Osceola High's George Palmer accepts his Coach of the Week award from the Bucs' Jon Gruden
The Osceola High Warriors have experienced an incredible turnaround this season. Coming off a 2-8 season in 2002, the Warriors, led by Coach George Palmer, are 8-2 and preparing for their first state playoff appearance since 1994.
And the Warriors haven't just won, they've dominated, prevailing by an average score of 38-10. The Warriors' two losses, meanwhile, came against 10-0 Booker and, by one point, 8-2 Dunedin.
On Wednesday, Coach Palmer was recognized for his role in the Warriors' remarkable season, as he was named the Buccaneers High School Football Coach of the Week. Palmer appreciated the honor but made it clear that he had a lot of help.
"In football you can't be successful without good assistant coaches," he said. "Obviously, you need good players, but you can have good players and if you don't have a good coaching staff you're still not going to be successful."
At a ceremony on the practice field, Coach Palmer was presented with a framed "Coach of the Week" certificate, signed by NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, General Manager Rich McKay and Coach Gruden. He also received a football autographed from Gruden and a Buccaneers Coach of the Week hat from the team.
In addition to the certificate, hat and ball, Coach Palmer will also receive a $1,000 donation to his Warriors football program and had the added bonus of watching the Buccaneers morning practice.
"We're in this for the kids," said Palmer. "They only go through high school one time and we want to make sure they have a nice high school experience. Hopefully, it translates into some victories, which this year it has, but even if we're not winning we still want them to enjoy the team concept."
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 or her 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.