The online shop is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In Click inside shop.usafootball.com today and see what’s in store for you.

USA Football First and Ten Fund

moving the chains
By Nicole Lukosius

USA Football Coaching Schools have hosted in late April when four coaches from his club attended
coaches across the country teaching fundamentals, the USA Football Coaching School in Hampton, Va.
drills and coaching philosophy. However, some “I think it’s terrific because it takes some of the
coaches wanting to attend are unable to do so on burden off the volunteer coaches by supplementing their
their own. fees for these professional development-type things,” he
This is where USA Football’s First and Ten Fund said. “So you feel a little appreciation that someone is
comes in. The fund allows less fortunate coaches and trying to help you get better at what you’re doing.”
players to complimentarily attend USA Football events, Beverley said the feedback from the coaches
with up to 10 participants per event. USA Football following the clinic was positive and that they came
regional managers work with league commissioners in away with a better understanding of the game.
low-income areas to choose beneficiaries. “It also gave them an opportunity to meet with local
William Beverley, founder and president of the Tri-Citi head coaches that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise met,
(Va.) Hurricanes, saw the value of this program firsthand so it was good all around.”

Coaching center

Art of the Read

How Linebackers Anticipate Run or Pass
By Chris Shepard

he foundation of any successful from the offensive linemen. basics at this point. Middle linebacker

football team is a stingy defense. “It’s really about enjoying the game and reads the quarterback; outside linebacker
Nothing frustrates your opposition teaching them that the game itself is about reads linemen first, and then through to
more than their inability to get their flying around the field,” continued the the backs. If a lineman drives it’s a run,
plays off before Ravens franchise’s if they drop-step it’s a pass. That is the
linebackers are first draft selection quickest read for outside linebackers. If
breathing down (No. 4 overall, the offense spreads out receivers, we move
their necks. 1996). “No the outside linebacker to split the second
Learning how to matter how much receiver and tackle.”
Health & fitness

develop a defense technique you try Coach Love stresses things to his
that’s a step ahead to teach young players such as, “If you don’t know, don’t
of the opponent people, they’re not go,” and “Trust what you see, your feet
is one of the most always going to get will follow.”
rob cunningham jonathan ogden
important aspects it right away. Those “If you have one that has the instincts,”
to building a championship team. mistakes can be covered up by hustle. Ray Love continued, “you’ll just need to put
“The back side guard is going to tell Lewis hustles – that’s his game. The him in the right direction and he’ll
you what the offense is doing,” exclaimed best ones do it, so don’t get too take care of the rest.”
Cameron Love, the linebackers coach caught up in technique and For more coaching insight,

for Dallas Carter High School, one of teach them to fly around the visit usafootball.com
Texas’ most accomplished prep football field.” today and click the blue
programs. Love coaches under USA Rob Cunningham, the “Coaches” tab.
Football Junior National Team linebackers head coach of the Basehor-
coach Allen Wilson. Linwood Bobcats of the
“It depends on who you’re playing, National Youth Sports
game to game, but generally if the guard Sanctioning Organization
pulls up, you’re going to want to stand in Kansas, is one of many
your ground. If he doesn’t take a step away coaching a team just

from me, that’s going to tell me to keep on beginning to reach the

coming.” age where they will contend
Love continued that while a lot of what with passing offenses more
a linebacker should do depends on an consistently.
individual team’s scheme and approach, “Our kids are in the third grade
the linebackers should always keep one eye now, going into fourth grade next
on the guard and the other on the running year, so there has been very little
back. passing during our games to this point,”
Former Baltimore Ravens offensive said Cunningham, a resident of Basehor,
tackle and 11-time Pro Bowl selection Kan. (20 miles from Kansas City),
Jonathan Ogden knows a thing or two who has been coaching the Bobcats
about what a lineman may do that the for four years. “I am lucky to have an
defense should look for. assistant coach that is my defensive
“Good linebackers can read what’s coordinator who played linebacker
happening fast,” said Ogden. “They can in college and another assistant
diagnose the run and they can tell if it’s a coach that played college and pro
run or pass quickly, they have that ability. ball at the defensive tackle position.
Good linebackers know how to disengage “We simply teach them the

12 USA Football Magazine

Meet a USA Football Member
Billy Richardson
Being part of the USA Football family unites all of us who are awarded a $250,000 grant to refurbish Rangeview High School
connected to America’s favorite sport. USA Football Coaching with dedicated use for the Aurora Youth League.
and Commissioner Member Billy Richardson
has coached youth football for more than 30 How did you learn about USA Football?
years and currently leads the Aurora (Colo.) USA Football was advertised at a camp
Crush youth football program. I attended through a Denver youth football
Richardson, a full-time truck driver, recently program. I saw it in the paper and thought, ‘I’m
spoke with USA Football Magazine to share the going to go see what these guys are about.’ It
passion he carries for the sport and the value of turned out to be a very positive experience.
being a USA Football member.
What encouraged you to join USA Football?
What inspired you to become a football coach? Their philosophy of kids having fun fits the
My son was 6 years old starting philosophy that I teach in youth
out in football and some of the first sports. I like the fact that they have
Name: Billy Richardson
words I heard were, ‘You’re sorry,’ great member support, they can
Resides: Aurora, Colo.
‘You stink.’ I didn’t like that at all. I help you develop plays through
USA Football Membership: Coach and
knew I could teach football without usafootball.com, develop new and
using any of those words, make it creative drills, and assist with other
Position: Head Coach & Club President, Aurora
positive. My son wasn’t used to that, information involving football. They
Crush Youth Sports
he was only six. Words are the first give you information on dehydration,
Coach Since: 1976
clues to parents as to what type of running a successful snack bar and
USA Football Member Since: 2006
coach you have. how to motivate athletes, among
other topics. USA Football gives you
What do you enjoy the most about coaching? a broad range of ideas on fundraisers, too. These are the things
I enjoy being able to teach the kids. The fact that I can take what that make youth sports work – it is not free. The more creative you
I know and break it down to where a child can understand it and can get with your ideas, the better chance you have to stay viable
perform well under those instructions is a great feeling. A large in our economy.
majority of coaches are natural coaches, they just don’t know it.
Would you recommend others to join USA Football?  If so, why?
What are some of your favorite football related memories? Every year I recommend it to people. All Crush coaches
I took a team from Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Pop Warner to go to the USA Football Coaching School at Invesco Field;
Mexico to play in the International Bowl and we won. Everything they are required to go. I require it because that way we’re all
there was in Spanish – we had to have an interpreter. However, talking the same language. The football language has changed.
all the kids, once we snapped the ball, understood the game Unless you’re updated with the new information, you’re an
universally. All of the parents were very supportive. We even had old dinosaur. You don’t have to be a computer genius to get
a caravan to Mexico, traveling together to get to the game on information from the website. [USA Football West Regional
time. It was just a very, very wonderful experience for kids and Manager] Bucky Brooks does a great job at the schools and
parents, and for the team overall. camps for us. He is a great young man, and always brings
I am also proud of my membership and work with the Denver enthusiasm and information to Denver.
Broncos Metro Task Force and collaboration with the City of To learn more about USA Football’s coaching resources for your
Aurora and Aurora Public Schools. We applied for and were league, visit www.usafootball.com/register/benefits/coaching today.

