The Minnesota Football Coaches Association, in partnership with the Minnesota State High School League, and support from the Minnesota Vikings, is hosting the inaugural Minnesota Football Summit on Saturday, May 5, at Mounds View High School.

The primary purpose of the Summit is to gather leaders in Minnesota football at the youth and high school levels to develop a plan for both short- and long-term action to benefit and enhance football programs across the state. During the Summit, those in attendance will be analyzing the challenges, as well as the opportunities, in football.

“Football, America's game, has never been safer or more needed in today's culture,” said Ron Stolski, Executive Director of the Minnesota Football Coaches Association. “The ‘Keepers of the Game Summit’ will enhance the game and educate coaches, program leaders and moms as to the essence of the experience that only ‘the huddle’ can give.’’’

The Summit is designed for high school coaches, and leaders in youth football programs throughout Minnesota. The goal is to have multiple attendees from football communities across the state. Bob Madison, the MSHSL Associate Director that oversees football, said “this is a great opportunity to have a statewide conversation on how football is positively impacting our communities.”

Former All-Pro center and Super Bowl champion Matt Birk, a prep standout at Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul, is one of the featured speakers. Birk, now an executive with the National Football League, will open the event by sharing his views on the many positive virtues and character traits that are taught through football.

Dr. Francis Shen of the University of Minnesota is another featured speaker. He will address how you can love your brain and the sport of football.

Planned breakout sessions include:

  • A mom’s panel that will share a mom’s perspective on football
  • A panel of coaches sharing best practices for increasing and maintaining participation levels
  • Safe blocking, tackling and practice techniques
  • Sharing ideas on the proper progression for participation – from flag football to Rookie Tackle or a modified game and final to full-tackle 11 vs. 11.
  • Results of a recent survey conducted of High School Head Coaches will be shared
  • All attendees will join in discussions during a round-table sessions where action steps are shared that can be implemented in their football communities.

The event begins at 9 a.m. and will conclude by 2:30 pm. A $20 registration fee includes morning refreshments, lunch, a t-shirt, notebook and clinic materials. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

All registration can be done online on the Minnesota Football Coaches Association website There you will find a link for the Minnesota Football Summit. Payment can be made online or the form can be downloaded and mailed.

“The Minnesota Football Summit will provide all schools; big and small; outstate and metro, insight and information regarding the benefits of football in their schools and communities,” said Scott Gonnerman, President of the Minnesota Football Coaches Association.