WACO, Texas – Morgan State defensive line coach Antonio James has been named to the 2017 American Football Coach’s Association (AFCA) 30 Under 30 Coaches’ Leadership Institute.
In its second year, the prestigious program, sponsored by the American Football Coaches Foundation and NCAA Leadership Development, aims to identify and train the next generation of leaders in the football coaching profession.
The AFCA firmly believes that better educated coaches are better-educated leaders, and better-educated leaders are the pillars of a successful American society. With that spirit in mind, the program is focused on training participants in areas the Association believes are the most prominent challenges coaches will face today and in the future.
“With this program, we’ve identified rising stars in our industry,” said AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry. “Our aim is to give them the tools necessary to become the future leaders of the football coaching profession.”
James, who recently completed his first season as a coach with the Bears, helped lead a Bears defensive unit that ranked No. 4 in the MEAC with 24 sacks and posted 73 tackles for loss. He also mentored junior defensive end Jai Franklin who was selected to the All-MEAC Team. Franklin posted 50 tackles and led the team in tackles for loss (13), sacks (4) and quarterback hurries (4).
James, 28, is the first Morgan State coach to be selected to the 30 Under 30 program.
This year’s leadership institute takes place during the 2017 AFCA Convention in Nashville, Tenn. The one-day event will consist of interactive lectures on topics including leadership, ethics, family balance, and personal and professional development.
To be eligible, applicants had to be active high school head coaches, or full-time assistants or head coaches from the college ranks. Applicants were required to submit a resume, personal statements responding to specific prompts, and a letter of recommendation from a head coach or athletic director.
This year’s class of participants includes seven (7) NCAA FBS coaches, six (6) NCAA FCS coaches, three (3) NCAA Division II coaches, six (6) NCAA Division III coaches, three (3) NAIA coaches, two (2) two-year college coaches and three (3) high school coaches.