About a decade ago, it was rare to see football coaches who embraced social media, let alone ones who actually had active Twitter accounts.
“I don’t Twitter, I don’t MyFace, I don’t Yearbook,” Bill Belichick famously said in a 2011 interview.
Since then, the legendary coach has dropped additional references to “SnapFace” and “InstantChat” in other interviews. Essentially, Belichick – and many other coaches at all levels – have despised social networks since Facebook launched in 2004.
Today, however, times have changed.
While Belichick still can’t stand it, several others have accepted its importance. In fact, many of them now see it a necessity to not only grow their personal brand, but also help with recruiting, education and research, and other potential benefits.
Whether you’re an up-and-coming coach, or a veteran trying to adapt, here are 20 influencers that are all truly impacting countless lives out on the gridiron and beyond, all for the Heart of the Game.
Kurt Hines – @CoachKurtHines
Currently the head football coach at Coronado High School in sunny San Diego County, Kurt Hines is shining as one of the most well-known influencers in the football community.
In addition to daily tweets, Hines often posts videos with motivational messages that apply to much more than just football. There’s a reason why he now has well over 40,000 followers – his words are inspiring coaches and athletes of all sports, and really anyone else seeking positivity or inspiration.
Dan Casey – @CoachDanCasey
Recently, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) released their 35 under 35 list. Dan Casey was the only high school coach featured.
Coach Casey is an up-and-coming offensive guru, and he can often be seen breaking down concepts seen in pro and college ball with a few tweets and a quick video clip. When you add that to the fact that he also coaches track and field – which can dramatically help football players and other athletes get better at their craft – Casey is a must-follow.
Carl Reed – @CoachReed314
Fresh off a Missouri State Championship, Carl Reed is beginning to make his mark in the high school and college football communities.
In addition to the success he’s having at Lutheran High School North as head coach and assistant athletic director, Coach Reed is also committed to helping other coaches and athletes. Reed started I Wanna Sign, a service he calls “the next step in the recruiting evolution” with evaluations of middle school, high school and junior college players nationwide.
Gabriel Fertitta – @Fertitta_Gabe
As star running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and LSU continue their national title celebration tour, Gabriel Fertitta likely still hasn’t stopped smiling ear to ear.
While he probably doesn’t want any recognition, Coach Fertitta certainly deserves some, as he’s rightfully become an influential figure in the booming Louisiana prep football scene. Whether it’s the two state titles or coaching Edwards-Helaire, Derrius Guice and other college and pro prospects, Fertitta is making some serious noise down on the bayou, and his Twitter timeline is definitely worth following.
Dub Maddox – @CoachDubMaddox
First of all, Dub Maddox is one of the top “Football Guy” names out there. This man was destined to be on the gridiron.
Coach Maddox is a brilliant offensive mind – hence the whole three-time author thing. If you’re not ready to buy any of the books, give Maddox a follow to start, and prepare for some great insight.
Chris Fisher – @CoachFisher_rp
As the creator of #txhsfbchat, every high school football coach in Texas should be following Chris Fisher (and the hashtag).
Coach Fisher is an offensive line coach at Ridge Point High School, but his Twitter feed features more than just offensive line talk. Whether you’re a coach in Texas, or someone outside keeping an eye on one of the most prestigious high school football sports in the country, Fisher is a great follow.
Travis Smith – @_CoachTSmith
Similar to what Fisher did in Texas, Coach Smith is the creator and moderator of #gahsfbchat, a community of high school coaches in Georgia.
As the athletic director and offensive coordinator at Douglas County High School, Smith has a unique perspective in one of the top regions nationwide for college and pro football prospects.
Masaki Matsumoto – @CoachMatsumoto
After growing up in Seattle, Coach Matsumoto went on to earn a scholarship to play football at Trinity International University in Chicago.
After a stint in Los Angeles where he was awarded the 2013 L.A. Times Coach of the Year (among many other awards), he’s back to his stomping grounds in the Pacific Northwest as the head of coach of Lincoln High School, and has become a common figure in the high school football Twitter community.
Chris Fore – @CoachFore
Need help refreshing (or creating) your resume for an upcoming interview? If so, Chris Fore is your guy.
