When the ALFCA was formed in 2005, the annual convention and banquet was meant to be the center piece of the association. Thanks to the hard work of executive director Jack Wood, executive assistant Jennifer Byrd and the officers of the ALFCA, the three day convention is circled on the calendar of most high school coaches in the state.
The 2018 ALFCA Convention was one of the best ever, with a wide array of speakers and presenters. The room was packed for Alabama Coach Nick Saban and his strength coach Scott Cochran on Thursday night. Coach Cochran talked about motivating players to achieve in the weight room and on the field. Coach Saban’s comment about likening RPO coaches to the Taliban has become Twitter legend already. Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn and his OC Chip Lindsey were just as popular on Friday. Coach Lindsey talked about some pass concepts used by the Auburn offense.
Also on Thursday night, South Alabama’s Steve Campbell showed video of some option concepts he uses and Chip Long of Notre Dame gave a great presentation on how the Irish team uses tempo to give them an advantage. Tommy Tuberville gave a great talk Friday morning about coaching (“the parents got me out of coaching high school football”) and about his job at ESPN. He talked about some of the coaches and schools that he thought were ahead of the game with their offensive and defensive schemes.
Brian Kight of Focus 3 gave all of the coaches something to think about with his session about the importance of the culture of your team Friday morning as well. The afternoon split sessions were well attended. Josh Floyd talked about the Hewitt Trussville offense while Mikel Riggs of Leeds talking about the mental development of quarterbacks. Marc Edge of T.R. Miller gave his audience some new ideas on defending the offenses of today while Andy Palensky got coaches up to speed on the latest Hudl information.
The second round was equally good with Blake Boren of Faulkner talking offense, Matt Partridge of Shades Valley with a great presentation on secondary play and Lee Guess of Pinson Valley giving some good ins and outs on receiver play. Will Healy, the head coach at Austin Peay, impressed a number of people around the convention with his presentation. He is an up and comer in the coaching ranks.
The general assembly meeting of the ALFCA Friday afternoon brought some great discussion, led by ALFCA President Terry Curtis. Coach Curtis discussed some rule proposals that the ALFCA is considering sponsoring. The top two were about making adjustments in the summer rule to work with the NCAA change on summer camp times for its universities. The second dealt with the possibility of having all transfer students declared ineligible unless the previous school signs off on them.
The convention broke up into districts as some had to elect board members for the next two years. There was some great discussion there as well, particularly from the Birmingham area district 5.
Saturday’s banquet was once again a great success. The 270 people who attended made it the biggest banquet in the history of the ALFCA. Coach of the Year awards, Assistant Coach of the Year awards, scholarships recipients and Lifetime Achievement award were all presented. Bob Gillham was presented with the Bob Pannone Award for service to the ALFCA.
One of the best parts of the convention continues to be the opportunity for ALFCA members to be able to socialize and talk football with their fellow coaches. The association hopes to continue to provide the ALFCA Social on Friday nights and a place for coaches to talk and share the frustrations of the previous season and the hope of the upcoming year. The Embassy Suites continues to provide free happy hour and free breakfast and the area around the hotel in Montgomery provides some of the best restaurants in the city. Coaches also got the opportunity to talk with the ALFCA sponsors who were present.
Look for next year’s convention to be even better. Anyone who has suggestions for next year, contact President Terry Curtis or Executive Director Jack Wood.