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Over 60 New Football Coaches Certified in Latest Seminar

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November 29th, 2022 | Josh Adelman

Soldiers To Sidelines congratulates the most recent class of Soldier Coaches for completing the STS Football Coaching Certification Seminar presented by Verizon in partnership with the NY Jets Salute To Service. It’s incredible that 16 hours of virtual coursework can be so engaging, insightful, and inspirational. The effort and attention paid by this cohort were truly impressive.

We kicked off the week with words of motivation and praise from the community relations department of the NY Jets and Tommy Jones, Head of Military and Diversity Talent Acquisition at Verizon. We powered through our Soldiers To Sidelines core high human skill coursework and learned some of the latest approaches to football technique and strategy.

STS Director of Football, Del Smith, facilitated a detailed exploration of the kicking game and the theory of tackling technique. Coach Smith led a discussion about football theory from a 1000-foot level and then dove deep into details. We had an all-star cast of guest coaches to present on positional technique and strategy. We had the honor to learn from coaches like David Lee, a longtime NFL QB Coach who developed quarterbacks like, Chad Pennington, Tony Romo, and Tyrod Taylor. Two of our Soldier Coaches, Dustin Lawless from Fairmont State University and David Blake from Westminster College, who have completed our coursework, returned to the seminar to present to the class. Offensive Line Coach and Run Game Coordinator at Bryant University, Steve Ciocci showed us theoretical principles of pass protection and defensive rush. NFL Consultant and former DB coach of the Cleveland Browns broke down coverage concepts and route concepts. Other positional presentations were delivered by Coach Mike Engle (Passing Game Coordinator and QB Coach at Indianapolis University), Mike Pollak (former NFL Offensive Lineman and Training Director of Tip of the Spear Football), Denver Williams (WR Coach Trinity College), Judd Garrett (former NFL Coach and Director of Player Personnel Dallas Cowboys), RB Green (DB Coach U.S. Naval Academy), and Kurt Von Bargen (Defensive Coordinator Benedictine College Prep and former U. Maine DL Coach).

To wrap up the seminar, the class had the opportunity to ask questions to General Manager of the NY Jets, Joe Douglas. Joe Douglas spent 25 minutes listening to our Soldier Coaches and responding to their questions with authenticity and wisdom. He has presented to our coaches for the past three years and remains a mainstay of this curriculum. No seminar would be complete without a peak into the latest technology in football. Long-time college football coach John Mumford walked the class through the benefits of the free GoArmyEdge application to bring playbooks to 3-dimensional life.

The impact was tremendous, and the feedback from the class was overwhelmingly positive. One of our Soldier Coaches said, “Without doubt and hands down the best coaching course I’ve been involved with period! I can’t wait to register for future virtual and in-person courses. World-class coaches and presenters!” Another Soldier Coach said, “I came into this program uncertain about many things. I always enjoyed coaching and leading, but after leaving service, I was uncertain about where to apply those skills. I love football, and when introduced to STS, I knew this could be what is missing in my life. I finally found something I can be passionate about again. As a wounded veteran, this gives me hope and has set me on a new path. I am motivated again and am excited to pursue this new stage of my life. Thank you all so much. You have no idea how impactful you are for veterans like me. I feel alive again!”

Sixty-two other attendees left similar testimonials. We are proud of everyone involved who helped create such a meaningful event. Soldiers To Sidelines is grateful for the support from Verizon and the NY Jets to provide this experience at no cost to the military community. They are dedicated to increasing the ripple effect of providing training and purpose to our service members, Veterans, military spouses, and Gold Star families to positively impact thousands of young athletes in their communities as a coach.

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