Team USA Names Coaching Staff

Team USA competes June 30 to July 7 in Austin, Texas, in the eight-nation tournament to determine football's world champ­ion on the Under-19 level. The United States won the 2009 IFAF Under-19 World Championship in Canton, Ohio.

USA Football has announced thatSTEVE SPECHT of Cincinnati St. Xavier High School will lead the U.S. Under-19 National Team this summer at the second International Federation of American Football Under-19 World Championship.

Team USA competes June 30 to July 7 in Austin, Texas, in the eight-nation tournament to determine football's world champ­ion on the Under-19 level. The United States won the 2009 IFAF Under-19 World Championship in Canton, Ohio.

Joining Specht on the 2012 U.S. Under-19 National Team coaching staff:

  • CHRIS MERRITT, Miami Christopher Columbus High School, offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach
  • RICK STREIFF, Indianapolis Cathedral High School, defensive coordinator, linebackers coach
  • TOM BOLDEN, Cincinnati Colerain High School, offensive line coach
  • GABE INFANTE, Philadelphia St. Joseph's Prep, defensive line coach
  • Ken Lucas, Annapolis (Md.) Area Christian School, secondary coach
  • GREG McCAIG, Houston Cypress Creek High School, tight ends and special teams coach
  • CORY MOORE, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood High School, linebackers coach
  • Charlie Ward, Houston Westbury Christian School, wide receivers coach
  • L.D. Williams, Austin (Texas) Westwood High School, offensive line coach

More information about the IFAF Under-19 World Championship can be found at www.U19championship.com.

Specht, 43, is 74-19 (.796) since becoming the head coach at his high school alma mater following the 2003 season. His Bombers have won two Ohio big school championships (2005, 2007), with Specht earning Ohio Division I Coach of the Year honors both times. 

Specht was the defensive coordinator of the 2009 U.S. Under-19 team that won the gold medal in Canton, Ohio, allowing three points in four games. He also served as U.S. Under-19 head coach on Feb. 1 in Austin, where Team USA lost to the IFAF World Team, 35-29, in the third annual International Bowl.

A national team exemption granted by the NCAA allows high school seniors to play for USA Football and not have their participation count as one of two permitted all-star game appearances. USA Football is the sport's national governing body in the United States and is the official football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and college football's Atlantic Coast Conference.

The U.S. roster is being released by position groups throughout May and June.

The IFAF Under-19 World Championship is part of the World Football Festival, which is June 22 to July 12 throughout Austin, uniting 2,000 players and coaches to celebrate America's favorite sport on the international level.

Merritt is in his 11th season at Christopher Columbus, leading the Explorers to nine district championships and a 99-26 (.792) overall record. His teams have gone unbeaten in the regular season four times. He has been a U.S. National Team coach since 2009, when he helped Team USA win the gold medal at the IFAF Under-19 World Championship. He was head coach of the U.S. Under-19 team at the 2010 International Bowl and defensive coordinator at the 2011 game. He also has served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Under-15 team and during the 2011 U.S. Under-19 National Trials.

Streiff is 168-37 (.820) in 17 years with the Cathedral High School Irish and 191-80 (.705) overall. His teams have won seven Indiana State championships (1992, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2008, 2010, 2011) in seven state title game berths.

Bolden is 52-8 (.867) since taking over Colerain High School in 2007. He was an assistant at the Cincinnati school for 10 years before taking over as head coach. During his tenure, Colerain has won 12 consecutive league titles. Bolden played college football at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.

Infante served as U.S. defensive coordinator under Merritt at the 2010 International Bowl. He has been the head coach for three seasons ] at St. Joseph's. He also was head coach at Paramus (N.J.) Catholic for two seasons and played at College of the Holy Cross.

Lucas recently completed his fifth season at Annapolis Area Christian, going 28-4 the last three years. He earned Anne Arundel County Coach of the Year honors in 2009 and led his team to the Annapolis Touchdown Club's Team of the Year award in 2010. He also was head coach at Gonzaga College and Archbishop Carroll high schools, both in the Washington, D.C., area, and is a former assistant coach at Georgetown University.

