Aight, in Saban style we're gonna make this real simple for you. Follow our lead and you'll have an outstanding experience, fun with your boys, learn some stuff, be inspired and deepen your love for the profession. Here we go men....
Saturday - If you get in on Saturday you are free to have some fun. Charlotte is a fun town. Go do it.
Sunday - Register (in the exhibit hall). Spend time in the exhibit hall. No really, spend time in the exhibit hall. There are great people in there with really cool stuff. Give them some of your time and we promise you'll see something that benefits you.
New this year, the AFCA took a page from the Basketball conventions and put a "skills & drills" field in the exhibit hall. Take a look.
High school coaches academy begins at 2. [Panel with Dave Doeren & others begins at 4 as part of the high school meeting.]
Clay Helton speaks at 5pm. Should be a good first true taste of the convention. Make this one.
From 6 to 7 and 7 to 8 there are two different buzz session opportunities. 10 or so speakers each time. X&O stuff. Dig in and enjoy. A couple of recommended speakers: 7pm - Matt Entz - Justin Stepp - Chris Marve. 8pm - Herb Hand - Mo Linguist - Andrew Sowder - Gunter "I teach Freaks" Brewer. But many, many of the speakers are outstanding. Find those who are teaching what you want to learn.
Sunday night - Get out and visit with friends. Keep in mind Monday is a long day & night....
Monday - Let's do this. If you didn't make it Sunday, register in the exhibit hall.
9am - Grad Assistant Forum (with James Franklin, Willie Fritz, Mike London & Dan Carrel). This is always fun & entertaining; but the room is never big enough. Arrive early.
Lunch - AFCA hosts an Honors Luncheon which is a ticketed event. If you don't make that, this is your best shot to grab a fun lunch with your staff, friends or both. Invite others to join you. Build relationships.
1:30 - 5pm - General session: Todd Berry kicks things off, followed by Bronco Mendehnall, Jen Welter (1st female NFL assistant), Jenks HS (OK) HC Allan Trimble and Mike Norvell. Huge room. Thousands of coaches listening. Each talk is usually about 40 minutes.
5pm - FootballScoop Coaches (& family) party - Buffalo Wild Wings right next door to the convention center. Beverages are on us (& thank goodness these amazing sponsors - AstroTurf, SkyCoach, RiseScience & JumpForward). We all have been blessed to have been part of another highly successful year in the profession. Let's all get together to celebrate.
After that FootballScoop party gets roaring, good time to head out for a quick staff dinner before the Natty (see below)....
6:30 or anytime for the game - AFCA Tailgate party - Convention Center Richardson Ballroom - Room is open to all AFCA attendees. Free food. Two complimentary beverages per attendee.
The Natty (Alabama/Georgia) is scheduled to kick at 8:17.
Tuesday - Alert. Alert. For you guys familiar with the convention, this is all new...
8:30 - noon are the speakers this year. Rachel Baribeau kicks things off. Then, AFCA has brought in Jon Gordon & Brian Knight (whose videos & thoughts we frequently share on this site) to begin the morning & get your minds right, then Jeff Monken and Gus Malzahn will coach you up.
Lunch - Get caught back up on The Scoop - Eat something with friends. Reminisce about that great football game last night.
Decent shot, depending on where you eat, you'll see Kirby or Nick walk through holding that Crystal Ball (ok, that part isn't going to happen; but whatever).
This year the AFCA will host 3 separate breakout sessions 2-3 pm and 3-4 pm. Pick one and enjoy if that is your thing, if not, go spend some time with your staff or friends walking the exhibit hall. Trust us. Great stuff (and people) in there. [Follow @FootballScoop for some good recommendations.]
4pm - Featured speaker - Bob Stoops - One hour of informal discussion and Q&A with Bob in the Richardson Ballroom.
5-8pm Go do your thang. Get that job. If you already have that job, spend some time mentoring someone. Reconnect with old friends.
Legend has it...and by that we mean they are off book; but you can find them...that some of the best unofficial chalk talks / buzz sessions / relationship building opportunities go down about this time. Get together with some guys and talk ball.
8pm is the AFCA Coaches Awards show. Broadcast live on Facebook this year. Fun event, open to all attendees. Crown ballroom.
Shut. It. Down.
Wednesday - Bout time to go'cruitin.
FBS head coaches meeting most of the morning.
For those not of that rank, chalk talks begin at 8am and run through 11.
Get on home and spend some family time before you go huntin...
Good luck men. See you in Charlotte.