Two coaching legends will face off in the newest bowl game to feature the best collegiate football players. Dick Vermeil and Tom Flores will coach the two teams of all-stars in the AstroTurf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on January 21st in Los Angeles at The Home Depot Center.
Vermeil, who has the distinction of being named Coach of the Year at four levels including high school, junior college, NCAA Division I, and professional football, will participate in the game.
Vermeil became the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976 after being the first special teams coach in NFL history for the LA Rams and then head coach for UCLA. Vermeil then spent 15 years as a sportscaster. He returned to coaching in 1997 with the St. Louis Rams and won Super Bowl XXXIV in 1999. He retired the following year, but returned to coaching with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2001, where he stayed until 2006.
Flores played from 1960-1969 with the Raiders, Bills, and Chiefs. After serving as an assistant coach with Buffalo and Oakland, he became the Raiders head coach in 1979 after John Madden retired. He coached the Raiders from 1979-1987 and the Seattle Seahawks from 1992-1994. Flores was the first Hispanic player to play in a Super Bowl and the first minority head coach to win a Super Bowl. Flores won Super Bowl XV and Super Bowl XVIII as a head coach.
This is not the first time the two coaching legends have squared off. Most notably, the Raiders, coached by Flores, defeated the Eagles, coach by Vermeil in Super Bowl XV in 1980.
Standout players and coaches, both active and former, will come together from the top professional and collegiate ranks to help 100 draft-eligible players showcase their talent on the NBC Sports Network and in front of 25,000 fans and scouts.
The AstroTurf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl will be more than just an all-star game for participants as the week-long educational experience will provide them with valuable information on how to succeed both on and off the field.
The Home Depot Center has hosted some of the finest competitions in international athletics, where AstroTurf will unveil an innovative field.
The field surface is the all new AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D60 Extreme. The field combines a monofilament Horseshoe fiber with a slit film product. The Horseshoe fiber has an Omega-shape, which is more resilient and bounces back, staying upright longer. It also reflects less light and heat. The slit film offers the ultimate in durability. The field also has a face weight of 60 ounces of fiber per square yard, the highest in the industry. This adds to the durability provided by the fiber shape.
In extensive testing, AstroTurf GameDay Grass systems perform most like natural grass from ball roll, to slide resistance, to the biomechanical function of cleats penetrating and releasing properly. A study at Michigan State University, funded by NFL Charities, found that AstroTurf GameDay Grass systems looked and performed more like natural grass than any other synthetic product measured, also making it the safest option.
The field features AstroFlect heat reduction technology, which can lower surface temperatures by as much as 18%.
The field also has RootZone, a thatch layer which holds the sand and rubber infill in place for less splash and migration, making for a more consistent playing surface.
The field rests atop an all new AstroBase system, 15,000 interlocking panels which will provide stability for the field, allow for better drainage, and decrease installation time.
Easy Grass LLC, Florida’s fastest growing provider of sythetic turf systems for sports and landscape, serves as the Astro Turf distributor for South Florida and the Caribbean.
For athletes and sport enthusiasts, AstroTurf has redefined the way the game is played. The company offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies, leveraging the industry’s first vertically integrated manufacturing system. A growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit www.easygrass.net or www.astroturfusa.com.