2018 Convention Buzz Sessions

Rev your engines, because it’s almost time for the 2018 AFCA Convention. As you make your final preparations, here’s your Playbook to get the most out of your visit to Charlotte.

Sunday, January 7

Getting Started

When you arrive at the Charlotte Convention Center, make sure your first stop is Registration in Exhibit Halls AB (opens at 9 AM). AFCA badges are required for all the events you want to attend. You can also purchase your Honors Luncheon tickets at Registration. (Don’t worry, if you decide to go to the Honors Luncheon after you register, just swing by the Information Desk.)

We are rolling out a new registration process this year. If you pre-registered, go to the Quick Pass or the Mobile Registration areas to use the self-service kiosks and printers. This will help expedite your registration process. There will be attendants to help with this process should you need it.

If you have not paid your membership dues and/or your Convention fee, you must now register on-site at the Convention. Look for Division-specific queues (FBS, FCS, DII, DIII, NAIA/JUCO, and HS). If you actively coached during the 2017 season, you will register according to the division of your school. If you actively coached during the 2017 season, but are currently between schools, you will register according to the division of your most recent school. If you did not actively coach during the 2017 season, you will register through the line marked “Other”.

Stop by The Foundation Booth located across from Registration. Make a $10 donation to the AFCF – the organization dedicated to furthering your education and supporting football coaches everywhere – and receive an AFCA cap or visor. 

Afterward, we encourage you to walk around the AFCA Exhibit Hall floor (open 9 AM-5 PM on Sunday and Monday, 9 AM-Noon on Tuesday). There will be over 200 exhibitors on display, coaches teaching on the Skills & Drills Field, and the AFCA Inside the Headset podcast team will be recording live interviews.

Skills & Drills presented by VICIS: 10 AM-5 PM in the Exhibit Hall

This is a brand-new aspect of the Convention, and it’s something you don’t want to miss! Come watch some of the premiere coaches in the game teach position-specific drills. You can learn more about this and check out a full schedule online or on the AFCA mobile app.

High School Coaches Academy: 2-5 PM in Rooms 213 and 217

We have Chris Metzger (Pinecrest HS) and Rich Hargitt (Southside HS) speaking at 2 PM, followed by Kris Price (Keller HS) and Sean Manuel (UNLV). The National HS Coaches Forum at 4 PM has Dave Doeren (NC State), Daniel Jackson (South Dakota State), Bill Kramer (Naples HS), and moderator Bob Colgate (NFHS).

First Timers’ Meeting: 4-5 PM in Room 213

If it’s your first time attending the AFCA Convention, make your way on over to the First Timers’ Meeting with Fred Farrier. He will help get you set on the right path to ensure your first experience is a great one.

Kickoff Speaker: 5-6 PM in the Crown Ballroom

Don’t miss your opportunity to hear USC head coach Clay Helton get things started on Sunday evening!

Buzz Sessions: 6-7 PM (Check schedule for room assignments)

Matt Entz (North Dakota State), Brennan Marion (Howard), Justin Stepp (Arkansas), Marc Yellock (North Texas), Chris Marve (Vanderbilt), Sherrone Moore (Central Michigan), Marcus Woodson (Memphis), Matt Jones (Texas Southern), Brent Grablachoff (Kicking World), Chris Fore (Victor Valley JC), Josh Nelson (Baylor), Jason Nichols (East Carolina), Todd Parsons, plus a Chalk War with Robert Valdez (St. James HS) and Deno Campbell (DeMatha Catholic HS)

Buzz Sessions: 7-8 PM (Check schedule for room assignments)

Andy Kotelnicki (Buffalo), Tremaine Jackson (Abilene Christian), Herb Hand (Auburn), Lamar Owens (Georgia Tech), Maurice Linguist (Minnesota), Andrew Sowder (Kent State), Maurice Flowers (Fayetteville State), Gunter Brewer (North Carolina), Marquase Lovings, Rod West (Richmond), Fred Kelley (Sacramento State), Patrick Basil (Bryant), Todd Moebes (Abilene Cooper HS), and Charles Scott (CSD).


Monday, January 8[SS1]


High School General Session presented by USA Football: 8-11 AM in the Crown Ballroom

Great opportunity to hear from high school coaches including Brandon Matich (East HS), Dr. Steven Wright (Cardinal Gibbons HS), and Tripp Stone (Mallard Creek HS).

Junior College General Session: 8-11 AM in Room 217

Paul Peterson (Snow College) will speak on the quick pass game, Larry Owens (College of San Mateo) will discuss defense, then Dan Basil (ASA New York) and Ryan Clanton (Ventura College) will duke it out in Chalk War.