“The best part of being a USA Football member is …”

“Having the chance to learn something new each day. It may be a new play, different
drills or coaching philosophy. Overall, the players benefit from what you are able to
teach them on and off the field.”
– Eric Merrill, Unity Township Cowboys, Latrobe, Pa.

Coaching center
Takeaway-Giveaway with larry & david

Is scripting plays a good idea

in youth football?

Scripting plays makes sense – Leave the scripts to Hollywood

here’s why By David Marco

By Larry Canard There are two philosophies of play scripting. The

first, is to see how the defense reacts to your offense (e.g.
Health & fitness

Preparing your team for a football game requires hours of pulling offensive linemen, motion, play-action, who are the
evaluating your team’s strengths, evaluating the things your linebackers are keying, etc.).
opponent does well, how they may defense your offense, and The second is to create a scoring opportunity. For
developing a game plan you expect to be example, a coach may script the
successful. following four plays: 1) toss sweep right;
It is much more effective to run fewer 2) inside dive; 3) toss sweep left; and
plays with near perfect execution as finally, 4) toss sweep right slot reverse.
opposed to many plays with just average The purpose of the first three plays is to
execution. Scripting the first five-to-10 set-up the reverse.

plays of a game enables a coach to evaluate I’m not a proponent of either approach
the quality of his game plan. Using at the youth level. If you scout your
assistant coaches to help evaluate how the defense handles the opponent, you get an idea of what they run as their base
scripted plays is most important. defense. However, many times you won’t see that defense
If a coach is expected to be because they will modify
able to run certain plays with it for your offense. When
effectiveness, scripting those scouting an opponent, I
plays will help determine if list plays that I think will
the defense is approaching the be the most effective but I

game with the strategies he am always ready to change

expected or if the opponent has course based on what I see
a new approach. happening in a game.
If your offense uses motion or Suppose we start the
various formations, your script game by scripting a wedge
should include a variety of looks followed by an off-tackle
to better understand how your play. Although I only
opponent will approach these expect a three- to five-yard
defensively. The script should gain on the wedge, we
have adjustments for down and may break it for 20 yards.
distance and poor field position situations. Guess what, I’m not going to call that off-tackle play. I’m
Scripting plays helps coaches make adjustments throughout going to run another wedge to see if we can duplicate those
the game based on the knowledge learned from those initial results. If I were bound to a 10-play script I would lose this
scripted plays. type of flexibility.

Larry Canard and David Marco combine for more than 40 seasons of coaching on the youth levels and illustrate that there’s more than
one way to teach America’s favorite sport. Both contribute to the innovative benefits included in USA Football’s Coaching Membership. Go
to usafootball.com today and click the “Membership” button in the upper right of your screen to join the USA Football family.

14 USA Football Magazine

What If?
USA Football Coaching Members share
youth football solutions By Chris Shepard

rusty fields brad hopkins thomas ladd

City, State: Greenfield, Ind.                City, State: Norwalk, Iowa City, State: Danvers, Mass.
Youth League: Youth League: Youth League:
Greenfield Youth West Des Moines Danvers Youth Football
Football League “Little Pro” Youth (Cape Ann Youth
Coaching Football League Football League)
Experience: Coaching Coaching
4 years Experience: Experience:
Base Offense: 15 years 10 Years
Split backfield or Power-I Base Offense: T, Power I Base Offense: Wing-T
Base Defense: 4-4 Base Defense: 4-4 Stack Base Defense: 4-4 Stack
USA Football Membership: Coach USA Football Membership: USA Football Membership: Coach
Coach, Commissioner

ootball coaches – particularly those to this each and every practice session. the most, then everyone can have a starting
on the youth level – must be good- position and no one gets left out.
hearted teachers and nimble-minded Ladd: This involves two things: technique
strategists. Three USA football coaching and aggression. All youth players need Hopkins: Planning and coordination will
members recently shared how they would guidance in technique. Through instruction keep you out of this position. Assign an assistant
resolve sensitive situations. and repetition, the player’s technique (and coach to document a play count for each player.
confidence) will improve. The second area is This sounds labor intensive, but with a little
What if you have a young athlete trickier. Some kids are naturally aggressive, practice, one coach can accomplish this task and
with the talent to be a great player, but while others need time to develop. Those in still be available for other responsibilities.
for whatever reason isn’t reaching the the latter category should start with “form Players should be freely substituted right from
potential that you know is there? How do fit” drills before progressing to half-speed the start of the game. It is immensely better to
you teach such a player? and full-speed contact. It takes time for address the playing time challenges early in the
some players to “trust their shoulder pads” game with substitutions as opposed to near the
Fields: I love a challenge. I think that you and initiate contact, but once they do, they end of the game.
have to be careful with kids – they all react become more comfortable and exhibit a
differently. Some kids you have to be careful natural improvement in their aggression. Ladd: Our league does not mandate
with, while others will take advantage of you minimum playing time (unfortunately, some
if you do that. I’ve had some players that I sat You’re down by 6 points in the fourth coaches take advantage of that for the sake of
for a quarter so they realize that I’m being quarter, but you have several kids that winning), but our coaching staff believes that
serious. It’s so hard to answer that question have not played the required amount of kids who practice and work hard during the week
directly because each kid is different. plays. How do you get them their allotted should get reasonable playing time regardless of
time and stay in the hunt to win the game? ability. We typically blend some of the less talented
Hopkins: Schedule a portion of each players into defensive and special teams units.
practice on individualized instruction for Fields: I try to spread it out the whole We do put our best 11 defensive players on the
your players. This “one-on-one” interaction game so I never get in the situation where field in 4th-and-short and red zone situations,
allows a coaching staff to address each player’s it’s an issue in the last minutes. I rely on my but all players will have played a reasonable
needs with a goal of enhancing overall team assistants to tell me who has and hasn’t played. number of downs by the 4th quarter. Our goal
development. This process does not have to be We have found that it’s better to add is to develop players and prepare them for high
a significant time commitment to be effective, another team than to add a few extra players school football (and for life) by instilling self-
but a small block of time should be dedicated per team. If you have 22 players per team at confidence and a respect for the game.

