Executive Director Jack Wood and ALFCA President Terry Curtis conducted the summer meeting of the board.
The Board of Directors of the Alabama Football Coaches Association met Thursday, July 20th at 9:00 AM at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Montgomery. The summer board meeting is normally held during AHSAA All Star Sports Week. All members of the board were present with the exception of Scott Goolsby, assistant coach at Auburn High School who could not attend. Also present were past ALFCA President Jamie Riggs and executive assistant Jennifer Byrd.
Executive Director Jack Wood welcomed the board and immediately introduced Alvin Briggs, AHSAA Executive Director. Coach Briggs thanked the board members for their dedication to the game in our state. Coach Briggs told the board he and Coach Wood and ALFCA President Terry Curtis would be attending a national conference on high school football soon in Philadelphia. He said that not all states look at football the same way we do in the south and that some states have really some strange ideas about the game. Coach Briggs said that some states look at high school football now almost like it is "club football".
The other issue on the national scene is NIL. Today there are 22 states plus the District of Columbia who allowed NIL for their high school athletes. Presently, Alabama is still operating with its "amateur" rule. Coach Briggs said there were already athletes transferring from states with no NIL to states that allow it, including Alabama. He said that part of the problem is the "gym" concept now where athletes are training with outside people in nice facilities and funneling athletes to colleges and doing NIL deals. He stated that high school coaches need to insist that the colleges go back to recruiting players through the high school coach.
Coach Briggs also talked about the "GoFan' and suggestions of how to handle cash at the gate. Some schools take the cash and run the admittance through Go Fan while others just have one cash gate. Coach Wood then thanked Coach Briggs for coming and allowed him to exit the meeting.
Coach Wood then covered all of the ALFCA sponsors with the board. He discussed the history of each sponsor with the association and reminded the board that the association does pay a finders fee and a renewal fee for members who bring sponsors in to the ALFCA.
He then discussed the finances of the association and said that everything looked to be in excellent shape. The ALFCA has a year's worth of operating capital. We survived tough financial times before and this assures us that a severe loss of sponsorship due to the economy would not devastate the association.
Coach Glynn Lott of Macon East Academy was introduced by Coach Wood and board member Scott Rials. Coach Rials has agreed to serve as a liaison to the AISA as he coached there for several years earlier in his career. Coach Wood stated that the association is considering the possibility of allowing AISA coaches to be associate members of the ALFCA and attend our convention. There are no plans to include their association in the banquet. Coach Lott will represent the AISA on the ALFCA Board in a non voting capacity.
More items on Coach Wood's agenda for the board:
1. This is the last year of the contract with the Embassy Suites in Montgomery to hold the convention and banquet. Because of the growth of the convention, Coach Wood stated he would look into the possibility of moving across the street to the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center because of the extra space, but the Embassy had served us well over the years.
2. The ALFCA supported the NextGen Academy in Vestavia that was held June 10th with a donation of $1800 and looks to continue that support. Several board members served as mentors there and all agreed the ALFCA should stay involved. Board member Jake Garrett was one of the attendees and said that it was the best clinic he had attended to help further his career. The academy limited attendance to 40 coaches under the age of 40. Everyone agreed that it was a great way to allow the younger coaching generation access to some of the experienced and successful coaches of our state.
3. Coach Wood said that he had talked to Hoover and Vestavia about financial support and promotion of a recruiting fair for the Birmingham area. This would be similar to the North Alabama event that Coach Jere Adcock had run for many years.
4. Coach reminded the board that the association would give them a stipend to attend the AFCA Convention which is in Nashville this year. Coach Richie Busby told the board that now is the time to book rooms there and they needed to go through the AFCA to do so.
5. Plans for the 19th ALFCA Convention are already underway. We know that Coach Nick Saban and Coach Hugh Freeze are secured as well as Georgia Tech head coach Brent Key. Coach Wood reminded the board if they have suggestions on high school speakers to please write those down and give them to him.
6. Membership goes out the third week of August. Coach Wood asked board members that despite the busy time of year to encourage their districts to join the association.
7. Coach Wood made a proposal to the board that the association increase the membership cost from $25 to $30 for the coming year. He also recommended that the fee for the convention increase $5 as well. The staff price of $250 would remain the same. This would be only the second increase in the previous 18 years. The board voted unanimously on the increases.
8. Coach Wood and President Terry Curtis will attend the National High School Coaches Association banquet in Lincoln, Nebraska next week. Coach Curtis is the district Coach of the Year of the NHSCA.
9. Coach Wood said that the next board meeting would be Friday, December 8th at the Super 7 Championships. The meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 8:30 AM in Tuscaloosa. Coach of the Year awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards will be decided upon at that meeting as well as board duties at the ALFCA convention in January.
The executive director then turned the meeting over to President Terry Curtis. He encouraged board members to be talking to their legislative members in their districts about issues. They are actually the ones that vote on proposals in the spring. There were a couple of proposals that failed because of lack of support that Coach Curtis thought would be good for the AHSAA. The board discussed the problem of principals, who have the vote for the school, not being fully informed on all of the details on the proposals. It is important that coaches go to their principal and lobby to them to vote for such proposals. ALFCA members need to contact other coaches about doing the same at their school.
Coach Curtis addressed the turnover on the ALFCA board. Three board members retired this past spring. It is the duty of the President to appoint new members to the board to finish out those terms until it is time to elect those positions again at the 2024 or 2025 convention. Coach Curtis said that he had appointed board member Richie Busby to take Jere Adcock's spot as Vice President. He also appointed board member Andro Williams to replace Laron White as second vice president. Bibb County coach Matt Geohagan has replaced retiring Jimmy Perry in District 3 and Greg Patterson of Hueytown will take the District 5 spot. Coach Curtis has replaced the North Alabama minority position held by Coach Williams with Coach Aryvia Holmes from McAdory High School.
The Coach of the Year committee members were discussed. Steve Smith and Toby Greene will head up 1A/2A. Andro Williams, Bob Godsey and Matt Geohagan will work with 3A/4A. Erik Speakman, John Ritter and Scott Rials will head up 5A/6A/7A.
Coach Curtis and Past President Jamie Riggs will continue to work with the ALFCA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Coach Wood had shirts for the ALFCA board members and reminded them to get a shirt on the way out. There being no other business, the meeting adjourned.