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March 2013

March 2013

Letter from AFM

by: John Gallup
Editor and Publisher
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Four years ago this month, AFM carried a feature about the challenges facing Old Dominion University, which was restarting their football program after a 69-year hiatus. “Starting from Scratch” detailed some of the steps they were taking to build a program from the ground up – putting a FCS team on the field with just two years of preparation.

Now, after four seasons of competition which exceeded everyone’s expectations – a 38-10 record, 100% home game sellouts, quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs last season – Head Coach Bobby Wilder’s ODU Monarchs are headed up to the FBS. They’ll compete as an independent next season before joining Conference USA in 2014. It’s one of college football’s greatest success stories in recent memory. You can read more about how Coach Wilder directed the Monarchs’ rise in this issue.

Even more amazing is the record of the University of Texas at San Antonio. Under Head Coach Larry Coker, the school built a football program out of nothing and played only one season in the FCS before jumping to the FBS in 2012 as a transitional member of the WAC where they finished with an 8-4 record. Next season, they’ll become a member of Conference USA and be bowl eligible beginning in 2014.

The lure of moving up from the FCS to the FBS is strong, as more and more teams are enticed by the prestige, the national recognition and the potential payday of playing in college football’s top tier. We fully expect that, under the direction of Wilder and Coker, ODU and UTSA will become successful FBS programs, if not immediately then within a few seasons.


It’s March, and most coaches we know are focused on off-season strength and conditioning programs. Strength training has become such an integral part of the game that any coach who neglects to keep up-to-date on the latest developments in training philosophy and equipment puts his players and his team at a disadvantage.

In this month’s AFM, we recognize the leaders in the field of strength and conditioning coaching as we present the 10th annual Samson Equipment Strength & Conditioning Coaches of the Year awards to nine deserving coaches from high school to the NFL. These men, along with their peers in programs everywhere, spend countless hours in the weight room building strength and building confidence in their athletes that can translate to dominance on the field.

As a special bonus for readers, each Samson Equipment honoree this year is sharing his philosophy and training tips and providing advice for coaches everywhere. We thank them for their contributions and wish them and all strength and conditioning coaches safe and productive hours in the weight room this off season.


Another annual feature of AFM is our special section devoted to synthetic turf, which appears in this month’s issue. Those programs fortunate enough to have a synthetic turf field know that turf provides a safe, consistent, low-maintenance, all-weather, environment-friendly surface that can be used around the clock, not just by the football team but by many other sports and activities.

If you’re interested in having a state-of-the-art synthetic turf field for your program, we suggest you start by contacting the companies represented in this issue. They’re experts in helping schools get the facts about turf and build the case that synthetic turf benefits everyone, not just the football team.

John Gallup
Editor & Publisher


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