Coaching center
Baltimore Ravens
Quaterbacks Coach
Hue Jackson was USA
Football’s coaching
school keynote speaker
before a full-house in
Baltimore in April.
Health & fitness

USA Football Coaching

Schools Teach the
Teachers Nationwide

By Chris Shepard

xpanding to nearly 50 coaching Brawith, team president and varsity-level over topics such as practice planning and
schools in 2009, USA Football coach for the Tokay Jr. Tigers of Lodi, positive coaching techniques. Clinicians
continues to provide insight and Calif., who attended USA Football’s hold rotating “chalk talk” sessions,
direction to youth coaches to give young coaching school near Sacramento this discussing topics such as offensive and
players great football experiences. past April. “I enjoyed all aspects of it, defensive line play, formations, and various
Each school features top local high but I particularly enjoyed the on-field defensive schemes.
school and youth coaches serving as instruction. It’s good to see how some of Attending coaches are provided lunch
clinicians to educate participants on the top high school coaches in the area and take part in an equipment fitting
the techniques necessary to teach every run their programs and what techniques session with Riddell – the official protective
position’s fundamentals as well as practice they implement. All of the instructors were equipment provider of USA Football. In
planning and offensive, defensive, and knowledgeable and insightful.” addition, each coaching school features an
special teams schemes. USA Football’s full-day schools kickoff exciting keynote speaker. This year’s stable
“The school was great,” said Grant with a coaching theory session, going of USA Football keynotes include:

16 USA Football Magazine photos by shawn hubbard

• Fred Biletnikoff, Pro Football Hall of
Fame wide receiver
• Darryl Drake, Chicago Bears wide
receivers coach
• Hue Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
quarterbacks coach
• Craig Johnson, Tennessee Titans
quarterbacks coach
• Chuck Kyle, USA Football Junior
National Team head coach & 10-time
Ohio high school state champion
(Cleveland St. Ignatius H.S.)
• Dave Logan, former NFL wide receiver
and radio voice of the Denver Broncos
• Ray Rychleski, Indianapolis Colts special
teams coordinator
• Chris Scelfo, Atlanta Falcons tight ends
• Chris Spielman, four-time NFL All-Star
linebacker Riddell representatives like
Carl Hemple (above) offer
“One word: preparation,” said Biletnikoff, equipment fitting direction at
the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl every USA Football Coaching
XI and the Oakland Raiders’ all-time School.
receiving yards and touchdowns leader,
when asked what is the most important
advice offered to today’s coaches. “Showing Classroom and on-field
the kids that you’re prepared, and that you training give Coaching School
have a program set up for them from when attendees the game plan they
you first meet will allow them to feel more need for a successful season.
comfortable with what they’re doing.”
Preparation is just one topic covered at
the schools. On-field position fundamentals
and practice drills cap off the coaching
school experience as participants rotate to
a new position every 20 minutes. Attendees
also receive a complimentary lunch and a
USA Football/Under Armour T-shirt.
Don Lipari, president of the
Orlando-based Central Florida Youth
Football League, is one of many league
commissioners requiring coaches to
attend a USA Football Coaching School to
strengthen their leagues.
“A bar exam doesn’t necessarily make you
a great attorney,” said Lipari, who attended
USA Football’s Coaching School in St. Cloud,
Fla., hosted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
on May 2. “But by sending our coaches to
USA Football schools, we can ensure our
players’ parents that our coaches have the best
possible coaching education and all the tools Nearly 20,000 youth football coaches have received training and a fun, exciting day of
necessary to coach their kids.” football at USA Football Coaching Schools since the start of 2008.

Coaching center
Now Playing:
USA Football’s Film Room
Coaching members get drill & fundamental video clips at their fingertips

By Chris Shepard

usy schedules leave little time “If I’m watching film of my team,
for coaches to learn how to I’m looking at what we did wrong
best teach and set up drills. and how we can improve for our next
USA Football has developed an game,” Wilson said of his film room
exciting way to tackle that challenge. strategies. “The online Film Room gives
“During the course of the season, coaches the benefit of seeing live action
we study film every day, all day,” demonstrations of the fundamentals of
Health & fitness

said Allen Wilson, head coach at the game and you can’t beat that.”
Dallas Carter High School and Film Room video incorporates
linebackers coach for USA Football’s three camera angles to provide clear
Junior National Team (see page XX). “Instructional film is always good, it’s views of each drill.
USA Football simplifies the process with always better to actually see something “Providing this film online to USA
an online Film Room for USA Football happen than just be told how it happens,” Football members is a great idea,” Swenson
coaching members at usafootball.com. said Gary Swenson, head coach at West said. “To be able to just log on and look up
The Film Room consists of hours Des Moines (Iowa) Valley High School and drills instead of just having it on paper is
of training video streamed online, all Team USA’s offensive coordinator. just wonderful.”

filmed at the Baltimore Ravens Practice Coaching members can see detailed For more about USA Football’s
Facility. Simple to navigate, the clips drill demonstrations and plug them into innovative coaching resources included
cover offense and defense as well as their practices. Built into the Film Room is in a value-packed $20 membership, visit
speed and strength training. the ability to rewind and pause the video. usafootball.com/register/benefits/coaching.

Dual roles as “Coach” and “Parent” need to take turns By Tom Bass
At a recent USA Football Coaching position that their child might play. The coaches after the game with his dad. The player knew that

School attended by more than 300 coaches, I that operated under this rule voiced support for regardless of the game’s outcome, this trip would
moderated a discussion about the pros and cons it. They felt that it created the best situation involve going over and over each and every play
of a parent coaching on a team where his or her for the team as a whole. The focus of their and the eventual criticism of his performance. He
child is a player. responsibility was serving as the coach for other said he was only telling his dad now because his
Forty percent of the coaches in attendance players on the team and not falling into the trap younger brother was going to start playing youth
had been or were presently in this situation on of over-coaching their child to the detriment of football the next year and hoped that his dad
their child’s team. Many coaches also moved other players. could leave his coaching hat on the field and not
up with their children as they progressed and Many coaches said that it is very important bring it home.
played at the next level. to differentiate when they were serving as a Parents should be encouraged to take part as
They felt that this experience allowed them coach and when they were serving in the role of coaches. At the same time, they should be aware
to share quality time with their child that they a parent. This situation was brought home when of challenges that come with coaching their
would have otherwise missed if they had not one coach shared the following story. child and never forget that when they put on the
volunteered to coach. He coached on a team where his child played coaching hat they have a responsibility to develop
Many also believed that being a coach gave for all four years in youth football. During his the talents of all the players on the team and not
them the opportunity to influence and have child’s first year in high school, when the dad just those of their own child.
some control over the safety of their child and was no longer part of the coaching staff, his son For more insight like that above, click on
to insure that sound drills and techniques were wanted his dad to know that for the past three “Coach Bass Columns” under usafootball.com’s
being taught. years, the reason he would spend the night at blue “Coaches” tab. All coaching members may
Many teams and leagues had rules that a another player’s house after every game was pose him questions through usafootball.com’s
parent could not serve as the position coach of a because he had grown to hate the ride home “Ask the Expert” feature.

