Patriots coach chosen for football summit

July 20, 2010

By Staff

Liberty High School football coach Steve Valach has been selected to participate in the 11th annual NFL-USA Football Youth Summit July 21-23 at Canton, Ohio.

Valach was one of 51 coaches chosen for the conference. Each state plus Washington, D.C., had one coach chosen.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers great Merril Hoge will address participants about the importance of coaching, while two-time Super Bowl-winning Dallas Cowboy Darrin Smith will speak about the importance of education. Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Haynes; former Green Bay Packer all-pro and Vince Lombardi protégé Dave Robinson; and Canton native and former Chiefs quarterback Todd Blackledge will also address the group.

Leaders in the fields of sports medicine and sports psychology will present various topics facing youth sports. Dr. Stan Herring, of the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee, will discuss the importance of concussion education and awareness in youth sports while Dr. Linn Goldberg, of Oregon Health & Science University, will lead a steroid and supplement education session and discuss the NFL’s Atlas & Athena Anti-Steroid Education program.Dr. Andrew Gregory, of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, also will present about injury prevention in youth sports and Dr. Lindsay Baker of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute will address the important issues of heat and hydration. Professional sports consultant and life skills coach Zachary Minor and his acting troupe will lead attendees through interactive role-playing sessions addressing character development issues.

USA Football, the sport’s national governing body on youth and amateur levels, will lend expertise in a variety of areas.

USA Football conducted 37 State Leadership Forums involving hundreds of youth league commissioners throughout the United States this winter and spring. One delegate from each of the 37 state forums was selected to take part in the NFL-USA Football Youth Summit to contribute to football’s continued innovation and USA Football’s educational resources. More than 3.0 million youngsters aged 6-14 play tackle football and more than 1.1 million boys play high school football.

The NFL and the NFL Players Association, which have made a major commitment to investing in the game with the establishment of the NFL Youth Football Fund and other programs, are funding the summit.

High school football coaches registered for an opportunity to attend the summit by entering a nomination and essay contest conducted by the NFL and USA Football. Coaches submitted online essays in which they wrote about their coaching careers, commitment to youth and coaching philosophies. A blue-ribbon panel, consisting of local state representatives, reviewed the essays, and coaches were chosen to serve as their state’s delegate at the summit.

Valach directed the Patriots to a 12-2 season in 2009 and a second-place finish in the Class 3A state tournament. He was later selected as the Seattle Seahawks’ high school coach of the year.

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