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A legacy of tradition. (Top Story).

The final whistle at the 2002 Kickoff Classic not only marked the end of the game and the end of an era; it also brought closure to a major revenue source for the American Football Coaches Association.

Through its partnership with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, the AFCA scholarships and educational funds from both the Kickoff and Pigskin Classics have been a contributing factor to maintaining low membership costs and no convention fees for AFCA members.

In order to maintain low membership dues, no convention fees, and continue to provide outstanding educational and development opportunities for all our members, professionally and personally, the AFCA was forced to find new revenue streams.

To that end, the AFCA Board of Trustees in 2000 authorized the creation of the American Football Coaches Foundation. The AFCF[TM] was created to serve the AFCA membership by providing funding for educational opportunities, in addition to promoting and advancing educational opportunities for youth and high school coaches. The AFCF is a public foundation; meaning individuals, institutions, foundations, and corporations may make tax-exempt donations.

Men of Honor

There comes a time in every coach's life when he realizes that everything he has learned was passed on from a coaching mentor. From the founders of our game and our Association to the fresh-faced graduate assistant, the opportunity to be an influence on others is a right of passage that goes with the title "coach."

Coaches have the opportunity to reward the game and our profession by positively influencing their brethren with their time, energy or resources. The AFCF is a repository for the financial giving of coaches and others. Like any other worthwhile charity every penny has a dramatic effect.

A positive outgrowth of the Foundation has been the creation of the Plaza of Influence. Located adjacent to the AFCA's national headquarters, the Plaza is a beautiful, tree shaded, stone plaza with a bubbling Southwest fountain, Any individual or group that has been directly influenced by a coach's gridiron greatness, past or present, can display their reverence to a specific coach or coaches. Bricks, tiles, stone plaques, capstones, benches and fountains are just a few of the ways to pay homage.

"The Plaza of Influence is a special place where football coaches are honored by those whose lives they inspired. These coaches range from the obscure to the nationally known. The common bond is their profound influence on lives--touched and changed."

The preceding words are found on a bronze plaque at the entrance to the Plaza. It is a place where an obscure high school coach can share the "sidelines" with a nationally known college coach.

The Darrell Royal Fountain was donated by a very influential booster who asked that the plaque on the Darrell Royal Fountain read: "COACH DARRELL ROYAL'S 167 VICTORIES, 11 SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND THREE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS ARE ONLY EXCEEDED BY THE PROFOUND INFLUENCE OF HIS LIFE AND LEGACY."

On the wall adjacent to the Darrell Royal Fountain is a stone plaque honoring Coach Steve Wickwar, Bush Middle School--San Antonio, Texas. His former players honored him with this passage: "Honoring a coach of the game and a warrior in life. Coach Wickwar taught us how to play the game and continues to show us how to live life through his courage, faith, and perseverance. Coach's recovery after a paralyzing auto accident inspires us every day. TO A GREAT COACH AND A BETTER PERSON. WE LOVE YOU COACH. 2000 BUSH BULLDOGS 8th GRADE FOOTBALL TRAM."

If you are a football coach, or someone who has been influenced by a football coach, you can make a donation to the Foundation. More importantly, you can honor an individual who perhaps changed your life--on and off the field.
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Title Annotation:American Football Coaches Association creates foundation
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2002
Words:627
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