18 USA Football Magazine

Meet a USA Football staffer

Nicole Lukosius digital media coordinator

What are your duties as become very important
USA Football’s Digital Media Nicole Lukosius because it takes everyone doing
Coordinator? their part to be successful.
I work primarily with the
content – editorial, audio and What are your goals for the
video – on usafootball.com. next year at USA Football?
I spend time speaking with Helping continue to
members and writing stories that make usafootball.com the
highlight their youth football destination for youth coaches,
experiences and how USA commissioners, officials and
Football resources and events players to learn and gain an
have helped them contribute to edge to reach their potential
the sport. within America’s favorite
What is your favorite part of
your job? Based on your experience,
I have been a big sports what stands out to you when
fan my entire life, and I have always – to improve the game of football from you think of USA Football members
enjoyed writing, so I love that I have the grassroots level – and being a member or the youth football community in
the opportunity to combine the two. I of the staff gives me a chance to be a part general?
also enjoy being able to work with our of that. The members that I have had the
members and others in the football pleasure to work with have an uncommon
community. I like reporting on people’s What does football mean to you? passion for the sport, which can inspire
seasons and learning how USA Football is Football reminds me of fond youngsters on and off the field. The
making a positive impact. memories with family and friends going youth football community is motivated
to games and cheering from the stands. and it’s great to see so many coaches,
What attracted you to becoming a part of And football teaches great American commissioners and officials looking to
USA Football’s staff? values. With so many people on the field sharpen their skills in order to improve the
USA Football’s mission is a great one at one time, teamwork and responsibility experience for their players.

USA Football’s Tom Bass Receives Football Contributor Honor

By Chris Shepard

stablished in 1971, the San Diego chapter of the National Author of usafootball.com’s “Let’s Talk Football” question-and-
Football Federation (NFF) honors contributors to amateur answer column, Bass has served as defensive coordinator for San
football, be it as a player, coach or game official. Diego State and San Jose State and contributed to NFL coaching
On March 27, the NFF San Diego chapter awarded USA staffs for the Cincinnati Bengals, San Diego Chargers and Tampa
Football’s Tom Bass with the Contribution to Amateur Bay Buccaneers in his 30-year career.
Football Award for his commitment to teaching the game “Coach Bass puts his 30 years of NFL coaching experience
through authoring several youth football coaching books toward educating youth players, coaches, and parents today,”
and for his involvement in dozens of coaching clinics said Brian Fogerty, the President of the San Diego NFF
since his retirement from coaching. Bass has served USA chapter. “It’s even more special for us because he adds a
Football and its members as an advisor and writer since national profile to the local flavor of our awards ceremony.”
2003. He has been a key contributor to USA Football’s Gain Coach Bass’ insight and visit “Coach Bass
Certified Coaching Education Program (CCEP) and Columns” under the blue “Coaches” tab on usafootball.
Coaches Handbook as well as several online coaching member com. Coaching members may also pose him questions through
benefits, including the Drills Library and Film Room. usafootball.com’s “Ask the Expert” feature.

Health & fitness

What football has taught

my son: Tom Conner
By Nicole Lukosius

ummer is in full swing, but there’s four quarters and the end result tells
no doubt that Ross Conner is you who has won.
already excited about next fall.
The New Mexico State University What makes Ross a good linebacker?
linebacker will enter his final year, and Leadership, leadership, leadership.
both he and his father, Tom, have high It’s so big to be a “Mike,” because you’re
hopes for a successful campaign. taking care of 10 other players. You’re
Health & fitness

As a football coach at Mayfield High calling the plays and you’re making
School in Las Cruces, N.M., Tom has sure everybody does their assignments
been around the game for years and had correctly. When you make great
the pleasure of coaching and preparing plays, great things happen. You try to
his son to play at the next level. minimize bad plays and go back to the
In 2008, Ross earned his first career huddle and not let it get to your head.
start as an Aggie. Along
with 18 tackles on the field, Tom & Ross Conner What was positive about being
he also performed off the redshirted his freshman year?

field in the classroom. It was great actually because he

He graduated on May 9 got acclimated to school – it’s a big shock when you
with a B.A. in Business go to college. Very few players go into a Division I
Management and earned college and become a starter their first year, so it’s a
the 2009 Senior Scholar great thing to be redshirted. The extra year allows the
Athlete Award and was player to get bigger, stronger, acclimate to school and
named an Academic understand the Aggie system better.

top to bottom: Courtesy of Conner Family, Courtesy of New Mexico State University
All-Western Athletic
Conference selection for Ross Conner How has football helped Ross off the field?

the third consecutive year. You have to manage your time in sports as well as
Living only 10 miles your academics and you learn these skills through
from New Mexico State’s campus, Tom and the rest of the Conner football. Everything is under a structured time – you get a certain
family enjoy being able to support Ross as he grows as a football amount of time between plays, to make the call, to execute it – and
player – and as a person. USA Football Magazine spoke with Tom this rolls over to his academics as well.
Conner to learn more about what football has taught his son.
What is your fondest memory of your son’s football career?
When did Ross start playing football? It was last year, and it was in the Boise State game. Ross was
He started playing in fifth grade, and what kept him interested on the punt team, and when they punted the ball, it went to the
is he’s got the mentality of a football player. I’ve been coaching opposite side of the field. He goes down and the guy takes off on
football my whole life, but he took it and ran with it and he just the backside, so Ross keeps his lane and this guy comes down and
kept excelling at it. cuts across the field. He’s getting ready to score a TD, and here
comes Ross Conner and he tackles him on the 5-yard line. He
What has football taught your son? basically ran between 120-150 yards to make the play. That’s what
It taught him courage, loyalty, teamwork, attitude and he’s all about. He doesn’t give up in football or with school. He sets
discipline. That’s what football is all about. Competition is also very high expectations for himself and never compromises.
big, and people handle competition totally different. Ross handles Visit usafootball.com for more insight on football values and
it with excitement. It’s a challenge, and you have this challenge for fundamentals.

20 USA Football Magazine

Using Your Head:
Proper Helmet Fitting
By Rose DiPaula

properly-fitted helmet is a must for product designers and engineers intended
every player, but how can you tell if them to be to best protect the athlete.”
a youngster’s helmet is the right fit? The chin strap should be centered under
Riddell, USA Football’s official helmet the chin so that the player’s chin feels secure.
and protective equipment partner, offers Check the athlete’s vision, both straight-
recommendations on good helmet-fitting forward and peripheral. The helmet should
practices. not inhibit vision and the player should be
Listen to the players being fitted. Ask able to see clearly, despite the face mask.
them how their helmet feels – is it tight, is it This is difficult to determine, especially with
comfortable? younger players. Track visibility with your
When taking a player’s head finger to make sure they can see well.
measurement, measure around the middle of To take the helmet off properly, show the
the forehead. To put the helmet on, show the high or too low on the head. Use both hands athletes to first unbuckle the chin strap and
players to put their thumbs over the bottom to push down on the top of the helmet, and place an index finger into each ear hole on
of the face pads, with their fingers in the double check that the helmet does not move. either side. Show them how to press the face
inside of the helmet. Face pads should first “Most components of football helmets pads with their thumbs and lift off straight
touch the temples when pulling the helmet and shoulder pads serve a critical protective over the head.
down over the head. purpose,” said Riddell Vice President of USA Football Coaching Schools feature
Once the helmet is on, make sure that it Research and Development Thad Ide. “A Riddell helmet and protective equipment
touches the middle of the forehead. Never let proper fit ensures that all protective elements experts. For more about Riddell’s state-of-
players participate with helmets that sit too of your equipment are positioned where the the-art athletic equipment, visit Riddell.com.

