Super Bowl winning football coach Jon Gruden, now an analyst on Monday Night Football, took time during his stop in St. Louis for the Rams game with Seattle to spend time with four Public High League football coaches and some of their players. Gruden reached out to the coaches on behalf of the Fired Football Coaches Association (FFCA), an organization he founded in 2008.
After losing his job in the National Football League, Gruden took a position as a coach with his son's high school team. The experience moved Gruden to look for ways to help other high school coaches overcome some of the financial barriers they face.
Blessed with success and notoriety via his role on ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcasts, Gruden gives back to the amateur football community throughout the NFL season during his visits to cities hosting Monday Night Football games. He decided to visit the Saint Louis Public School District football coaches after hearing bout the District's annual Scholar Athlete Program that honors student athletes who achieve high academic success.
During his visit with the Saint Louis Public School District coaches and players, Gruden encouraged the students to listen to their coaches and work hard on the playing field as well as in the classroom. He took time to individually diagram plays for the coaches and review plays and share comments on plays they shared with him.
Before calling it an evening, Gruden presented each coach with a check for $1,000 to support the school's football program. He also donated a video camera to each school to use for taping practices and games, and gave each coach a $100 gift card to enjoy a nice meal with a loved one, courtesy of Gruden and the FCCA.
School's selected by Gruden to attend the private "meet-and-greet" were Cleveland NJROTC, Gateway STEM, Roosevelt, Sumner and Vashon. SLPS Athletic Director Travis Brown presented Gruden with a PHL cap and a Scholar Athlete pin.