As the Buccaneers get set to take on the New Orleans Saints at home in a rematch of Week Five, the winner of Week Eleven's Coach of the Week, presented by Tampa Electric, is Jason Stokes, head coach at Pasco High School in Dade City, Florida. On Thursday, Stokes will take a tour of AdventHealth Training Center as well as enjoy lunch at the facility and meet with Head Coach Bruce Arians. As part of the award, his program was also presented with a $2,000 grant from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation for the Pirates football program.
What did it mean for you to be nominated and then win Coach of the Week?
I was so proud of my staff and team when I received the news of my nomination. We quickly spread the word and got back so much love. Then when I won, I had such a feeling of accomplishment. Our team has faced and overcome so much adversity since myself and new staff arrived in January. They really deserved something special like this to reward them for their hard work and sacrifice.
How can the attached grant help your program?
The grant attached to the award will help our Football Program tremendously. We fundraise every year to feed our boys, get them safe equipment, and take them to camps and recruiting trips every year. We will put those award funds to work ASAP!
What's most important to you as a coach and mentor to young players?
The most important and rewarding part of coaching is how you can directly impact young players' lives. I love helping kids turn their lives around for the better, and I do it though football. I tell my players constantly that what they are learning on this field are live lessons that will help you compete and be resilient when times are tough. What gives me the greatest feeling is running into a former player, hearing all the things he has accomplished, then telling me how football made such a difference in his life.