Posted: 3:30 pm Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
By Jeff Greer
Who is coaching Team Micro G in the upcoming Under Armour All-American football all-star game, Ditka or God?
Trick question: Ditka is God.
Jokes aside, Ditka and former 49ers and Lions coach Steve Mariucci will match wits as opposing head coaches at the 2011 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Jan. 5. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ESPN will broadcast the game live.
Ditka will coach the white team (Team Micro G) and Mariucci will coach the red team (Team Click Clack). According to an Under Armour release, both coaching staffs will feature former NFL coaches. Deion Sanders and Keyshawn Johnson have already agreed to be assistants.
“I cannot be more excited about coaching these kids and being a part of this game,” Ditka said in the release. “Coaching is my blood. It is what I do and what I love. Under Armour and ESPN bring out the best high school kids in the country and I can’t wait to help make them the best NFL players in the country.”
Ditka is one of only two people to win a Super Bowl as a player, assistant coach and a head coach. (TRIVIA: Can you name the other person to accomplish this feat? Answer is below.) Ditka’s a two-time AP NFL Coach of the Year (1985 and 1988), and he’s an analyst for ESPN.
Mariucci coached the 49ers from 1997 to 2002, then led the Lions from 2003-05. He went 72-67 over those years, and was the coach in San Francisco during the Terrell Owens Years. He’s an analyst for the NFL Network.
This is the fourth annual Under Armour All-America game. The players will also participate in several activities surrounding the game, including daily practice sessions that will be televised live on ESPNU on Jan. 2 from 3-6 p.m. and from 4-7 p.m. on Jan. 3. The Under Armour All-America Skills Challenge will air at 9 p.m. on Jan. 4 on ESPN2.
Treausre Coast defensive back Keelin Smith and Fort Pierce Central defensive end Giorgio Newberry — both verbally committed to play for Florida State — will play in the game. Several other big-name prospects will participate in the game, including Florida commit Jeff Driskel. Nineteen Floridians will represent the Sunshine State in the all-star contest.
(Trivia answer: former Raiders quarterback and coach Tom Flores)