Hydration 411
top to bottom: Courtesy of Conner Family, Courtesy of New Mexico State University

By Micah Simon

ater makes up 60 to 65 percent of a person’s should be taken.
body weight. When engaged in physical During practice and game breaks, athletes should
activity, football players should be continue to drink fluids to help maintain their energy
mindful of the importance of staying hydrated. level. The amount of fluids athletes should drink
Proper hydration means more energy and a decrease depends on how much they sweat.
in health risks when playing. Sports drinks such as Gatorade help the body
Fluids should be taken throughout the day no refill sodium and potassium levels that are lost when
matter the level of physical activity. Sports drinks sweating. Check nutrition information as not all
and drinks from coolers are best. Also, drinking the sports drinks contain the same levels of sodium and
right fluids at home such as low fat milk keeps the potassium.
body properly hydrated. For more information on player health, go to
At least 16 ounces of fluid should be taken two to usafootball.com and click on “Health & Safety,” found by
three hours before physical activity. About 10 to 20 rolling your mouse over the “Commissioners,” “Coaches,”
minutes before a practice or game, eight ounces of fluids “Officials,” or “Player” tabs.


Youth Football Community

Values Coaching Education
USA Football Membership & Resources Deliver for America’s Favorite Sport

By Chris Shepard

ne play can change a football coaching the game. Level Two teaches purchased CCEPs and memberships.
game. Since May of 2008, position fundamentals. Each of the “Coaches at every point in their careers
nearly 100 youth football course’s 11 chapters concludes with a quiz enjoy the chance to work with professional
leagues across the country have made to help coaches retain information. coaches and players and apply these new
either USA Football’s Certified Coaching Being USA Football coaching members skills to their own teams.”
Education Program (CCEP) or coaching provides coaches access to usafootball. See how thousands of youth football
Health & fitness

membership a requirement for all of com’s 3-D online drills library, coaching coaches are gaining an edge – surf to www.
their coaches. insurance, an online practice planner, usafootball.com/cepcoaches to learn more.
At just $10 per coach, USA Football’s USA Football’s “Click ’n Create” online
CCEP has quickly become the sport’s No. playbook, and more.
1 online youth coach training program. “The USA Football Coaching Education
Stocked with exciting video and narration, Program provides information from
coaches gain insight on how to teach the professionals and coaches who want
fundamentals and instill the values of to share their experiences,” said Renee
America’s favorite sport to their players. Oglesby, president of the Northwest

Less than one percent of youth Midget Pop Warner Football League in
football players make it to the pros, so Winston-Salem, N.C. The league recently
the most important thing
for youngsters to obtain
is a fun experience and
football’s unique team-first
values that will help them
no matter what they choose
to do in the future.

“We want to provide the

best possible experience for
the kids,” said James White,
chairman of the board of
the Washington, D.C., area
Capital Beltway League,
which purchased CCEPs and
memberships for each of its
coaches in April. “The better
educated our coaches are, the
better they can educate the
kids. The better educated the
kids are, the safer and more
effective they will be on the
The CCEP consists of two levels. USA Football’s Certified Coaching Education Course (CCEP) consists of two levels. Level One is
Level One is an introduction to an introduction to coaching the game. Level Two teaches position fundamentals.

22 USA Football Magazine

USA Football Regional Managers
A merica’s favorite sport is powered by you – dedicated youth league commissioners, coaches, game
officials and volunteers. For each of you, there is a face and name to place in your football Rolodex:
your USA Football Regional Manager.
USA Football Regional Managers are current and former coaches, players and administrators working for you. Each has the experience
needed to help you make your league or team even stronger with USA Football’s resources.
Contact your USA Football Regional Manager to learn how you can kick off your free commissioner membership or to ask about coaching
certification, the nearest USA Football Coaching School, Player Academy or Officiating School. Stay in touch with your regional manager,
whether it’s to share news about your league or team or to ask about member resources.
In addition, you may always contact our office, based outside of Washington, D.C., through usafootball.com or by phone at
1-877-5-FOOTBALL. Let us know how we can serve you better.
Together we’ll ensure that teamwork and leadership continue to serve as the laces binding our favorite game.

Northeast Region
Ed Passino
Northwest Region Great Lakes Region (703) 992-8246
Bassel Faltas Central Region Scott LeVeque epassino@usafootball.com
(571) 730-4816 Joe Owens (571) 730-4815
bfaltas@usafootball.com (571) 730-4822 sleveque@usafootball.com

West Region Southeast Region

Bucky Brooks Rick Peacock
(818) 921-7616 (703) 992-8107
South & Mid-Atlantic rpeacock@usafootball.com
Deno Campbell
(703) 992-8653


Great American
consistent standards and rules for
competition, and helping those who
oversee high school sports and activities.

pastime fortified
The NFHS writes playing rules for 17
sports for boys and girls at the high
school level. Through its 50 member state
associations and the District of Columbia,
the NFHS reaches nearly 19,000 high
NFHS & USA Football partner for coaching innovation schools and almost 7.5 million high

By Rose DiPaula school athletes.

Football participation in the sport has
igh school football stands among America’s greatest pastimes, uniting us in grown exponentially over the years, with
our passion for the sport and the pride we have in our communities. more than 1.13 million young men taking
USA Football is helping bolster this great American rite of autumn. part in high school football, according to
The National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) and USA Football a 2007-08 NFHSA Participation survey.
recently partnered to develop an innovative 3-D online football coaching course titled, High school football is the
“Fundamentals of Coaching Football,” designed for coaches at all 15,181 high school most popular sport among
Health & fitness

football programs. boys by a two-to-one margin.

Assembled with state-of- “USA Football is proud
the-art computer animation, to partner with the NFHS
narration from Fox-TV to co-produce this ground-
and NFL Network football breaking course for the betterment of the
analyst Charles Davis, high school coaching community,” said Scott
the program is designed Hallenbeck, USA Football executive director.
to assist high school “The commitment made by the NFHS to
coaches, sharpening their afford coaches resources to strengthen their

ability to teach the game’s skills will further grow football’s popularity
fundamentals. and make the game’s future even brighter.”
The interactive course The course is now available 24 hours a
includes graphics, video, and day at www.nfhslearn.com. Coaches are
Advancing high school football, the NFHS & USA Football extensive instruction for all able to save their progress in order to log in
have built the country’s first online coaching course designed positions played, with built- and out. The $50 program consists of five
for prep coaches. High school football is the most-played
in comprehension quizzes units and takes approximately two and a
sport by high school boys by more than a two-to-one margin.
with instant auto-grading. half hours to complete.
The NFHS views the course as a historic advancement to certify high school coaches Innovative elements in the NFHS’

on a national level. “Fundamentals of Coaching Football”

“Our partnership with USA Football helps to ensure that interscholastic coaches will be course are found in USA Football’s Certified
properly trained in coaching football fundamentals,” said Robert F. Kanaby, NFHS executive Coaching Education Program (CCEP). To
director. “It also sends an important message to the football community that USA Football and learn more about USA Football’s CCEP,
the NFHS are united in providing training to coaches in education-based athletics.” go to usafootball.com or reach your USA
The NFHS is committed to improving the participation experience, establishing Football regional manager (page 23).

