Wesley Chapel High School's John Castelamare (right) earned his 100th career victory last Friday
As impressed as John Castelamare was by his first visit to the new One Buccaneer Place, he had a little secret for Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden.
Gruden had just asked Castelamare, the head coach of the varsity football team at Wesley Chapel High School, about the state of the school's athletic facilities. The visiting coach, who had a good mental image of the old One Buccaneer Place answered thusly: "You know your old facilities? Ours are better."
Whether that's a more telling comment for Wesley Chapel or the Bucs' previous haunt, it's clear that things are good at Castelamare's school. They were especially good last Friday, when the Wildcats defeated the Sunlake Senior High Seahawks, 42-6, to give Castelamare his 100th victory as a head coach.
That win earned the 37-year coaching veteran the traditional bucket of Gatorade over the head. It also caught the attention of the Buccaneers, who honored the achievement by naming Castelamare the team's sixth High School Coach of the Week for the 2007 season.
Castelamare and four of his assistants toured the team's new facilities on Thursday – his assessment of the place: "like heaven" – and watched the Buccaneers conduct their morning practice. After the workout, Gruden presented the winning coach with a commemorative certificate and personalized football in recognition of the award. Castelamare will also receive $1,000 for his school's football program.
Castelamare was accompanied by Offensive Line Coach Brian Colding, Defensive Coordinator Bud Hodgens, Defensive Line Coach Abel Robinson and Receivers and Kickers Coach George Wortley. Wortley was no stranger to the scene – he played for the Dallas Cowboys in 1970.
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 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.