Top coaches on tap for Vail Valley summer football camp |

Top coaches on tap for Vail Valley summer football camp

Randy Wyrick
vail daily
Special to the Daily

Coach Tom Backhus is bringing back the area’s longest-running football camp this summer.

Backhus ran his summer football academy for two decades, bringing in some of the nation’s top college coaches. Backhus spent the first half of his career on the coaching staffs of some of the nation’s top football universities.

“It helped the valley and I think I can help the valley again,” Backhus said.

It’s a four-day, non-pad technique camp, Backhus said. It’s open to players in second through 12th grades. Players in grades two through five will go in the mornings; middle and high school kids will attend in the afternoons.

The camp will feature at least a dozen college football coaches from around the country. Tom Ehlers is Backhus’ co-director. Ehlers is the director of football operations at Colorado State University.

Although they’re still nailing down the price, Backhus says they’ll keep it affordable.

Coaches will break the game down into its pieces, and position coaches will help with individualized instruction. They’ll film everything, especially with the older kids, and they’ll have film sessions with the coaches.

Backhus played college football for Woody Hayes at Ohio State University, where played on a national championship team.

He started his coaching career on Hayes’ Ohio State staff, and continued coaching there when Earle Bruce took over as the head coach after Hayes retired.

Backhus followed Bruce to coach on the staffs at the University of Tampa and then Iowa State. Backhus left Bruce when he went to the University of Wisconsin.

Bill Parcells hired Backhus at the U.S. Air Force Academy to be the cadets’ offensive line coach.

When Parcells left and Ken Hatfield got the job, Backhus was promoted to offensive coordinator.

After the Air Force Academy Backhus coached at Notre Dame.

He landed in Vail after the Notre Dame stint. He started visiting the valley when he was with the Air Force Academy.

When he left coaching he moved up here full-time. Among other things, he and his wife Tess ran 4 Eagle Ranch in Wolcott.

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