Youth Football Coach

Lake Wales resident Richard Deloach smiles as Lake Wales Deputy Mayor Robin Gibson reads a proclamation making June 4, 2019, “Richard Deloach Recognition Day.”

LAKE WALES – Longtime Mid Florida Youth Football & Cheerleading Conference coach Richard Deloach was honored June 4 by the Lake Wales City Commission for his 35 years of experience working with local children.

Deloach founded the Youth Football League in 1984 and went on to help start up one of the first MFFCC youth football teams, the Lake Wales Steelers. Since then, Deloach has helped lead that team to 14 MFFCC Super Bowl appearances, winning 11.

Deloach wore a proud smile as Lake Wales Deputy Mayor Robin Gibson proclaimed June 4, 2019, as “Richard Deloach Recognition Day.”

Deloach’s mother, Ester Alexander, will be 86 in November but managed to drive from Winter Haven to Lake Wales to witness the proclamation.

“When I see my mom out (at) this time of night, in another city, something special is going on,” Deloach said. “I’m humbled by this and certainly appreciate it. It’s nice to be recognized.”

Deloach thanked his wife, Diane, and his children for sacrificing lots of time on Saturdays over the years. The MFFCC football season normally starts in early August, ending with the league’s Super Bowl -- usually in November.

Haines City Commissioner Horace West is the president of MFFCC’s youth football operation.

“Richard is one of the greatest football minds in the state of Florida,” West said. “This recognition is long overdue.”

West said Deloach was inducted as an inaugural member of the MFFCC Hall of Fame in December.

The MFFCC has teams in Winter Haven, Lake Wales, Haines City, Dundee, Lake Alfred and several other cities. West said the MFFCC is the largest youth football league in the southeastern United States.

Contact Charles A. Baker III at cbaker@d-r.media.

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