Former Detroit Lions cornerback Bruce McNorton is one of more than 75 NFL alumni who conduct free football camps around this time each year in their local communities.
McNorton conducted his 25th annual camp last week. He began the tradition in Detroit a quarter-century ago but has hosted his get-together the last 18 years in Daytona Beach.
“I’ve been blessed to be able to do this,” the 63-year-old McNorton said at the start of his camp in Daytona Beach (FL) Municipal Stadium. “I know as a kid that I would have loved to have gone to a free football clinic. This is my motivation for having it. It seems to get better each and every year and the kids appear to be getting something out of it.”
The NFL Foundation provides Youth Football Camp Grants up to $2,000 each to NFL alumni and active players who hold free, non-contact camps and clinics. The list of Foundation grant recipients is impressive and includes familiar names such as Larry Fitzgerald, Matt Light, Isaac Bruce, Roddy White and the Pouncey twins, Mike and Maurkice.
Bruce McNorton’s son-in-law Calvin (Megatron) Johnson is among the list of instructors at his camp along with other NFL alumni, local prep and Pop Warner coaches.
“The coaches are always coming up with new ideas,” says McNorton, who was an outstanding Lions defensive starter for nine seasons (1982-90). “The coaches add aspects they’ve seen at other camps and clinics. We normally have the same crew of former players who come to teach. The guys are very loyal.”
We at NFL Alumni appreciate the NFL Foundation grants and applaud all our members who are helping to teach our great sport to youngsters around the country. Many of you experienced your first taste of football at similar camps years ago and this is an excellent way for us to give back to our fans and their families.