McCaig has been a head coach for 15 seasons, including the last 10 at Cypress Creek, where he is 56-50. He also was the head coach at Houston Stratford and Giddings high schools, compiling an 86-75 overall record with six playoff appearances. He is a four-time District Coach of the Year and past president of the Texas State 7 on 7 Association.

Moore has been the head coach at his alma mater Lakewood for three seasons, leading his team to the postseason each year. A standout player at Bethune-Cookman University, he also has coached at Daytona Beach Seabreeze High School and was part of staffs on the college level at Ohio State, Miami (Fla.) and Florida State and with the Frankfort Galaxy of NFL Europe.

In four seasons at Westbury Christian, Ward is 17-23, including a 5-6 mark in 2011. The former Florida State quarterback won the national championship and Heisman Trophy in 1993 before embarking on an 11-year career in the NBA. Ward took over Westbury Christian in 2008 after a year as an assistant coach.

Williams has been a high school football coach for 23 years and will embark on his first season at Austin (Texas) Westwood High School in 2012 as offensive coordinator. Previously, as head coach at Austin High School, he led the Maroons to back-to-back Texas Class 5A playoffs (2010-11). Williams also spent 19 years at Leander High School as offensive coordinator, reaching the regional finals in 2002. He served as an instructor at the U.S. Under-19 Regional Trials last February in Austin.

About USA Football: USA Football, the sport's national governing body in the United States, hosts more than 80 football training events annually offering education for coaches and game officials, skill development for players and resources for youth football league commissioners. The independent nonprofit is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams. USA Football manages U.S. national teams within the sport for international competition and awards $1 million annually in equipment grants to youth and high school football programs based on merit and need. Endowed by the NFL and the NFL Players Association in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football is chaired by former NFL team executive Carl Peterson.

U.S. Under-19 National Team roster:

 

Name

Ht.

Wt.

Pos.

Hometown

High school

College

Chase Abbington

6-4

210

LB

St. Peters, Mo.

Fort Zumwalt South

Missouri-*

Rodney Adams

6-1

170

WR

St. Petersburg, Fla.

Lakewood

Florida-*

Eric Beisel

6-4

235

LB

Fenton, Mo.

Rockwood Summit

Undecided

Reggie Chevis

6-2

238

LB

Houston, Texas

Sharpstown

Undecided

Kight Dallas

6-2

220

DE-LB

Lithonia, Ga.

Arabia Mountain

South Carolina-*

Samuel Douglas

6-2

180

LB

Arlington, Texas

Arlington

TCU-*

Dajuan Drennon

6-3

230

DE

Clementon, N.J.

Timber Creek

Undecided

Tarean Folston

5-9

185

WR

Rockledge, Fla.

Cocoa

Undecided

Trent Hosick

6-2

223

QB

Kansas City, Mo.

Staley

Missouri-*

Dakota Jackson

6-3

250

TE

Roanoke, Va.

Northside

Virginia Tech

Cory Jasudowich

6-2

235

LB

North Branford, Conn.

Cheshire

Undecided

Rashad Kinlaw

6-2

180

WR

Galloway, N.J.

Absegami

Notre Dame-*

Isaac McDonald

6-5

210

LB

Hialeah, Fla.

Champagnat Catholic

Clemson-*

Herbert Moore

6-1

335

DT

Memphis, Tenn.

Memphis East

Undecided

Ebenezer Ogundeko

6-4

237

DE

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Thomas Jefferson

Undecided

Brayden Scott

6-3

200

QB

Tulsa, Okla.

Tahlequah-Sequoyah

Undecided

Reggie Spearman

6-2

210

LB

Burnham, Ill.

Simeon

Undecided

Durham Smythe

6-6

230

TE

Belton, Texas

Belton

Texas-*

Jesus Wilson

5-10

170

WR

Homestead, Fla.

Christopher Columbus

Undecided

Desmond Wyatt

5-11

170

WR

Austin, Texas

Westwood

Undecided

*-Verbal commitment

 

Greg Powers is a National Recruiting Analyst and responsible for the Midlands region. He has covered the National Championship, Big 12 Championship, U.S. Army Bowl, Under Armour Bowl and the International Bowl. He has appeared on FOX College Sports, FOX Sports Southwest and the NFL Network.
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