Robinson High School Head Coach Mike DePue accepts his Coach of the Week award from Jon Gruden
Twenty-three years is a long time to wait for your big shot. For Mike DePue, head coach of the Robinson High School football team, it was well worth the wait.
After pacing the Fighting Knights' sideline for those 23 years as first an offensive line coach and then an assistant head coach, DePue has taken over the Robinson command in 2003 and led his team to a 4-1 record, matching the teams victory total for the past two seasons combined. Moreover, on Wednesday at One Buccaneer Place, DePue was named the Buccaneers' "Coach of the Week".
At a ceremony on the practice field, Coach DePue 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 hat from the team.
The best part for DePue, however, was the opportunity to meet Gruden and take in the Buccaneers' morning practice to see how things are done at the game's top level.
"Coach Gruden was as gracious as ever and just watching these guys go through their practice you gain a little insight about what they do at this level," said DePue. "At the high school level we're taking baby steps and these guys are fine-tuning all week long."
In addition to the certificate, hat and ball, Coach DePue will also receive a $1,000 donation to his Fighting Knights football program.
"It's an honor to be recognized by the Buccaneers and the NFL as Coach of the Week," said DePue. "Especially with so many other good coaches having such great seasons. It's a great honor and a fine tribute to not only my players but my staff, because I wouldn't be anywhere without my staff."
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.