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>>

  • Mortgage nightmare for Plant City couple

    Mortgage nightmare for Plant City couple

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:57 AM EDT2014-04-16 11:57:42 GMT
    Karl and Vicktoria Hanson thought their foreclosure nightmare was long over. It may be just beginning.
    Karl and Vicktoria Hanson thought their foreclosure nightmare was long over. It may be just beginning.
  • Bradenton massage therapist banned from contact with women by state

    Bradenton massage therapist banned from contact with women by state

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-04-15 21:03:21 GMT
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The order says Holmes "unrestricted practice as a massage therapist with female clients constitutes an immediate serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The order says Holmes "unrestricted practice as a massage therapist with female clients constitutes an immediate serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public
  • State takes emergency action against Bradenton massage therapist after 8 On Your Side investigation

    State takes emergency action against Bradenton massage therapist after 8 On Your Side investigation

    Monday, April 14 2014 7:09 PM EDT2014-04-14 23:09:06 GMT
    Kevin Holmes, massage therapistKevin Holmes, massage therapist
    According topolice records Kevin Holmes, age 60, toldinvestigators the client he gave a therapeutic massage to last month"was an attractive girl, plain and simple."It turns out she was also an off-duty detective, and Holmes said what he did to her was "absolutely inapproriate."
    According topolice records Kevin Holmes, age 60, toldinvestigators the client he gave a therapeutic massage to last month"was an attractive girl, plain and simple."It turns out she was also an off-duty detective, and Holmes said what he did to her was "absolutely inapproriate."
  • NewsMore>>

  • Pistorius trial: Defense tries to build case

    Pistorius trial: Defense tries to build case

    The judge in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius has ruled that proceedings will adjourn for more than two weeks after Thursday and resume on May 5.
    Oscar Pistorius' lawyers at his murder trial Wednesday tried to roll back the prosecution's momentum, but the prosecutor sharply questioned the credentials and findings of a forensic expert for the defense.
  • Police say 5 dead in Calgary stabbings

    Police say 5 dead in Calgary stabbings

    A recent graduate of the University of Calgary was charged in the fatal stabbing of five people at a house party that the police chief called the worst mass slaying in the western Canadian city's history.
    The son of a Calgary police officer was charged in the fatal stabbing of five people at a house party that the law enforcement officials called the worst mass slaying in the western Canadian city's history.
  • Mortgage nightmare for Plant City couple

    Mortgage nightmare for Plant City couple

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:57 AM EDT2014-04-16 11:57:42 GMT
    Karl and Vicktoria Hanson thought their foreclosure nightmare was long over. It may be just beginning.
    Karl and Vicktoria Hanson thought their foreclosure nightmare was long over. It may be just beginning.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
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.