USA Football, the sport's national governing body on youth and amateur levels, Tuesday announced that Carl Peterson will serve as the independent non-profit's new chairman. Peterson, a successful football scout, coach and NFL team executive for more than 40 years, assumes the organization's leadership role following the death of former chairman Jack Kemp.
An independent non-profit, USA Football was endowed by the NFL and NFL Players Association in 2002 and is composed of members –- youth coaches, league commissioners and game officials –- residing in all 50 states. USA Football hosts more than 100 football training events annually offering education for coaches and game officials, skill development for players and resources for youth football league commissioners.
America's sole member of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), USA Football manages U.S. national teams for international competition.
USA Football is the host federation for the 2009 IFAF Junior World Championship in Canton, Ohio's Fawcett Stadium, featuring high school-aged teams from eight nations spanning four continents from June 27-July 5.
Peterson will preside over USA Football's board of directors and offer his insight toward USA Football initiatives, including:
» Nearly 50 full-day "Coaching Schools" in more than 30 states to train volunteer youth football coaches
» 40 nationwide meetings of youth football commissioners to offer insight and share best practices
» Nearly 20 officiating camps and seminars nationwide to educate and recruit football officials
» 12 three-day "Player Academies" conducted across the country to advance players' skills, aged 9-14
» Distribution of $500,000 in equipment grants for youth football leagues, based on merit and need
» Distribution of $500,000 in volunteer youth football coach and volunteer background check subsidies
» Creation of the USA Football Youth Football Rule Book & National Playing Standard, unifying the youth game
» Author exclusive and innovative youth football-related research to further advance America's favorite sport
Every NFL franchise and a growing number of college football programs partner with USA Football for its training events.
A longtime advocate of youth football, Peterson has served on the board of the NFL Youth Football Fund and has served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.
Peterson, best known as one of the NFL's most successful team executives with the Kansas City Chiefs (1989-2008), cut his teeth in the game as a high school coach before advancing as a coach on the college Division II and Division I-A levels from 1966-75. In 1975, as a receivers coach at his alma mater (UCLA) Peterson followed Bruins head coach Dick Vermeil to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976 to become the team's director of player personnel. Peterson helped the Eagles earn their first Super Bowl berth in 1980.
In 1982 Peterson was hired as the general manager and president of the United States Football League's Philadelphia Stars where he led the team to a 7-1 postseason record and two league championships before joining the Chiefs in December of 1988. The Chiefs had made just one playoff appearance in the 15 seasons prior to Peterson's arrival. Under his leadership, the team enjoyed 13 winning seasons, advanced to the postseason nine times and earned four AFC West divisional titles.
USA Football's Officers & Board of Directors:
» Carl Peterson, USA Football Chairman
» Scott Hallenbeck, USA Football Executive Director
» Ray Anderson, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations
» Jason Belser, NFLPA Senior Regional Director
» Joe Browne, NFL Executive Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs
» Jon Butler, Executive Director of Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.
» Tom Cove, Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) President & CEO
» Carl Francis, NFLPA Director of Communications
» Alexia Gallagher, NFL Youth Football Department Director
» Bob Gardner, National Federation of State High School Associations CEO
» Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner
» Mark Meana, Fairfax County (Va.) Youth Football League Chairman
» Brian Mitchell, NFL Alumni & Former NFL All-Star
» Keith Rucker, NFL Alumni & High School Football Coach
» Frank Sanchez, Boys & Girls Clubs of America Vice President
» DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA Executive Director
» Grant Teaff, American Football Coaches Association Executive Director
» Deborah Yow, University of Maryland Athletic Director
Since 2006, USA Football has trained more than 16,000 youth football coaches across America through full-day coaching schools and its Certified Coaching Education Program (C.C.E.P.), a two-hour online curriculum featuring computer animation and chapter quizzes to strengthen comprehension.
USA Football bolsters high school football, benefiting its 1.13 million players –- more than doubling the next-played sport by high school boys. USA Football was commissioned by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), based in Indianapolis, to help create an online varsity football coaching education course available to America's high school football coaches and state athletic associations.
USA Football also assembles America's national teams for international competitions conducted by football's international federation (IFAF), which consists of 52 member countries spanning five continents.