The international presence grows stronger at the AFCA convention

Thousands of coaches flocked to beautiful San Antonio, Texas this past weekend as the American Football Coaches Association hosted its centennial convention. Coaches from all levels poured into the convention ranging from the high school ranks to NFL personnel and top NCAA sidelines roamers such as Dave Arnada, Pat Fitzgerald, and Mel Tucker.

On the second day of the AFCA, global football had its time in the spotlight. The international session kicked off with speaker Val Gunn. Gunn, a veteran coach in Europe detailed his experiences coaching abroad while looking ahead to his first season in Istanbul, Turkey. Gunn is set to lead Turkey’s premiere club the Istanbul Rams this summer, as they enter the European League of Football.

Next up, British coach Rich Worsell detailed his made-for Hollywood journey from an unfulfilled finance employee to an unpaid assistant coaching division three college football. The dream-chasing Brit laid out his football journey from coaching in the UK to becoming the first European position coach in FBS college football history. Worsell moved from an analyst position to tight ends coach late in the season for the Akron Zips (NCAA D1 FBS).

The final speaker of the event was Austin Jones who most recently roamed the sidles for the AAB 89ers in the Danish Nationalligaen. Jones engaged as a room discussing the idea of making teams a destination for players regardless of the level of play. The conversation touched on many topics ranging from player movement to officiating abroad.

AFI’s staff was lucky to meet with several coaches over the three-day event to discuss the positive growth of global football. Several international coaches made long trips to Texas as coaches from Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia all made the commendably long trip in an effort to learn and grow the game they love.

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and