Pirates Defensive Coordinator Rick Giles, Special Teams Coordinator Joshua Borders, Head Coach Tom McHugh and Offensive Coordinator Brad Starling pose with Coach Gruden, who donned a Pasco Pirates cap, following Thursday morning's practice at One Buccaneer Place
On Friday, November 7, the top-ranked Pasco High School Pirates took on number-two Gulf High in a battle of county powerhouses. The hard-fought contest came down to the game's final play, as the Pirates forced a missed extra point by the Buccaneers at the end of regulation to hold on to a 21-20 victory. Gulf originally lined up to go for two but, after a Pasco timeout, changed their approach and sent on the kicking unit for what proved to be a doomed attempt that sailed wide right.
The win secured the Pirates' second district title and the Sunshine Athletic Conference crown, solidifying Pasco's spot in the postseason. The Pirates, who finished the regular season 9-1 overall and 5-0 in district play, will host Orlando Bishop Moore in a first-round playoff game this Friday night.
As a result of his team's success, Head Coach Tom McHugh was named the Buccaneers High School Coach of the Week for Week 10 of the 2008 season. McHugh, along with assistant coaches Joshua Borders, Rick Giles and Brad Starling visited One Buccaneer Place Thursday morning for a tour of the team's practice facility and an opportunity to watch the Buccaneers' morning walk-through session. Following the team's practice, Head Coach Jon Gruden congratulated the group on their impressive season and wished the coaches the best of luck in their home playoff game Friday night.
"Our upcoming game against Bishop Moore, it's our second playoff game in two years," said McHugh. "Hopefully, the kids do a good job and we get to the second round in the playoffs."
Along with a signed certificate and personalized football presented by Coach Gruden, McHugh received $1,000 towards the Pirates' football program.
"It's an honor to come down here and accept this from the Buccaneers organization," McHugh said at the conclusion of the visit. "I really appreciate the honor of being named Coach of the Week, getting the tour and meeting Coach Gruden. The monetary contribution is something that will be put to use within our football program and I'm sure all the kids will appreciate it."
The Buccaneers have honored 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 ten weekly winners at the end of the high school football season. 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.