Gruden helps save the day - WFLA News Channel 8

Gruden helps save the day

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

He's no longer the head football coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Jon Gruden is the head of the Fired Football Coaches Association, which he founded after the 2008 season when he was fired by the Bucs after a 9-7 season.

  However, as far as some bay area high school football coaches and programs are concerned, Gruden being let go is the best thing that's happened to them.

  That's because Gruden has used FFCA licensed products to raise money for local high schools to help cover costs associated with football programs, not to mention digging into his own pocket on occasion.

  Saturday night in Tampa at the Hooters restaurant on Hillsborough Avenue, Gruden hosted the third installment of his program, which also had stops in St. Louis and Atlanta in conjunction with ESPN's Monday Night Football. The Buccaneers host the Miami Dolphins, so it was a natural fit for Gruden, who also invited his broadcast partners Mike Tirico and Lisa Salters to the event.

  And, as an added bonus, NFL Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, who will be inducted into the Buccaneers Ring of Honor Monday night, stopped by to say a few words to the 8 coaches and schools from Hillsborough, Pinellas and Manatee counties recognized by the FFCA.

  And as Gruden said, the true stars of the evening were the men who sacrifice time and money to help keep dreams alive.

 "I only measure the success of football on these fields where these guys coach", Gruden said.  "And they need our help.  These are great guys who work for nothing.  And they leave us with the best of memories, so we're going to honor them tonight and I wish we could do more".

  Besides providing each coach with a $1,000 check, a go pro camera and assorted gift cards, the timing of Gruden's generosity couldn't have been better, according to Hillsborough head football coach Earl Garcia.

  "We were sitting around the coaches office Thursday afternoon after our last practice of the season talking about the banquet and we said we have no money", Garcia said. "And then Jon gave us a call and the money he gives us is going to our kids' banquet and our kids' awards".

  Bradenton Southeast head coach Paul Machetle was also honored.  Machetle retired last Friday after forty successful years on the sidelines and said schools have to find other ways to generate revenue, even in a football-mad state such as Florida.

  "Going to a game is not the thing it used to be ten, fifteen, twenty years ago", Machetle said. "As a result, your attendance is a little lower, so therefor you don't have as much revenue coming in.  So anything like this is a boost to the income for a school".

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:59:58 GMT
    This Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in PinellasThis Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in Pinellas
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
  • RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:45:14 GMT
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
  • How thieves clone your credit cards

    How thieves clone your credit cards

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:15:02 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
  • NewsMore>>

  • Tampa WWII veteran receives medal in hospice care

    Tampa WWII veteran receives medal in hospice care

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:36 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:36:26 GMT
    William Cobbs is a World War II veteran who received recognition today while in hospice care.William Cobbs is a World War II veteran who received recognition today while in hospice care.
    William Cobbs is a World War II veteran. He served as a medic at a hospital treating the wounded during the “D” day invasion.Later he served as a guard for General Dwight Eisenhower.Cobbs is in the final chapter of his life, with a diagnosis of cancer.
    William Cobbs is a World War II veteran. He served as a medic at a hospital treating the wounded during the “D” day invasion.Later he served as a guard for General Dwight Eisenhower.Cobbs is in the final chapter of his life, with a diagnosis of cancer.
  • Mother takes stand in Tampa baby throwing trial

    Mother to take stand in Tampa baby throwing trial

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 2:43 PM EDT2014-07-23 18:43:00 GMT
    Jasmine Bedwell, the woman who caused a mistrial in the Richard McTear case last year, is set to testify Wednesday.
    Jasmine Bedwell, the woman who caused a mistrial in the Richard McTear case last year, is set to testify Wednesday.
  • Walmart to hire 95 for new Sarasota store

    Walmart to hire 95 for new Sarasota store

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 2:40 PM EDT2014-07-23 18:40:43 GMT
    Facebook photoFacebook photo
    Walmart is planning on hiring up to 95 people to work at a new Walmart Neighborhood Market scheduled to open this fall in Sarasota.
    Walmart is planning on hiring up to 95 people to work at a new Walmart Neighborhood Market scheduled to open this fall in Sarasota.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 'Extraordinary' little boy finishes triathlon with his disabled brother

    'Extraordinary' little boy finishes triathlon with his disabled brother

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:52:34 GMT
    (Photo: Courtesy Today.com via Aldrich Family)(Photo: Courtesy Today.com via Aldrich Family)
    Never underestimate the power of brotherly love. Eight-year-old Noah Aldrich didn’t want his 6-year-old sibling Lucas — who is confined to a wheelchair — to miss out on a youth triathlon this month.
    Never underestimate the power of brotherly love. Eight-year-old Noah Aldrich didn’t want his 6-year-old sibling Lucas — who is confined to a wheelchair — to miss out on a youth triathlon this month.
  • Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:08:35 GMT
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
  • Boy, 8, bitten by shark in knee-deep water in Brevard

    Boy, 8, bitten by shark in knee-deep water in Brevard

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:52 AM EDT2014-07-23 12:52:24 GMT
    Aadyn Crick. Image courtesy WESHAadyn Crick. Image courtesy WESH
    An Indiana boy, 8, on vacation in Central Florida with his family, got bitten by a shark, WESH reported.
    An Indiana boy, 8, on vacation in Central Florida with his family, got bitten by a shark, WESH reported.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.