E-reminder for E-quipment

Since 2006, USA Football has awarded more than $1 million in new football equipment to
approximately 600 youth and school-operated football programs spanning 45 states. Based on merit
and need, USA Football’s Grants Program in 2009 – with help from partners Riddell and Under Armour
– will award $500,000 worth of new shoulder pads, helmets and more to leagues and school teams.
Sign up at usafootball.com now to receive an automated email – or “e-reminder” – informing
you of when the 2009 USA Football Grants application form is ready. Request an e-reminder by clicking on the “Equipment
Grants” link under the green “Administrators” tab at usafootball.com.
The application will be up and running by late summer.

24 USA Football Magazine

quick-hitter grid
With members in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, USA Football recently caught up with four Commissioner members from coast
to coast. Below are their straight-ahead thoughts on topics including food, football and fundraisers.

Commissioner: Gary Bertolucci Mike Frances Dwayne LeGrand Calvin Massie

Organization: Gateway Youth Football Xtreme Youth Football St. Martin (Miss.) Youth Prince George’s County
League League Football Association (Md.) Boys & Girls Club
Location: Chesterfield, Mo. Miami, Fla. Biloxi, Miss. Lanham, Md.

Most rewarding Watching young players The opportunity to meet The reaction of the kids Seeing a child make their
aspect of running a learn and appreciate the a variety of people and to and the memories they high school football team
youth football league concept of being part of a be able to reach out make and watching them progress
team to play in college and some
have made the pros

Favorite football “The Catch” Coaching a 5-6 Being in Tiger Stadium at “Immaculate Reception”
moment (Montana to year-old team to a my first LSU game when (Franco Harris, Dec. 1972)
Clark, Jan. 1982) championship with they beat Auburn in the
limited talent “Earthquake Game” (1988)

Your greatest Getting adult volunteers to Building a bridge in Getting involved with USA Winning five of six
accomplishment as be committed, motivated the community Football, the Saints, games in the Washington
Commissioner and excited about building a between youth and other organizations Metropolitan Area
youth football organization and adults to get the league into Youth Super Bowl
that is second to none the spotlight Championships in 2007

Best football rivalry Michigan vs. Ohio State U. of Miami vs. Michigan vs. Ohio State Pittsburgh Steelers vs.
Florida State Baltimore Ravens

Favorite concession Hot Dog Chicken fingers and fries Chili Italian sausage with all
stand food cheese fries the trimmings

Best fundraiser Car raffle Two suite tickets for a $14,000 in one BRAX Joe Corbis pizzas and
you’ve run Miami Dolphins game Spirit Cups fundraiser Otis Spunkmeyer cookies

Best football uniform University of Oregon Ducks Florida Gators LSU Tigers Pittsburgh Steelers

Favorite The teaching tools Coaching education The resources – they USA Football Coaches
USA Football available on are amazing. You call Handbook and having a
Commissioner usafootball.com Deno (Campbell) or any youth football standard to
member benefit regional manager and you apply to our league
get a quick response

Three people you’d Supreme Court Justice Jesus Christ, Bill Walsh, Joe Montana, President Obama, Hines
like to have dinner Antonin Scalia, General Don Shula, and John Madden Ward and Tony Dungy
with Norman Schwarzkopf, Chuck Noll
Jesus Christ

USA Football offers resource-packed memberships to give coaches, officials and youth league commissioners an edge.
Learn more at www.usafootball.com/register. 25
Health & fitness

Commissioners turn football

fans into fundraisers
BRAX Spirit Cups help commissioners power programs

By Rose DiPaula

P America’s top 10 youth football league

erhaps the most challenging tackle
that a youth league commissioner
needs to make involves fundraising.
Like a coach turning to a favorite play, profits with BRAX Spirit Cups
commissioners move the financial chains
with BRAX Spirit Cups. Organization Location Profit

A practical, inexpensive and fun way 1. Culpeper Youth Football Reva, Va. $18,328
to raise money, leagues raised as much
2. Piqua Youth Football Association Piqua, Ohio $14,920
as $18,000 in profit for their programs in
2008 with the Spirit Cups. 3. Greenlee/Graham Pop Warner Morenci, Ariz. $9,776
Scot Eaton of the Huntersville 4. Northeast Bandits St. Petersburg, Fla. $9,500
Buccaneers Football Club in Cornelius, 5. St. Martin Youth Football Association Biloxi, Miss. $8,952
N.C., is a fan of the fundraising program. 6. St. Cloud Youth Football St. Cloud, Fla. $8,372
“My team’s experience with BRAX has 7. Boone Grove Winfield PW Hebron, Ind. $8,364
been very positive,” he said. “The cups were
8. Griffith Pop Warner Griffith, Ind. $7,816
an easy sell and inside of two weeks my
players were able to sell over 400 sets.” 9. Ontario PW Football/Cheer Ontario, Canada $7,652
Spirit Cups feature your favorite team 10. Matthews Athletic Rec. Association Matthews, N.C. $7,032
and are heavy-gauge 18-ounce plastic
cups, made in the USA. They are recyclable
and packed in a four-pack team set. Spirit college athletics programs. Each four-cup Kick off a Spirit Cup program by
Cups boldly display logos and colors pack sold generates $4 in profit for your reaching BRAX’s customer care team
of every team in the NFL and Major league’s bank account. BRAX is the official at 1-888-825-9339. BRAX is online at
League Baseball as well as more than 50 fundraising partner of USA Football. spiritcups.com.

26 USA Football Magazine


Professionalism is key
for game officials
By Chris Shepard

o one ever hears about officials professional,” Michalek said. “We also never my composure working lower level football
who make the right calls, but when blame another official. We ignore the fans from USA Football’s own Bill LeMonnier,”
something goes wrong, taking the and the parents. We don’t engage with them. Michalek said. “When I was young and
criticism as a professional is a sign of integrity. And if it’s a controversial call that I made, all immature, I would violate all these rules and
“The first thing I tell upstart officials is to I tell the coach is, ‘This is what I saw; this is engage with fans and coaches and lose my
‘kill them with kindness,’” said Tony Michalek, what I ruled.’” cool. Bill was the one who told me that if I
NFL umpire and USA Football Director of Standing by your call is one of the most wanted to continue to advance and be a good
Officiating. “Always be professional. We always important things a credible official can official, I needed to control myself.”
want to be polite, courteous and to the point. do, especially at a level that does not have Tony Michalek has now been an NFL
And we always want to acknowledge them. If the option of instant replay. The official umpire for six seasons and continues to give
you don’t know the answer, tell them, ‘We will who changes his call without the firm back to America’s favorite sport by leading
get the answer when we can.’” reassurance of a replay is one who looks USA Football’s online Certified Officiating
When encountering a coach who is indecisive and unprofessional. Education Program and the non-profit’s
upset with a call and perhaps steps over Michalek also stressed the importance officiating training events.
the bounds of what is acceptable, Michalek of officials keeping their cool during the Whether you’re interested in officiating
asks, “Please repeat that.” This gives the game. In a sport as emotional as football, it’s football or are already doing so and want
upset coach a chance to rethink his words. A important that somebody remain calm and to improve, learn from the best. Go to
second offense will result in a penalty. composed – and that has to be the officials. usafootball.com now and become a USA
“The one thing that we need to do is be “I learned my biggest lesson in keeping Football Officiating Member.

