Six American football teams from colleges and high schools in the United States will head across the Atlantic ocean to Europe this spring as Global Football leads the way in exporting the gridiron game internationally for a 19th consecutive year.
Since 1996 when Global Football President Patrick Steenberge first crossed borders, the Texas-based company has organized tours and events in 21 different countries on six continents and 2014 will feature seven more adventures of a lifetime for student athletes, coaches and families. In a landmark year for Global Football, 2014 will also feature rugby and soccer teams visiting Europe during the annual spring travel period from March through June.
Club and national teams from Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, and Spain will welcome their American visitors for a memorable mix of cultural exchanges, sightseeing and ultimately an opportunity to meet competitively on the field in some of Europe’s most picturesque settings.
“These truly are the life-enhancing and team building adventures for all who travel and this year we are delighted to extend the Global Football experience to rugby and soccer teams who are heading to Europe,” said Steenberge. “The opportunity to play against foreign opposition is unique and is the culmination of a great week of being immersed in a new and wonderful culture. Personally, I always look forward to these spring events.”
2014 Global Football Spring Tours
|March 22-30||Team Stars & Stripes all-star team||Barcelona, Spain||Global Bowl Spain vs.
Cataluña All-Star team
|March 21-30||Fenwick Friars (IL) HS Rugby||Dublin, Limerick
& Galway, Ireland
|Three games vs. local
School team opponents
|May 5-13||Siena Heights University (MI)
|Viterbo, Italy||Italian national team|
|May 5-13||Siena Heights University (MI)
|Sienna and Viterbo,
|Two games vs. local club
|May 15-26||Southwestern University (TX)||Stuttgart, Germany||Stuttgart Scorpions|
|May 15-23||John Carroll University (OH)||Athens, Greece
& Rome, Italy
|Rome area team|
|May 19-27||Claremont McKenna College (CA)||Prague, Czech Republic
& Vienna, Austria
|Charity Bowl vs.
Austrian national team
|June 2-10||Rose-Hulman (IN)||Barcelona, Spain||Cataluña All-Star team|
March 22-30: Team Stars & Stripes all-star team to Barcelona, Spain
The spring football travel season kicks off when a high school student-athlete all-star roster known as Team Stars & Stripes drawn from multiple states heads to Barcelona from March 22-30, to face a Cataluña All-Star team junior (19-and-under) team in Global Bowl Spain. Having traveled previously to Japan, Germany, France, Belgium and Italy, the seventh annual tour will see Bill Gallagher of Episcopal Academy in Pennsylvania take over the head-coaching role having served as a coordinator on previous visits to Europe.
Gallagher played in the same backfield as Global Football President Patrick Steenberge at the University of Notre Dame and has traveled with Global Football to France, Germany, Italy and Ireland. The majority of his coaching career has been spent in Philadelphia’s Inter Academic Athletic Association, the oldest schoolboy league in the country.
Gallagher will be assisted by Global Football veterans, longtime Cleveland high school coach John Storey of Villa Angela-St Joseph, Dean Greenberg from Mountain View High School, and John Florio, an assistant at Cardinal O’Hare in Philadelphia, as Team Stars & Stripes enjoys the sights of Barcelona and the Catalan region before taking on the Cataluña All-Star team.
March 21-30: Fenwick Friars (IL) High School Rugby to Dublin, Limerick & Galway in Ireland
From March 21-30 Global Football will produce its first rugby tour as Fenwick Friars High School from Oak Park, Illinois takes its team that reached the 2013 Illinois state championship over to Ireland to play three games against local school team opposition.
The founders of the Chicago Catholic Rugby Conference, who were unbeaten last season until losing in the season finale, will face teams in Dublin, Limerick and Galway. The developmental tour to aid the Friars in further establishing the sport at their school will include participating in coaching clinics with local club teams.
One of the Fenwick Friars coaches, Don McDermott, was a college football teammate of Patrick Steenberge before moving over to rugby at the University of Notre Dame, and the traveling squad will include some high school football players eager to learn the game. McDermott has been deeply involved in rugby ever since college, having served in various roles with USA Rugby and state organizations.
