ALFCA Executive Director Jack Wood answers some more key questions about the association in the second part of this series. Wood is in his 17th year with the Alabama Football Coaches Association.
1) How does a coach get selected to serve on the ALFCA board of directors? One board members represents each of the 8 districts of the AHSAA and serves a two year term. In addition, we have two minority members as well as 2 assistant coaches that also serve two year terms. One of those members represents south Alabama and one north Alabama in regards to the minority and assistant positions. We alternate years so that half of the board is elected each year. Elections are held at the general assembly at the convention in January. If a board member cannot finish his term, the president of the ALFCA will appoint a coach to complete that term. Any member of the ALFCA can be elected to serve on the board. Board members are not paid for their service. However, they are reimbursed for expenses and receive stipends to attend the AFCA Convention each year. The board meets three times per year - at All Star week in July, at Super 7 in December and at our convention in January.
2) What is the money that the ALFCA takes in through sponsorships and memberships used for? We are a non profit organization and much of our funds go straight to business expenses. We pay compensation to the executive director, the director's assistant, website director and our legislative consultant. We have normal expenses of office supplies, phone and postage. All of our finances are audited by an accounting firm. We also provide funds for our scholarship program, helmet grants, website expenses and reimbursements for our board members when they attend meetings. We also have expenses associated with our three coaches socials thqt we hold each year. Our biggest expense is the ALFCA Convention and the Coach of the Year Banquet. We have purposely kept our registration fees low and we don't try and recoup the cost of these events. We just absorb the cost of the convention and banquet to a great extent and provide a first class event for our members. Again, we run all of our finances through our accounting firm.
3) What scholarships are available, how much are they for and who decides on the winners? We have given out over $250,000 worth of scholarships since we started the program. The number and amounts vary, but they are for a minimum of $500 and have run as much as $2,000. We have given as many as 20 + in a given year. We have different categories. We always give academic scholarships to high school players who have achieved in the classroom. We also give awards to future coaches, children of coaches, minority players as well as trainers. Some of the trainers have worked with their high school teams and some even desire to go into athletic training as a profession. I have a committee of retired teachers who rank the applicants and then we fit them into the categories. Believe it or not, we really need more applicants. I know there are some more quality students out there who have been a part of their teams that would be great recipients.
4) What is the ALFCA stance on high school NIL? We believe in the amateur rule of the AHSAA and will support that. If at some time our membership changed its belief on that we would act accordingly, but that is not the case as of right now. We have partnered with the Eccker Sports Group who are providing educational services only on NIL for high schools across the country. They educate coaches, administrators and parents with all of the updated information on NIL which is changing almost daily. We have a great relationship with the Texas football coaches and they are involved with Eccker Sports as well. But everyone should understand that the ALFCA does not support NIL for high school athletes.
5) What are you most proud of in your time leading the ALFCA and what have been the disappointments? I am proud that our coaches truly have a voice in football issues on a state and national basis. We have nurtured a great relationship with the AHSAA over the years. We have great respect for what they do and they understand that our goals are football driven. We have worked together to help move the game forward in our state, but we can accomplish much more. They are good to contact us and talk about football issues. I really love that we have been able to provide an opportunity through our convention for coaches to visit with each other and network. We are a brotherhood and all have a lot in common. We love to see all of them sitting out at the tables at the Embassy drawing up plays and having a great time. We are really pleased with the growth of the convention and the banquet. I am disappointed that we don't have more scholarship and Coach of the Year nominations. In some classifications we have very few, especially for the assistant coaches. We have tried a few other things that didn't work and have learned from them. But overall, everyone is really proud of where the ALFCA is as an organization right now. We have great relationships with other football coaches associations across the country. Alabama high school football coaches are well respected throughout the nation and it is an honor to represent them.
6) How much longer do you plan to serve as the executive director of the ALFCA? I love my job and hope to continue as long as I am physically and mentally able to work. This was originally a part time job but after 17 years I can tell you that it has become a full time job. I assure our membership that we will have a plan in place when it comes time to hire a new director. Again, it is an honor to work for the coaches of the state of Alabama.