Robinson High School's Bud Hodgens, left, received an award from Bucs Head Coach Jon Gruden on Wednesday
Bud Hodgens, varsity football coach at Robinson High School, retired last Friday after completing his 38th season as a high school coach in the Bay area. To give you a feel for the admirable length of Hodgens dedication to local football, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in just the 27th season of their Bay area existence.
On Wednesday, November 13, youth honored experience, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Coach Hodgens, who has been involved with Tampa high school football since 1965, as their Buccaneers "Coach of the Week."
At a ceremony on the practice field at One Buccaneer Place on Wednesday, Coach Hodgens was presented with a framed "Coach of the Week" certificate, signed by NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Buccaneers General Manager Rich McKay and Head Coach Jon Gruden, along with a "Coach of the Week" hat and a football autographed by Gruden.
Prior to his final game last Friday (a win against rival Plant High), Coach Hodges served as an assistant at King High School ('65-'70), an assistant at Robinson ('71-'77, '82), an assistant at Clearwater Central Catholic ('78-'79), the Head Coach at Berkeley Prep ('80-'81), an assistant at Hillsborough ('83-'89) and finally back to Robinson, where he has been the head coach since 1990.
"For me, this being my last time around, it was a real pleasure to be selected," said Coach Hodgens. "It's been a real roller coaster week for me and having it culminate with this is great. This award says a lot about the Buccaneers and the NFL. It lets everyone know they haven't forgotten the roots of the game and that high school football plays a vital role in the success of the NFL."
In addition to the certificate, hat and ball, Coach Hodgens will also receive a $1,000 donation to his Rams football program.
If you know a coach that you feel is deserving of being the Buccaneers "Coach of the Week" please click here and submit his or her name, school, county and reason he or she should be selected.
Several factors are taken into account when selecting the Buccaneers Coach of the Week recipient, including the coach's impact on his team, school and community. The program is designed to recognize high school coaches who transform, through their hard work and dedication to young people, the best available athletes into high-potential football players.
All schools in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota are eligible regardless of size, league or division.