NASHVILLE, TN, Sept. 29, 2008 - The Tennessee Titans announced today that Jason Smith, head football coach of Stratford Comprehensive High School in Nashville, Tenn., has been named the Titans High School Football Coach of the Week for Week Five. Stratford (2-4) downed cross-town rival Pearl-Cohn (1-5) 32-12 in a match-up of well coached squads.
"With coach Smith being a former student of Stratford, we couldn't be more proud of the job he is doing as a coach, mentor and teacher here at Stratford, "said Stratford Athletic Director Jimmie H. Bradford. "Though we lost some quality players to East Literature, I am confident in the kids we have here and in Coach Smith. Friday's victory showed we are headed in the right direction."
Through the Titans Foundation, team owner K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr. will make a $1,000 contribution to the Stratford High School football program in Coach Smith's honor.
"High school football enjoys a great tradition in Tennessee," said Adams. "That tradition is based not only on the outstanding quality of play but on the devotion of their coaches who continue to develop high school football players into young men of strong character. I'm very pleased to underwrite this program that recognizes the efforts of so many talented high school coaches across the state!"
Coach Smith will be the team's guest at the Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers game on December 21st when the team honors all 2008 Coach of the Week winners and announces the winner of the 2008 Coach of the Year! Coach Smith is now eligible for the Tennessee Titans Coach of the Year award and Adams will make an additional $2,000 grant to the Titans Coach of the Year winner on that date.
Also receiving strong consideration in this week's poll was Mickey Marley whose team scored 48 unanswered points to defeat Briarcrest 48-12, Kevin Ward of Camden Central who led his club to a 42-12 defeat over rival Westview, Sumner County's Westmoreland High School who behind coach Jackie Kelly, defeated rival Allen County (Scottsville, Kentucky)—the two schools are only separated by 12 miles and a state line, Jerry Joslin of Cookeville whose match-up with Cleveland was one of the few games in the state featuring two ranked and unbeaten teams—Cookeville remained undefeated (6-0) by winning 36-27.
Now in its 11th season, the Adams has awarded more than $112,000 from the Titans Foundation to football programs across the state in honor of the Coach of the Week winners.
"High school football coaches can play a role in the lives of their players that will have lasting results," said NFL director of football operations Gene Washington. "A competitive spirit, good sportsmanship and character development are some of the issues confronted on a daily basis by football coaches. We are thankful for the many coaches around the country who assume such a demanding role."
The criterion for selection includes the coach's impact on his team, school and community. A statewide media panel votes each week to determine the weekly winner. All high school football coaches in Tennessee, regardless of their school's size, league, or division, are eligible to be selected each week. The program is designed to recognize high school coaches who transform, through their hard work and dedication, student-athletes into the best possible football players and citizens in their community.