International Session: 8-11 AM in Room 208B

Come listen as Andre Dobson (Faith Christian Academy), John Trana (Melbourne University Gridiron Club), and Brendan McAleese (Team Ireland) bring their experiences of coaching football around the world.

Skills & Drills presented by VICIS: 9 AM-1 PM in the Exhibit Hall

This is your last chance to check out the Skills & Drills sessions. Pick up a new drill to take back to your team!

Graduate Assistants/ Career Forum: 9-11 AM in Room 213

James Franklin (Penn State), Willie Fritz (Tulane), Mike London (Howard), and Dan Carrel (Houston) will join Fred Farrier as he moderates this panel. This is one of the most popular sessions at the Convention, so be sure to get there early!

Honors Luncheon presented by Amway: 11:30 AM- 1 PM in the Richardson Ballroom

Join us as we take the opportunity to recognize and celebrate fellow coaches who have had a tremendous impact on the game of football. We will present the Outstanding Achievement, Academic Achievement, Trailblazer, and Assistant Coach of the Year Awards. Reminder: this is a ticketed event, and you can purchase tickets up to 30 minutes prior to the event if you didn’t grab one at Registration.

General Session presented by TeamSnap: 1:30-5 PM in the Crown Ballroom

AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry begins the session by discussing the Pulse of the Profession. Then Bronco Mendenhall (Virginia) takes the stage, followed by Jen Welter (First Female NFL Coach), AFCA Power of Influence Award recipient Allan Trimble (Jenks HS), and Mike Norvell (Memphis).

Tackling Social Media: 5-6 PM in Room 217

Having trouble managing your team’s social media pages? Learn how to successfully promote your team’s brand through multiple social platforms. Offensive Line coach Herb Hand (Auburn) and representatives from Clemson, Nebraska, and UCLA will be there to give you their best tips. Come ready to ask questions!

Happy Wife, Happy Life: 6-7 PM in Room 217

Navigating life as a coach is difficult on its own, but having a family to consider adds another dimension to the job. Check out this panel discussion with husband-and-wife teams from various stages of marriage and coaching career.

AFCA Tailgate Party presented by FieldTurf and XOS Digital/Catapult: 6:30 PM in the Richardson Ballroom

Who will hoist the Crystal Ball? This FREE EVENT features delicious food, cold drinks, and massive screens to watch the College Football Playoff National Championship with your fellow coaches!


Tuesday, January 9

General Session presented by VICIS: 8:30-Noon in the Crown Ballroom

This is a NEW TIME! Speakers for this session include Rachel Baribeau (Changing the Narrative), Brian Kight (motivational speaker), Jon Gordon (motivational speaker), Jeff Monken (Army), and Gus Malzahn (Auburn).

NCAA Rules Seminar: Noon-2 PM in Room 217

Breakout Sessions: 2-3 PM (Check schedule for room assignments)

Topics for this round of breakout sessions include “Staying Strong/Game Management,” [SS2] “Changing the Practice Culture,” and “Lessons Learned from a First Year Head Coach.”

Breakout Sessions: 3-4 PM (Check schedule for room assignments)

This hour includes sessions entitled “Community Athletic Strategists: More than Coaching,” “Faith, Family, & Football,” and “The Evolution of the Run Game.”

Victory Speaker: 4-5 PM in the Richardson Ballroom

Join us for an informal and interactive chat with former National Champion Bob Stoops.

American Football Coaches Award presented by Amway: 8 PM in the Crown Ballroom

This is something you won’t want to miss! AFCA members and their guests receive FREE EVENT. Awards presented include the AFCA Coaches’ Trophy presented by Amway (The Crystal Ball), the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award, FBS Regional Coaches of the Year, FCS National Coach of the Year, USA TODAY Sports Coach’s Play Call of the Year, and the FBS National Coach of the Year. This year’s show will be broadcast via Facebook Live on the USA TODAY Sports Facebook page.

Wednesday, January 10

Chalk Talks: 8-11 AM (Check schedule for room assignments)

This is your last chance to talk ball at the Convention. You’re coming to the Charlotte to improve as a coach, so be sure to finish strong by attending the chalk talk sessions and see these coaches break down the X’s and O’s. We have two sessions per hour to choose from.

8 AM: Eric Daniels (Briar Cliff) and Tim Albin (Ohio)

9 AM: Randy Brown (Baltimore Ravens) and Ernest T. Jones (Morgan State)

10 AM: Eric Marty (Reedley College) and Matthew Powledge (Louisiana-Monroe)

The wait for the 2018 AFCA Convention is almost over… See you in Charlotte!

Note: This information is subject to change. Please check the on-site program or download the AFCA mobile app for the most up-to-date information.