Pinellas Park senior Tony Murphy, head coach Ken Crawford and senior Brandon Drain pose with Raheem Morris as young Corbin Crawford proudly displays his father's Coach of the Week award at One Buccaneer Place
After leading the Pinellas Park Patriots to their first victory since 2007, Crawford was named the Buccaneers' Week One High School Coach of the Week…The school will receive $1,000 to apply to their football program
As the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009, Raheem Morris knows that a win on Sunday versus the Dallas Cowboys would set the tone for a successful 2009 campaign.
First-year Head Coach Ken Crawford of Pinellas Park High School knows the feeling. Crawford's Patriots beat the Osceola Warriors, 26-9, last Friday, earning Crawford his first victory and giving the Patriots their first win since 2007.
The Patriots complemented a stifling defense with a balanced running game from senior Tony Murphy and junior Michael Smith, who combined for 126 yards and three touchdowns. Pinellas Park held the Osceola offense to just six points, sealing the long-awaited victory.
As a result, Crawford was named the Buccaneers High School Coach of the Week for Week One of the 2009 season.
Crawford, along with Murphy and senior defensive lineman Brandon Drain visited One Buccaneer Place Thursday morning for a tour of the team's practice facility and an opportunity to watch the Buccaneers' morning practice. Following practice, Head Coach Raheem Morris greeted the group and congratulated the Patriots for their impressive start to the 2009 season. During the visit, Murphy expressed his feelings on the team's accomplishment and the honor bestowed upon their coach.
"I think it meant a lot because a lot of people overlooked us as a football team," Murphy said. "Last year we took our beating bad, and for Coach Crawford to come in - he brought light and electricity to the team for the first win. A lot of people said we weren't going to have a good season. It just means a lot to be honored, and I know the coach is happy. This is going to be good [for the team] for the rest of the season."
Along with a signed certificate, a Buccaneers hat and a personalized football presented by Coach Morris on Thursday, Crawford will receive $1,000 to be applied to the Patriots' football program at the end of the season.
"This is going to be awesome," Crawford said. "Money is one of our biggest struggles… probably for all high school sports. It's going to help us tremendously. We took the first step to where we need to go, and to get to come out here, it's exciting for the kids to come here and watch these guys working and see what it's like at a professional level."
The Buccaneers will honor ten high school coaches from West Central and Central Florida during this year's prep football season. A Coach of the Year, who receives an additional $1,000 for his football program, will be selected from the 10 weekly winners at the end of the season. The Buccaneers and the NFL's Coach of the Week program aid in the development of youth football, which has a positive influence on young athletes and the communities in which they live.