Rookie Tackle is supported by the Cleveland Browns, who also hosted a Rookie Tackle Meet & Greet on Friday at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus for youth football coaches to learn more about the program and how to join or start one. The Cleveland Browns hope to expand Rookie Tackle even further.
Attendees heard from representatives of Cleveland Browns Youth Football as well as a panel of three rookie tackle coaches who have assumed roles such as commissioner and league directors from eight existing leagues and potential coaches. The president of Great Lakes Youth Football, Duane Koczan, was on the panel. Director of Rookie Tackle for the Chagrin Valley Conference, Greg Marmaros; Director of the Cleveland Municipal Football League, Jason Dunn. Chuck Kyle, the Cleveland Browns Youth Advisor and legendary former St. Ignatius football coach, served as the moderator for the discussion.
Koczan discussed his experiences since joining the league in 2017 directly: We had to sell the product initially; Despite everyone playing flag football the year before, smaller cities were having trouble fielding teams. The idea of tackling frightened the parents. As a result, we conducted the Rookie Tackle pilot programs and received positive parental feedback.
“Our numbers have increased, with Rookie Tackle probably accounting for 60% alone, and parents now adore it. Some mothers are now interested in coaching.
Marmaros then spoke about the rise in youth football participation since they began their Rookie Tackle journey three years ago. Dunn added that he anticipates that the numbers in Cleveland Minor League and overall Rookie Tackle programs will double for a second year in a row.
All members were invited to tour the facility, socialize with other coaches, and learn more about the Rookie Tackle program after the presentation and Q&A. Everyone left with Rookie Tackle materials and raffle prizes like signed footballs.
For their 2023 Rookie Tackle team, eight coaches were awarded 20 brand-new Xenith helmets. Coaches must complete the USA Football Youth Coach Certification before receiving the helmets.
Rookie Tackle has grown to more than 2,400 players since 2017 and will welcome more teams and leagues for the 2023 season.
To learn more about Rookie Tackle and how you can get involved, visit us online.