USA Football = Miracle-Gro for Officiating Knowledge

By Micah Simon • Covers special teams, running game and
passing game
Resources and training acquired through USA • 90 total minutes of material
Football’s officiating membership places good officials • Online comprehension quiz following each
on a fast track to be even better. course
USA Football Director of Officiating and NFL • Ideal for youth officials preparing for high
Umpire Tony Michalek authors and leads officiating school football
membership resources. Working with Michalek is USA
Football Officiating Consultant and Big Ten Referee
Rules Interpretations
• Categories: Player Conduct, Pre-Snap,
Bill LeMonnier, a co-author of the NCAA Football
USA Football’s Basic Education Course for Passing & Kicking
Officiating Test for the past eight seasons.
officials teaches fundamentals in an exciting • Grid with key rules, their enforcement
An officiating membership earns you online access
state-of-the-art format. and video
to USA Football’s comprehensive Basic Course with
• High-quality video examples for each rule
exciting computer-animated video and narration, four Key resource highlights: • Preparation for what will be seen on the field
Mechanics Courses especially useful for the advanced
official, Rules Interpretations video synched-up Basic Education Course Expert Analysis
to NFHS rule numbers and Expert Analysis video • Comprehensive two-hour course • Online video insight from the best officials
featuring insight from the best in the business. • Four chapter quizzes to help retain learnings in the country
Hit the field prepared – become a USA Football • Excellent training program for new officials • Features Tony Michalek (NFL), Bill, Dick
Officiating Member today at usafootball.com and Mechanics Courses Honig (ACC) & Tom Herbert (Big Ten)
press the “Membership” button. • Four courses written by Tony Michalek and Bill LeMonnier • Integrated with the NFHS rule book

Meet a USA Football board Member

Tom Cove
President & CEO
Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association

elping steer USA Football’s mission as the sport’s national governing body
on youth and amateur levels is its 17-member Board of Directors. The board
is composed of leaders throughout the football community who share a
deep appreciation for America’s favorite sport. This issue of USA Football Magazine
introduces you to USA Football Board Member Tom Cove, president and chief
executive officer for the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), based in
Washington, D.C.

What does football mean to you?

Football has always been a part of my life. It was the sport I played best as a kid, the
one I enjoyed most and it was also my ticket to being a part of a very good high school
team at a time in my life when being on a team was extremely important. On a different
level, football was a strong connecting point between my dad and me and continues to Throughout your tenure on the board,
be a passionate connection between me and my children.  where have you seen USA Football make
its greatest advancements?
What does football mean to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA)? The online education programs
As the largest high school sport and one of the largest youth sports in terms of provided by USA Football are great. In my
participation rates and equipment expenditures, football is critically important to our travels, I see far too many youth coaches
member companies. When one considers the economic and social impact of football who have all the right intentions but lack
spectators in American culture, football clearly merits a top place in the business of sport. training in how to coach proper football
technique. USA Football’s program
USA Football and the SGMA are membership organizations. In what ways does an offerings to coaches are cutting edge and
energized membership shape an organization? user-friendly for the coach who might
An energized group of members is fundamental to the well-being of any membership be starved for time. They are wonderful
organization. Committed members who participate on committees, benefit from resources. Similarly, USA Football’s
education opportunities, attend events, and visit websites are the life blood of a good emphasis on improving officiating is right
organization. This will keep staff focused and programs relevant, and all members will on target and will improve the overall
reap dividends. game for years to come.

USA Football’s board of directors

Ray Anderson Jon Butler Roger Goodell Keith Rucker
Exec. V.P., Football Operations Executive Director Commissioner Football Coach
National Football League Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. National Football League NFL Alumni

Jason Belser Tom Cove Scott Hallenbeck Frank Sanchez

Senior Regional Director President & CEO Executive Director Vice President
NFL Players Association SGMA International USA Football Boys & Girls Clubs of America

DeMaurice Smith Carl Francis Mark Meana Grant Teaff

Executive Director Director of Communications Chairman Executive Director
NFL Players Association NFL Players Association Fairfax County (Va.) American Football
Youth Football League Coaches Association
Joe Browne Alexia Gallagher
Exec. V.P., Communications Director, NFL Youth Football Dept. Brian Mitchell Deborah Yow
& Public Affairs National Football League Former NFL All-Star Athletic Director
National Football League NFL Alumni University of Maryland
Bob Gardner
Chief Operating Officer
National Federation of State
High School Associations
28 USA Football Magazine
Jack Kemp
USA Football’s First Chairman –
Football Champion & American Patriot
by Steve Alic

ome athletes play quarterback. Few are born one. States House of Representatives (1971-1989). Kemp served from
Jack Kemp was one of those few. February 1989 to January 1993 as the U.S. Secretary of Housing
USA Football’s first chairman, from the and Urban Development, and in August of 1996, received the
organization’s founding in 2002 until his death in May, Republican Party’s nomination for Vice President.
exuded the game’s qualities of leadership, intelligence and Page 32 of every USA Football Magazine is titled, “What
integrity. And he did it all as a winner. Football Taught Me.” Jack Kemp offered our first installment of
Under his leadership, USA Football grew to become this feature in Jan. 2008. Among his thoughts shared with USA
the sport’s national governing body Football Members were the following:
on youth and amateur levels with “Football gives you a sense of
coaching, officiating and league responsibility in a transparent
commissioner members in all 50 states. environment. You take on responsibilities
“Jack Kemp loved to share how and gain credibility for your actions and
football teaches our youngsters decisions. Football brings out leadership,
American values like responsibility, helping people achieve a common goal,
sacrifice and teamwork,” said USA and brings the best out of people. There
Football Executive Director Scott are many positives from football that
Hallenbeck. “The passion he showed for translate into being successful in politics
the game as USA Football’s chairman and business in general.
will continue to inspire our non-profit “I grew up in Los Angeles. I loved to
office in advancing the sport. A leader, a go to games at the L.A. Coliseum to watch
patriot, always a quarterback – we will the Rams play as a fan of Bob Waterfield,
miss him immensely.” Norm Van Brocklin, Kenny Washington
Kemp led the Buffalo Bills to two Jack Kemp and George Taliaferro. I recall back in
American Football League (A.F.L.) 1945, I’d go and see the Los Angeles Dons
titles (1964, ’65). A consummate leader, he directed his in the old All-America Football Conference. I’ve always loved
teams to five of the A.F.L.’s 10 championship games. He also football. My older brother played quarterback in high school.
recorded the most career completions and passing yards in The only thing I ever wanted to do was play pro football.
the A.F.L.’s 10-season history – a league that won two of the “I have 17 grandchildren and now I’m watching them play
first four Super Bowls against its NFL competition while both football. And they’re better for it. It’s a great game. It teaches
leagues operated as separate entities (1966-69). In addition, he so much about life through discipline and putting aside
was the only A.F.L. quarterback to be listed as a starter in all differences for the good of a team.”
10 years of the league’s existence.  To borrow our late chairman’s words, it is we who are better
Following his football playing career, he represented the off for his leadership. Jack Kemp’s contributions to football and
Buffalo area and western New York for 18 years in the United America live on through his proud and lasting legacy.

