Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Coach of the Week: Tampa Bay Tech's C.C. Culpepper

The Titans failed to win a game in 2005 or 2006, but they’re off to a 3-0 start in Culpepper’s first season at the helm, and that made the former firefighter a perfect choice for the Buccaneers’ second High School Coach of the Week award

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Tampa Bay Tech's C.C. Culpepper has patterned much of his coaching approach after the Buccaneers' Jon Gruden

C.C. Culpepper is a huge fan of Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden, but even Gruden would have to be amazed by the turnaround job Culpepper has done at Tampa Bay Tech.

The Tampa Bay Tech Titans had lost 20 straight games heading into 2007, spanning the entire 2005 and 2006 seasons. Elevated to head coach this year after one season as the Titans' defensive coordinator, Culpepper has led Tech to a stunning 3-0 start. For those efforts, Culpepper has been named the Buccaneers second High School Coach of the Week for the 2007 season.

Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden presented Culpepper with a commemorative certificate and personalized football following the Bucs' morning practice at One Buccaneer Place. Prior to practice, Culpepper and four guests toured the team's state-of-the-art headquarters. Culpepper will receive $1,000 for his high school football program and will be featured on Buccaneers.com and NFLHS.com.

A former firefighter in St. Petersburg for eight years, Culpepper has been coaching high school football since 2000. He patterns his approach to coaching after Gruden, even down to the Buc coach's practice-field attire. Culpepper specifically cited Gruden's "work ethic and knowledge of NFL players" as reasons for his admiration, and it's clear that the Tampa Bay Tech coach shares that strong work ethic. He worked seven days a week this summer in his efforts to reverse the Titans' losing streak.

So far, so good. Tech opened its 2007 season with a 47-0 demolition of the Sickles High School Gryphons. Through three games, Culpepper's squad has yet to allow an offensive touchdowns.

The Buccaneers will honor ten high school coaches from Central and West Central Florida during this year's prep football season. A Coach of the Year will be selected from the ten weekly winners at the end of the season and will receive an additional $1,000 for his football program. The Buccaneers and National Football League's Coach of the Week program aids in the development of youth football, which has a positive influence on young athletes and the communities in which they live. For more information on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' youth football initiatives, visit www.buccaneers.com.

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