USA Football Forum held at Baptist Sports Park

NASHVILLE, TN, April 1, 2009 - This past Saturday, the Tennessee Titans provided the medium and facilities for the 2 nd annual USA Football State Forum.

Over 40 youth football, high school coaches and youth administrators from across the state partook in the day-long event organized by Deno Campbell, Senior Regional Manager for USA Football. Also in attendance representing USA Football was Ron Ward and Director of Membership, Gary Del Vecchio.

Noticing the tremendous need for concise and structural youth football organization, USA Football was created with funds donated by each of the 32 owners in the NFL and all of its players.  The forums, held annually in 30 states across the country, mission is to ensure that everyone is connected, able to share ideas and overall gain insight to how to make the youth football game better and teach and assist more kids in playing.

Campbell made a point of reiterating "USA Football's mission is not to be the 'Big Brother.' Rather, USA Football is here to support and help you (coaches, administrators)." It was a point of emphasis he personally believes strongly in.

"The goal and what we hope to accomplish with these forums is to eliminate some of the fragmentation of youth football, get the organizations on the same page from an educational standpoint and the sharing of information," said Campbell. "No question about it, these forums are vital to our community where youth football is being played, equipping us with the right tools and knowledge ensuring that our children get the most out of playing youth football."

In addition to discussing topics such as grants/fundraising, youth football rules and coaching education/ certification, representatives from Delta Dental were in attendance and gave a mouthpiece presentation. Marketing specialist Kim Schutte outlined the partnership between USA Football and Delta Dental and the importance of children being properly protected during activity with secure and fitted mouthpieces.

Through the partnership, mouthpieces will be available to all leagues across the state of Tennessee, no matter how big or small, free of charge.

Husband and wife John and Tammy Gerryman who have been a part of youth and high school football in the Shelbyville, Tenn. area for over 13 years, made the trek to Baptist Sports Park with John admitting that "this forum is an absolute necessity." The sentiment was echoed by Tammy, the Vice President of TYFA (Tennessee Youth Football Alliance) who went on to say, "we are involved so much with football in our town that when there are venues like this, you have to make it. You always take away something and there is so much to learn here.

"And with me being a huge Titans fan, and such a fan of the NFL, it didn't hurt having it here at the facility where they study, workout and practice!"

The state-wide forum is a precursor to the third-annual USA Football Coaches Clinic that will take place on May 16 and be held jointly at I.T. Cresswell Middle School and at Baptist Sports Park. Titans quarterback coach Craig Johnson will be the keynote speaker for the second consecutive year.

USA Football is an independent non-profit based near Washington, D.C and is the national governing body of America's favorite sport on youth and amateur levels. USA Football awards more than $500,000 in equipment grants to youth leagues and high schools each year based on merit and need, along with additional resources. 

The organization was endowed by grants from Titans Owner K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr. and his fellow NFL owners and the NFL Players Association in 2002. The non-profit organization, which hosts over 100 training events annually, offers various programs such as education opportunities for coaches and game officials, as well as skill development for young players and resources for youth league administrators.

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