School is out for high school students on Florida's "First Coast," but school is definitely in for the area's high school football coaches.
The 2001 National Football Foundation Coaching Academy kicked off at Alltel Stadium Thursday and will conclude this evening. This event brings high school coaches from the Jacksonville area to learn football from NFL coaches. Offense, defense and special teams were on the menu and coaches know this opportunity does not come around often.
"It's a great resource to have a professional team here and our staff are here just trying to pick up some tips that we can take back to our kids," Nease High School head coach Jake Kimble said.
The coaching academy is designed to elevate the quality of football coaching at the youth and high school levels across America. Coaches learn about philosophy, football skills, coach-player communication and team management skills.
High school coaches play a major role in the lives of young athletes. Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin reflected on how his high school coached impacted his life.
"As a young player, my high school coaches were directly instrumental in my desire to be a part of the game," Coughlin said.
These high school coaches also know the value in using this academy as a motivational tool for their players.
"I can tell our kids that if they work hard enough, there are guys in the NFL who had the same beginning on the high school level and that's a dream they can realize as well," Forrest High School head coach Dennis Clemens said.
The academy has been judged to be a major success and high school coaches will be able to share some of the secrets of the NFL to their players.