Football facts,
stats & figures
USA Football continually conducts and uncovers research to share with you, our members. We speak with youth league commissioners,
coaches, game officials and parents to learn how America’s favorite sport can be even better. Every issue of USA Football Magazine shares
“Facts, Stats and Figures” relative to America’s football community.

For 44th Consecutive

USA Football State Leadership Forums
USA Football State Leadership Forums give Commissioner members
Year, Football is America’s
opportunities to share ideas on running successful leagues and to learn how Favorite Sport
USA Football can help strengthen them. Following this year’s schedule of 37 Harris Interactive, a global leader in custom market
State Forums, USA Football reached out to more than 500 attendees
Chart 6 to make research, announced for the 44th consecutive year that
the 2010 meetings even stronger. Here’s what you said: football is America’s favorite sport. More than 1,500
American adults who follow multiple sports were
What discussion topic was most important to you?
0 10% 20% recently
asked, “If you had to choose one sport, which
Chart 10
would you say is your favorite?”
Coaching/Officiating Education & Certification NFL football lapped the field with 31% of the
country placing it at No. 1. Trailing the NFL was
USA Football Membership Programs Major League Baseball (16%). College football drew
the third-strongest figure with 12%, meaning that
National Playing Standards 40
either pro or college football stand No. 1 in the hearts
Untitled 1
Recruiting Coaches and Officials of 43% of America’s sports fans.

Recruiting more players America’s top five favorite sports:

Financial Responsibilities, Equipment Grants
& Fundraising

For how many years have you served as Commissioner?

0 20% 40% 60%

1 year or less
2-3 years

3-5 years
6 years or more
NFL MLB College Auto Men’s pro
Football Racing basketball
Source: 2009 harris poll

Do you require Would you recommend Thousands of youth

coaching education other Commissioners to
attend a USA Football
football league
commissioners have
NFL Dominates Pro
in your league?
State Forum? attended USA Football Sports Apparel Sales
State Leadership It’s no surprise to see someone wearing a jersey or hat
Forums. Don’t be left supporting their favorite pro sports team, but you may raise
Yes behind – join them in your eyebrows in learning how many of those logos and
Yes 100% 2010 and contact your colors belong to NFL clubs. According to the latest ESPN
67% USA Football regional Sports Poll, seven of the top 10 best-selling teams play in the
manager (see page 23). NFL with the other three residing in Major League Baseball.
No NBA or NHL teams crack the top 10.
Source: 2009 USA Football State Forum Survey

30 USA Football Magazine

What Football Taught Me
Tom Bessant, CFO, Cash America
As Told To rudy klancnik

When you’re the Chief Financial Officer Bessant admits that his football skills were Big 12 and weekly dates with the likes of Texas,
for a publicly held NYSE company in this never destined to land him playing time at any Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas Tech.
unprecedented and unpredictable collegiate level. But through years Of course for a person whose business
economy, you know something of hard work, discipline and focus, decisions influence the direction of a dynamic
about working in the spotlight. Bessant now resides in rare air as a corporation and the people who work there,
Make that a heat lamp. With the deep sideline official in one of college the pressure that comes with making a
temperature topping 120 degrees. football’s most competitive power challenging call in the fourth quarter is
Tom Bessant, CFO at Fort Worth- conferences, the Big 12. something Bessant can put in its proper
based Cash America, often calls on Like so many of his officiating perspective. But that doesn’t mean he ever
the life lessons he’s learned playing peers, Bessant worked his way takes anything on that field lightly. Just
Tom Bessant
high school football at Dallas up through youth leagues to high the opposite. Bessant is driven to achieve
Skyline and the 29 years as a football official schools to small college divisions and then perfection on the field and off, although he
to give him the proper grounding to do his job the Mountain West Conference, the nation’s admits that football has taught him that
and to lead others to do likewise. premier non-BCS conference. Now comes the perfection is a fleeting pursuit.

he thing that’s always attracted me to football is the fact that when you’re dealing with people who work behind the scenes.
everyone on the field – the players, the coaches, the band, My high school football coach was the one responsible for getting
the cheerleaders, the officials – is focused on executing their me back on the football field – as an official. I saw him one day after
jobs at the highest level possible. I love that about football and it’s I had graduated and told him how much I missed the Friday night
the reason that you have to bring your best efforts to the field no lights of Texas high school football. He immediately reached out to
matter if you’re working a small-town high school game, a youth me and had me get in touch with the local chapter of football officials
game or a Big 12 game. I always who helped me get started. I’ve never
tell young officials that it’s critical looked back. There’s nothing like
that you control the things you can Texas high school football. It just
control . . . your preparation, rules doesn’t get any better or more intense.
knowledge, your appearance and Friday night in this state is a special
fitness, demeanor with everyone deal. I always enjoyed being part of
surrounding the game. You must it and I always worked hard to make
respect the game and respect the sure I respected everything I had to do
fact that the game you’re working is with those games.
the most important thing in these My day job is very busy and involves
young guys’ lives. The same is true a lot of travel. So does my weekend
in everyday life, take responsibility responsibilities in the fall. When I was
for your actions and do your absolute in the Mountain West, that meant
best every minute because it matters to someone. travel to the coast at times. Needless to say, you have to have a very
Of course in officiating, you have to know the rules, you must understanding family to make it all work. It’s the most important part
get the right type of training and your team of officials has to of having success at both occupations. My wife is a saint, plain and
function as a cohesive unit. That’s the same as in my day job. In simple. I work under a lot of pressure Monday through Friday and
my position, several different disciplines report to me. I want to then work under a different type of pressure on Saturdays. The family
make sure they all are accountable but also know that they are all makes the biggest sacrifices and I’m lucky to have them on my team.
equally important to making our company perform at a high level. You must never forget to give back to your support group.
Officiating keeps me very humble, which I believe is an important Each issue of USA Football Magazine reveals what America’s
trait for any business leader in an executive position. On the field, favorite sport has taught accomplished individuals in a variety of
I’m accountable for my mistakes and coaches and fans certainly vocations. These football accounts illustrate how today’s players
won’t let you forget that fact. It keeps you very humble, especially become tomorrow’s leaders.

32 USA Football Magazine