UIL and Texas High School Coaches Association unveil tackling certification program

texas high school football

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) and the Texas High School Coaches Association have announced that Seattle-based Atavus Sports will oversee and administer the state’s new tackling certification process.

In October 2017, the UIL Legislative Council passed a rule requiring every Texas high school and junior high school football coach to become certified in teaching tackling as a part of the official UIL Coaches Certification Program beginning with the 2018-19 school year. The primary objective of this collaboration is to enhance Texas High School football by providing best practices in tackling training for all football coaches and keeping athletes who play the game safer.

“The UIL Legislative Council was overwhelmingly in favor of supporting this measure,” said Dr. Charles Breithaupt, Executive Director of the University Interscholastic League. “We view the addition of a mandatory tackling certification for football coaches as a positive educational extension that will ultimately improve the game and the welfare of our students.”

“The game is changing, and we have to be willing to change with it,” said D.W. Rutledge, Executive Director of the Texas High School Coaches Association. “By implementing a mandatory tackling certification, we’re continuing our legacy in Texas as leaders in high school football and taking necessary steps to move the game forward. Preventing injuries is paramount for all coaches and players, and we felt that as an organization it was our duty to seek out the best possible solutions to keeping our players safe.”

The certification process for coaches begins in July 2018 and will be available in two formats. The first option is an on-site training offered by THSCA, consisting of a presentation followed by a live assessment that must be passed to receive certification. The second option, available beginning April 1, 2019, is an online platform, which allows coaches to achieve certification at their own pace but consists of a similar educational presentation and final assessment.

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Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.