With the opening weekend of games coming up in less than two weeks, 336 college football coaching staffs from all four NCAA divisions will wear the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) patch on their shirts to bring awareness of and promote the association. The AFCA patch will be worn during games from August 31 through September 3, 2017.
Some of the featured games where the AFCA patch will be worn will be:
- Tulsa at No. 11 Oklahoma State (Thurs., Aug. 31, 6:30 PM CT, Fox Sports 1),
- No. 7 Washington at Rutgers (Fri., Sept. 1, 7 PM CT, Fox Sports 1),
- Utah State at No. 10 Wisconsin (Fri., Sept. 1, 8 PM CT, ESPN),
- Kent State at No. 5 Clemson (Sat., Sept. 2, 11 AM CT, ESPN),
- Akron at No. 6 Penn State (Sat., Sept. 2, 11 AM CT, ABC),
- No. 9 Michigan vs. No. 16 Florida (Sat., Sept. 2, 2:30 PM CT, ABC),
- UTEP at No. 8 Oklahoma (Sat., Sept. 2, 2:30 PM CT, Fox),
- No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 3 Florida State (Sat., Sept. 2, 7 PM CT, ABC),
- No. 20 West Virginia vs. No. 22 Virginia Tech (Sun., Sept. 3, 6:30 PM CT, ABC)
- No. 24 Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech (Mon., Sept. 4, 7 PM CT, ESPN)
“The American Football Coaches Association has been in existence for almost a century, and a lot of football fans don’t know we even exist or what we are about,” AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry said. “The Crystal Ball trophy that gets awarded to the FBS national champion each year is the AFCA’s trophy. Lots of new NCAA football rules changes come from the recommendations of AFCA member coaches. We are a worldwide organization that educates and promotes career football coaches and helps promote the football coaching profession. It is our hope that this patch, worn by college football coaching staffs on opening weekend, will bring some awareness and information about the AFCA to the general public.”
The AFCA was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 12,000 members around the world ranging from the high school level to the professional ranks. According to its constitution, the AFCA was formed, in part, to “maintain the highest possible standards in football and in the coaching profession” and to “provide a forum for the discussion and study of all matters pertaining to football.”
Some of the early leaders of the AFCA were college football royalty, such as John Heisman and Fielding Yost. Major Charles Daly, head coach at Army, organized the first meeting of college football coaches on December 27, 1921, that eventually led to the organization of the AFCA in 1922. Daly served as the association’s first president that year. Virtually all of the great coaches in college football have actively participated in the AFCA. Past presidents include such respected coaches as Alabama’s Bear Bryant, Texas’ Darrell Royal, Yale’s Carmen Cozza, Grambling State’s Eddie Robinson, Michigan’s Bo Schembechler and Georgia’s Vince Dooley. Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez is the 2017 AFCA president.
The AFCA has a lot of programs that honor coaches and players, or help promote the game and the coaching profession, such as the Amway Coaches Poll, powered by USA TODAY Sports. The AFCA works with Amway and USA TODAY Sports to produce the Amway Coaches Poll, which has a panel of AFCA-member FBS-level coaches who vote on the Top 25 teams in the FBS each week during the season. The association’s first Top 25 poll came in 1950, 15 years after it started selecting a National Coach of the Year. The association also honors Regional Coaches of the Year and Assistant Coaches of the Year in all five of the four-year collegiate divisions.
On the player side, the AFCA began selecting an All-America Team in 1945 and now has first and second teams for all five of the four-year collegiate divisions. The association also honors student-athletes for their community service with the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.