MOORE — Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Cowher conducting a clinic Wednesday night at Southmoore High School was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Moore Pirates and OKC Wolfpack.
Todd Noel, an IT project manager for the Veteran's Administration, coaches the Moore Pirates, a team of 11-year-old boys. Noel submitted a nomination to the CoachMeCowher contest.
“This is so great,” Noel said. “This is the last year these kids are together before they go to junior high. To have someone like Coach Cowher come coach our final practice is extremely special. They talked about it on CBS. Shannon Sharpe joked he'd come play running back for us.”
The Moore youth football story is scheduled to run Dec. 8 on CBS' national pregame show. Cowher is an analyst on the show alongside Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason and Sharpe. The Pirates were chosen from among nearly 200 entries.
Cowher, an advisory committee member for USA HeadsUp Football, said teaching fundamentals like how to tackle without using your head is critical in football's pursuit to minimize concussions.
“There's been a lot talk about football and safety issues,” Cowher said. “My big thing is the benefits far outweigh the risks. We're trying to give a young man life lessons — sacrifice, commitment, team work, self confidence, self esteem. That's what this sport does for kids.”
Former OU quarterback Charles Thompson is the father of Sooners quarterback Kendal Thompson, who played at Southmoore. Charles Thompson is actively involved in USA HeadsUp Football, a national program that teaches safety.
Charles Thompson was the tour guide for the Super Bowl XV-winning coach and the CBS film crew that toured Moore Wednesday afternoon. Stops included Southmoore and Moore high schools.
Southmoore football coach Jeff Brickman told the former Pittsburgh Steelers coach details of the EF5 tornado on May 20 that carved a mile-wide path in Moore. He told Cowher that 22 Southmoore players lost their homes. Brickman provided details of donations and the community's drive to rebuild.