The Buffalo Bills hosted the 9th annual Western New York Amateur Football Alliance - Youth Football Coaching Academy at the Bills Field House in Orchard Park on March 27th. Seven of the top area high school coaches directed the academy (including two Buffalo Bills 2009 Coaches of the Week) and provided instruction to over 150 youth football coaches from the Western New York community.
The Coaching Academy, which is specifically designed for youth football coaches, focused on a number of different coaching areas including mentoring, football philosophy, organization, health and safety, officiating, and offensive/defensive fundamentals.
Each of the coaches in attendance at the Academy received a gym bag courtesy of ADPRO Sports, a coaching booklet, breakfast, lunch and a certificate showing that they completed the Academy. The Academy also included a vendor expo and door prizes.
The Academy was kicked off by Chuck Funke, president of the WNYAFA and Tim Jerome, vice president of the WNYAFA, who discussed the culture of youth sports and the need for change.
The classroom speaker portion of the academy included Western New York football professionals Jerry Boyes, Athletic Director of Buffalo State College, Jennifer Achman, Athletic Trainer at Iroquois High School, and Paul Trzybinski from the WNY Chapter of NYS Association of Football Officials.
Boyes worked with the group to develop a coaching philosophy for themselves and their team that will make their youth football experience positive for everyone involved. Achman discussed nutrition, hydration, heat injury prevention, concussions and safe playing fields with the group. Trzybinski discussed the role of the official in youth football, rule changes for 2010, and took questions from the group about different penalty situations.
The youth football coaches worked on the field with a number of different high school football coaches and players from some of the top programs throughout Western New York. This interactive session allowed the youth football coaches to work first hand with the high school coaches and learn different drills and fundamental techniques for each position on the field.
The high school coaches that participated included:
Ken Stoldt – Alden High School
Dan McGrath – Depew High School
Tom Goddard – Clarence High School
Mike McFadden – Hamburg High School
Glen Graham – Cleveland Hill High School
Len Jankiewicz- Lancaster High School (2009 Buffalo Bills Coach of the Week Winner)
Kraig Kurzanski – Williamsville South High School (2009 Buffalo Bills Coach of the Week Winner)
For more information, visit the Bills youth football page on buffalobills.com.