After spending 18 years as a coach, Fore has now entered into an Assistant Principal role, as well as a President role in the California Coaches Association. Not only does he offer resume services, he also has a website featuring content to help coaches with special teams, general strategy and much more.
James Light – @JamesALight
If you’re a high school football coach on Twitter, you’ve probably already seen James Light’s profile pop up on your timeline. This man is everywhere, in the best way possible.
As offensive coordinator at Dakota High School in Michigan, Light is a brilliant football mind, and he can often be found analyzing plays from whichever game is on at any given moment – whether it’s some Tuesday night #MACtion or a Sunday night NFL game.
Chris Vasseur – @CoachVass
Chris Vasseur is currently the defensive coordinator for Clovis High School. As we all know, defense wins championships, and this proved true when Coach Vass helped lead Serra to a state title in 2017.
Not only is Vasseur a great coach – he’s a great podcaster too. His Make Defense Great Again podcast is one of the best football coaching podcasts around, and is rapidly gaining steam and popularity.
Keith Grabowski – @CoachKGrabowski
As the director of football operations for USA Football, Keith Grabowski plays a very important role in shaping our youth and the future of football.
In addition to providing relevant content on his Twitter feed, Coach Grabowski also hosts The Coach & Coordinator Podcast. Not interested in podcasts? Don’t worry, he has a book too, along with other written content on USA Football’s website.
Ahmand Tinker – @artink67
As the executive director of the Georgia Minority Coaches Assocation, Ahmand Tinker is leading an extremely important movement in the Southeast.
In one of the top regions of the country when it comes to football talent and coaching, Coach Tinker’s impact stretches beyond Georgia to other gridiron hotbeds like Alabama and Florida.
Tony Shiffman – @CoachShiffman
Don’t forget about the big fellas!
Tony Shiffman may not be a high school coach, but his impact on the offensive line community is unmatched.
Keep an eye out for the hashtag #hogfbchat, a weekly Q&A session on Mondays featuring Shiffman, co-host and co-founder Jack Dingus (@CoachDingus), and many other coaches who know all about the “hogs” in the trenches.
Deerick Smith – @CoachDeeSmith
Just like you can’t neglect the big fellas, you also can’t neglect your strength and conditioning program.
Deerick Smith has grown his brand in the strength coach community lately, and he’s a great follow for both football coaches and other coaches who understand the importance of a strong workout program – both offseason and in-season.
Joe Daniel – @footballinfo
Joe Daniel may not be “Coach Daniel” at the moment, but he’s still a great resource for any high school and youth coach – whether you’re up-and-coming or a grizzled vet.
Along with his website joedanielfootball.com, his podcast, named The Football Coaching Podcast, is filled with educational nuggets for both offensive and defensive coaches.
Cody Alexander – @The_Coach_A
As pass-heavy offenses continue to flourish, Cody Alexander is becoming one of the top influencers when it comes to defensive backs.
As the creator of MatchQuarters.com and three books focused on defense, Coach Alexander has a lot of new-age schemes and tips to offer coaches who need to evolve their defense.
Brady Walz – @CoachBradyWalz
Most teams want to PASS PASS PASS. Brady Walz wants to RUN RUN RUN.
As co-host of the Run the Power podcast – alongside fellow run-enthusiast and also great Twitter follow Rowdy Harper (@Coach_Harper) – Coach Walz is a great resource for offensive line coaches, running back coaches and any other coaches who refuse to give up on the power running game.
Bill Kvalheim – @Coach_Kvalheim
As concussions continue to occur in football, and player health and mental health continue to be rightfully prioritized by leagues, Bill Kvalheim is helping lead the charge.
Recently, Coach Kvalheim launched a brand called Tackle Depression in addition to his current coaching duties. Keep on eye his new brand as it gains steam in 2020, and always remember to keep concussions and mental health top of mind, especially when coaching our youth.
Mario Price – @CoachMarioPrice
With the 2020 AFCA Convention fresh on many football minds, Mario Price is a great person to keep an eye on.
As the AFCA Director of Coaching Education, Coach Price helped organize the speakers and overall gameplan at the recent convention. Additionally, he co-hosts the Inside the Headset podcast, which has featured guests such as Mike Gundy, James Franklin and several other influential coaches.
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