At Gridiron Football, we're defined by our community.
Our commissioners, coaches, parents and players are at the core of who we are and drive everything we do. Their passion for the game of football, and dedication to those who play it, inspire us daily. And we know they'll inspire you, too.
So we're excited to launch a new series on the blog entitled "Stories from the Gridiron". We can't wait to introduce you to the amazing people that make up this community. And here's our first interview!
Meet Cory Dunn. He’s an accomplished mobile app developer, music and event photographer, guitarist, husband and father to 3 incredible kids. He’s also a Gridiron coach. In today’s blog post, he shares why he became a coach, the funniest moments from the field, and answers the age old question, “Can you throw a pigskin a quarter mile?”
The amazing photos in this post are his.
My name is Cory Dunn and I am currently coaching 4th and 6th grade teams for the Gridiron league in Eagle Mountain, Utah. This is my second season coaching and will be continuing to coach for as long as my kids keep playing. I have plans to coach 1st, 4th and 6th grade teams in the upcoming Spring '23 season.
Why is flag football better than any other sport?
I wanted my kids to play flag football as it is a great way to introduce them to the game without all the complexity, costs and risks that come with playing tackle football. Gridiron flag football offered my boys a chance to learn and understand the game without fear and just see if it was something that they enjoy.
What’s your “why” (of coaching flag football)?
My "why" when it comes to coaching is to help these kids discover the game that I love so much and help them discover their talents and passions for the game. One of the best things about football is that there is a place for everyone. Not every person is meant to be a quarterback, a running back or wide receiver. Some kids believe they can't play because they may not be as fast or great at throwing a ball, but I love watching the moments where they discover a position that works perfectly for their skill set. I love getting to be there for the moment that the lightbulb turns on and their passion for the game takes off.
What was your biggest learning when you first started coaching flag football?
One of the biggest (and toughest) things to learn when it comes to teaching these kids is that they are all competitors in varying levels with different personalities, emotions and goals when it comes to the game. Part of being a successful coach is being able to balance those things and relate to the kids on a personal level while still trying to develop the best team you can.
Kids say the darndest things… What's the funniest moment you’ve had as a coach?
There have been so many funny moments during the couple seasons I have coached thus far. Miscues that lead to unexpected results and the faces on the kids when they catch a bobbled ball or do something they never thought possible. Being a photographer I also get to capture some of the faces that these kids make during games and I always enjoy sharing those moments with the players and their parents.
You’re down by 7 with 10 seconds to go. What’s your go-to flag football play?
I don't want to give away my secrets here, but it definitely would depend on some other factors in the game. I have a few trick plays in my book that I love to pull out in those key moments.
What’s one thing you hope your kids (and the kids on your teams) take away from this season?
I hope that every kid that plays for me comes away from the season feeling a sense of accomplishment for what they were able to do as part of our team and that they take away a passion and enjoyment for the game. Every kid on my teams contribute and I try to call out even the smallest of victories for every one of them.
What’s your favorite flag football picture you’ve taken, and why?
Oh man, this is a tough question. I have taken so many photos that I have enjoyed. A few that always stick out to me are when a boy named Dallas got his first touchdown, a boy named Luca was dancing in the field one game and I caught that moment, a photo of my youngest son Christian running the ball through a crowd with the most football face you can think of...just so many good memories. I love taking photos of the game just as much as coaching and when I can share those moments with the kids and their parents it's priceless. We all have smartphones these days but taking out my professional equipment (the same stuff that people shoot NFL games with) and capturing those in game action shots for these kids is something I hope they all cherish. I have even had coaches thank me for the photos because in the heat of a game they don't get to appreciate all those small moments, but afterwards they can look back at the photos and enjoy.
Napoleon Dynamite was filmed in and around your state… So we have to ask, can you throw a pigskin a quarter mile?
I can throw it over that mountain.
What would you say to a parent considering becoming a Gridiron Football coach?
For any parent considering coaching in the Gridiron league I would say, "Do it!" It is so much fun and worth every minute.
Interested in becoming a coach or registering your kid with your local league? Visit our League Finder today to find a team near you!
And special thanks to Cory Dunn for sharing his story from the Gridiron.
Connect with Cory through the following links: