Crossing the Goal Line

Each year, more than 1 .13 million student-athletes from every conceivable background participate in football programs at 14,769 high schools, 142 community colleges, and 710 four-year colleges and universities across the country.

Each year, in a classroom that is 100 yards long by 53.3 yards wide, more than 80,000 football coaches teach their players invaluable lessons that will transform their lives forever.

The game of football is a series of learning experiences. It brings out the best in the student-athletes. The lessons it teaches are the gold currency of life. Winning isn't everything. What counts more is how they play the game, and the dedication and enthusiasm they bring to the game. Using defeat as a stepping stone to victory, never giving up, having a winning attitude — these are the important lessons of football.

Football is taught by coaches whose influence, support and commitment enable young men from diverse racial, cultural and economic backgrounds to find and develop their talents and strengths, and raise the level of their standards and expectations so that they can cross the goal line in the game and, as importantly, in their studies, in their careers and in their personal lives.

The American Football Coaches Association is committed to help coaches be the best they can be for their student-athletes. Its comprehensive continuing education program strengthens, reinforces and enhances the professionalism of football coaches from every area of the country and at every level of the education system. This program directly affects the lives of over a million student athletes each year.

In the past, funding for this vital program has come from the proceeds of two preseason games and from the American Football Coaches Association. Several years ago, the NCAA discontinued the preseason games, which resulted in a significant funding shortage. The Association is unable to continue to fund the costs of producing these programs on its own.

Additional sources of funds are needed. For this reason, The American Football Coaches Foundation was created by the American Football Coaches Association to assist in the carrying out and funding of these educational programs. To this end, The American Football Coaches Foundation has launched the CROSSING THE GOAL LINE Campaign.

The Campaign will take place over three years. The goal is to raise $5,000,000 in charitable gifts from corporations, foundations and individuals.

Campaign Purposes

Support Existing Programs:

  • Seminars, lectures, workshops, symposia, and round tables that provide instruction, training and counseling;
  • Instructional manuals, books, and other publications;
  • Annual educational scholarships to help assistant coaches pursue continuing education and professional

Launch Two New Initiatives:

  • The production of state-of-the-art educational videos, for distribution to coaches at 14,769 high schools and 852 community and four-year colleges and universities, that contain the latest information on the whole gamut of topics and concerns that are integral to successful coaching - topics such as development of player motivation, leadership, goal setting and sportsmanship; techniques of the game; and player safety and health- related issues;
  • Live broadcasts of educational seminars conducted by outstanding experts in all fields related to coaching, via satellite and the Internet, to a possible audience at any one time of 80,000 coaches across the country.

Expand Mentorship Efforts:

  • Programs to promote and help facilitate mentoring by seasoned coaches of younger coaches;
  • Programs that will focus on encouraging mentoring of student-athletes within their communities, geared to teaching the importance of academic accomplishment, character development, and community responsibility.

A gift to the CROSSING THE GOAL LINE Campaign is a solid investment in the professional education of our coaches and, by extension, the education of our student-athletes.

“Coach George Smith is not only an influence on young people, but the influence is multiplied many times in the beliefs of the young people he helped mold into amazing human beings. George is an outstanding coach, but more importantly, he is an outstanding gentleman.” —Tina Jones, Principal of St. Thomas Aquinas High School