IHSA News & Announcements Archive


IHSA To Co-Host Practice Like Pros Football Coaching Clinic On August 5

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Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka and Dartmouth Head Coach Buddy Teevens headline a Practice Like Pros football clinic, presented by Safe Kids Worldwide and Children’s MOTRIN®, that will demonstrate progressive practice techniques to Illinois high school football coaches, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 5, at the McDonald’s Conference Center, Oak Brook, Illinois (click here for map, clinic located at McDonalds logo with text "HU").

The IHSA will facilitate attendance at the free event, which has limited seating, with Illinois high school head coaches being given top priority. Other individuals (trainers, youth coaches, etc.) interested in attending should contact Matt Troha at the Illinois High School Association at for more information.

“Most people don’t realize that only 3% of all concussions in the NFL regular season happen on the practice field,” said Ditka.  “In high school football, that number is 60% to 75%.  We want to teach these high school coaches how to ‘practice like pros.’”

Practice Like Pros, a national movement endorsed by Ditka, Archie Manning, Warren Moon, Anthony Munoz, Tony Dorsett, Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Robert Cantu, among others, was founded in February, 2013, to advocate reduced contact on high school football practice fields.  In the 28 months since the founding of Practice Like Pros, 40 states have voted to restrict such contact.

Venue for the Oak Brook clinic is the 300-seat auditorium on the McDonald’s campus. Invitations to Illinois high school coaches, athletic directors, athletic trainers, principals/headmasters and other stakeholders are being issued by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), governing body of athletics in the state.  Admission is free; media is invited.

The Oak Brook clinic is the final stop on a 10-state Summer Tour for Practice Like Pros, which has included dates in Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Alabama, South Carolina, and Oklahoma. 

“We give thanks and high marks to Safe Kids Worldwide and Children’s MOTRIN®,” said Terry O’Neil, founder/CEO of Practice Like Pros, “and to Dr. Marty Hickman and Craig Anderson of the IHSA.  Their partnership on this tour recognizes an urgent need to reform high school football.  We will show coaches – not tell them, show them on video -- non-contact and limited-contact drills that have made top levels of the game safer than high school football.”

Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global nonprofit dedicated to protecting children from preventable injuries, said, “As new and important research becomes available in the area of concussions and the potentially devastating consequences, we now understand that we must be even more vigilant in not only recognizing and treating concussions but preventing them in the first place. Working together with the experts from Practice Like Pros and our partners at Children’s MOTRIN®, we can reduce the number of head hits during practice and games and keep players healthy and in the game.”    Practice Like Pros panelists appearing on the 10-state Summer Tour:


  • Cornelius Bennett, All-Pro LB, Buffalo Bills…appears in his native Alabama.
  • Mike Ditka, NFL Hall of Fame player/coach, Dallas Cowboys/Chicago Bears...appears in Illinois.
  • Tony Dorsett, NFL Hall of Fame RB, Dallas Cowboys….appears in Texas.
  • Maurice Jones-Drew, All-Pro RB, Jacksonville Jaguars…..appears in Oklahoma.
  • Leonard Marshall, All-Pro DL, New York Giants….appears in his native Louisiana.
  • Terry O’Neil, Founder/CEO, Practice Like Pros…..appears at all sites except North Carolina.
  • Rocky Seto, Assistant Head Coach, Seattle Seahawks, appears at each site on videotape.
  • Buddy Teevens, Head Coach, Dartmouth College….appears at multiple sites, including Florida, Texas and Illinois.
  • Aaron Whitecotton, Defensive Assistant Coach, Jacksonville Jaguars….appears in Florida, Alabama and North Carolina.Sam Wyche, formerHead Coach, Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Bucs…..appears in Kentucky, North Carolina and his native South Carolina.


Safe Kids Worldwide is a global organization dedicated to protecting kids from unintentional injuries, the number one cause of death to children in the United States and an epidemic around the world.  Throughout the world, almost one million children die of an injury each year, and millions more children are injured in ways that can affect them for a lifetime.  See

Practice Like Pros, endorsed by 24 progressive minds from football and medical science, is a national movement to advocate less contact on high school practice fields.  Its founder/CEO, Terry O’Neil, is a 16-time Emmy Award winner as executive producer of CBS Sports and NBC Sports, and former senior vice president of the New Orleans Saints.  See

Individuals interested in attending should contact Matt Troha at the Illinois High School Association at


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