From media release:
Former Concord (N.C.) High School head football coach E.Z. SMITH III is taking a leading role within USA Football’s Heads Up Football program, promoting a better and safer game on youth levels nationwide.
USA Football will instruct Smith and other football experts – including high school coaches and former NFL and college players – as Heads Up Football Master Trainers during a workshop March 2-3 in Indianapolis.
Following their training in Indianapolis, Smith and other Master Trainers will teach USA Football’s Heads Up Football program to youth league leaders across the country. This encompasses teaching USA Football’s Heads Up Tackling techniques, educating leagues on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concussion recognition and response protocols and instructing on proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting.
Heads Up Football is a comprehensive approach to a better and safer game. Adopted by youth leagues on a national level in 2013, Heads Up Football stands on four primary tenets:
Coaching education : All coaches within a youth program are trained to teach the game’s fundamentals by completing USA Football’s nationally accredited Level 1 Coaching Education Course.
Concussion recognition and response: Coaches learn CDC concussion recognition and response through USA Football’s Level 1 Coaching Education Course. Coaches, parents and players are taught concussion-related protocols at the start of the season at a league-wide clinic and have them reinforced throughout the season.
Tackling technique: USA Football’s Heads Up Tackling technique, endorsed by medical and football experts, teaches players to keep their heads up and out of the line of contact.
Equipment fitting: Coaches, parents and players are taught proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting. Equipment maintenance best practices also are learned.
“Heads Up Football promotes a safer, better game,” USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenback said. “We are proud to have E.Z. help us lead America’s youth football community as a Heads Up Football Master Trainer, helping to set the highest standards of player safety and coaching education across youth sports.”
“Youth football leagues in our region have a tremendous opportunity in 2013 to adopt USA Football’s Heads Up Football program,” Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said. “USA Football has earned my trust – they put the safety of our kids first and offer the training youth coaches need to be exceptional teachers. USA Football and the Panthers are committed to raising youth football’s standards and this program does that.”
Smith was the head football coach at Concord (N.C.) High School for 29 years, compiling a 254-100-1 record and reaching the postseason 23 times. His teams twice won the North Carolina Class 3-A state championship, reaching the western regional final two more times. A member of the Cabarrus County Athletic Hall of Fame, Smith also taught science, health and physical education during his teaching career.
USA Football is the national governing body of the sport in the United States as well as the official youth development partner of the NFL, all 32 teams and college’s Atlantic Coast Conference. Youth tackle football is played by 2.8 million American children age 6-14. USA Football has trained more than 100,000 volunteer youth coaches to better teach the sport’s fundamentals and to address player safety with CDC protocols.
USA Football’s Heads Up Football Master Trainers:
Name Location Experience
Tom Bainter Seattle, Wash. Bothell (Wash.) High School head coach
Aaron Brady Washington, D.C. Gonzaga College High School head coach
Kevin Brown Kansas City, Kan. Veteran youth football coach
Buddy Curry Atlanta, Ga. Former Atlanta Falcons linebacker and veteran youth football coach
Vincent DiGaetano Valley Stream, N.Y. SUNY-Maritime College defensive coordinator
Artie Gigantino Oakland, Calif. Former Los Angeles Raiders special teams coordinator and linebackers coach
Chris Greisen Green Bay, Wisc. Former Division II All-American and NFL quarterback
Chris Haddock Clifton, Va. Centreville High School head coach
Mike Haynes Dallas, Texas Former NFL defensive lineman, veteran Texas high school football coach
Gabe Infante Philadelphia, Pa. St. Joseph’s Preparatory School
Chuck Kyle Cleveland, Ohio St. Ignatius High School head coach
Lawrence Lee San Diego, Calif. Veteran youth football coach, San Diego American Youth Football and Cheer
Neal Martin San Diego, Calif. Veteran youth football coach, San Diego American Youth Football and Cheer
Greg McCaig Houston, Texas Cypress Creek High School head coach
Chris Merritt Miami, Fla. Christopher Columbus High School head coach
John Roderique Webb City, Mo. Webb City High School head coach
Jonathan Ross Cairo, Ga. Cairo High School assistant coach
E.Z. Smith III Concord, N.C. Former Concord High School head coach
Steve Specht Cincinnati, Ohio St. Xavier High School head coach
Wayne Voorhees Broomfield, Colo. Legacy High School head coach
Thomas Williams Los Angeles, Calif. Former NFL linebacker
Thursday, February 28, 2013
From media release: