The importance of the HS Coach in building a K-12 football program – Mike Elder, HC, Avon HS (OH)

At USA Football we are hyper focused on what we can do to advance, grow, and unite the game. We have collaborated with stakeholders at every level of the game to launch our new football development model. Built on the pillars of
1. whole person and multi-sport development
2. Physical literacy and skill development
3. coaching education and training
4. multiple pathways and entry points
5. making the game fun and fulfilling and
6. which is of huge importance to our HS football coaches listening is participation and retention.

I’ve been there before as the head HS coach leading the entire effort of building a program in a community, and having the football development model makes that effort easier. The FDM does the heavy lift by providing all the tools needed to run a successful k-12 football program

Today’s episode is a cross over episode recorded for our new weekly Football for All Podcast designed to educate and engage your youth commissioners youth parents, and youth coaches on the football development model and how it works. We encourage you, the HS football coach to be an ambassador for the game. The first 6 episodes explain how the FDM works. Please listen to those episodes and more importantly pass the Football For All Podcast along to your own youth football community.

Today’s episode should resonate with you on how we can continue to make our sport great as we reimagine the youth football landscape.

Today’s guest is a former all-American at Mount Union and the head coach at Avon HS in Ohio, Mike Elder. Over the last decade his varsity program is 115-14 and much of that is attributed to the work they have put in to building their youth football program. To learn more about the FDM goto

The Football Development Model allows a community to develop a program that has continuity between levels and game types from the time a young athletes start playing flag football, all the way to Friday night lights.

In Avon, Ohio, football is thriving at every level through the leadership of Mike Elder, the head coach at Avon High School. He sees himself as the CEO of football from kindergarten through varsity. The approach taken in Avon shows how multiple game types including flag, limited contact, modified games progressing to 11-man football provides a model that is fun and fulfilling and increases participation and retention.

Learn how Avon has implemented the Football Development Model in their community.