May 5-13: Siena Heights University (MI) football team to Viterbo, Italy
May 5-13: Siena Heights University (MI) women’s soccer team to Sienna and Viterbo, Italy
Global Football will combine a football tour with a women’s soccer event in Italy when Siena Heights University from Adrian, MI, travels to Sienna and Viterbo near Rome from May 5-13.
Football head coach Jim Lyall has traveled four times with Global Football when he was head coach at Adrian University from 1990 through 2009 before staring the football program at Siena Heights, posting an 8-1 record in his first season. His football team will face the Italian senior national team, which is coached by former University of Texas and Kansas City Chiefs head coach John Mackovic.
Before the Saints take on Italy’s finest, the Siena Heights women’s soccer team will face local club opposition in a unique double header in the second of two games being played on the tour to Rome.
May 15-26: Southwestern University (TX) to Stuttgart, Germany
Southwestern University head coach Joe Austin will return to Stuttgart, Germany, to lead his team against German Football League (GFL) team Stuttgart Scorpions, where he coached earlier in his career.
Austin started the football program at Southwestern, having previously traveled to Europe while head coach of Hanover College. He was charged with reinstating football at a school that had not competed in the sport for more than 62 years and has served as the Team Stars & Stripes Special Teams coach at the annual Global Football Tazón de Estrellas event since 2010.
The Scorpions were runners up in the 2007 German Bowl and reached the quarterfinals of the GFL playoffs in each of the five seasons that followed, missing out on the postseason for the first time in 2013.
May 15-23: John Carroll University (OH) to Athens, Greece & Rome, Italy
John Carroll University has traveled regularly from Cleveland around the world with Global Football and most recently opened the 2012 NCAA Division III season in Dublin as one of 12 teams that participated in the Global Ireland Football Tournament.
Head coach Tom Arth is also no stranger to Europe having played with the Scottish Claymores and Hamburg Sea Devils of NFL Europe in a playing career that saw him back up Brett Favre as a member of the Green Bay Packers and Peyton Manning with the Indianapolis Colts.
In his first year at the helm of the Blue Streaks, Arth posted an impressive 9-1 record in 2013 and takes his football roster to Italy to face a Rome area club team and then take in the sights of both the Italian capital Rome and also Athens, Greece.
May 19-27: Claremont McKenna College (CA) to Prague, Czech Republic & Vienna, Austria
The Austrian Charity Bowl is among the highlights of the European spring American football calendar and Claremont McKenna College from California will participate in the game as part of a visit to Austria and the Czech Republic.
The opposing Austrian national team is preparing to take part in the 2015 International Federation of American Football World Championship in Sweden, having hosted the event in 2011, when they finished seventh.
Claremont McKenna coach Kyle Sweeney has traveled previously to Italy with Global Football when he was an assistant coach with Illinois Wesleyan, and was a defensive coach for Team Stars & Stripes at the 2013 Tazón de Estrellas.
June 2-10: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (IN) to Spain
Under head coach Jeff Sokol, Rose-Hulman won its first championship since 1988, sharing the HCAC title with Franklin College by finishing 7-1 during the 2013 regular season.
The Fightin’ Engineers will head to Spain with Sokol, who has coached in the Global Football event the Tazón de Estrellas in Mexico with Team Stars & Stripes. They will enjoy the sights of Barcelona and the Catalan region before taking on a select Cataluña All-Star team of senior level players organized by former Barcelona Dragons coach Marcos Guirles.
Since 1996 Global Football has created and produced American football games and events in 21 different nations around the world and is in the process of organizing return tours in 2015. Global Football will hold events in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain and the United States in 2014, including the Global Ireland Football Tournament Friday Night Lights spectacular in Dublin. For more information regarding an opportunity to take part in GIFT 2014, contact Patrick Steenberge: Tel: 817-219-7274 / Email: Patrick@GlobalFootball.com