The Academy has strong links with football programmes and organisations worldwide. We have a number of 'guest' coaches that visit the UK to Coach for The Academy and bring 'next level' expertise to both participants and our regular coaches.
Coach David Needs
Coach David Needs, also a member of The Academy's Steering Committee, has spent the last 45 years coaching football at the high school, collegiate, and semi-professional level. Originally from the high school football hotbed of Western Pennsylvania, Coach Needs had a shortened college career at Muskingum College in Ohio. After a devastating knee injury, Needs transferred to Youngstown State University [near his home] so he could be a volunteer high school football at his Alma Mater, Midland High School. Needs started his teaching and coaching career at Midland High School two years later.
By the mid 70s, after a brief stint as a professional educator with the American Red Cross, Coach Needs joined the coaching staff at West Chester University in Eastern Pennsylvania. Needs would coach defense for the Golden Rams until 1979, when he took the Head High School Football position at Mount Pleasant High school in Wilmington, Delaware.
Coach Needs still holds the title of winningest coach in Mount Pleasant football history where he also won a State Championship. After 8 years Dave Needs moved on to Wesley College as Offensive Coordinator. Needs followed his time at Wesley by coaching Quarterbacks at West Chester State University in the Spring of 1988.
In 1995, Coach Needs returned to the sidelines as a Head Football Coach at Caravel Academy in Bear, DE. For the second time in his career, Coach Needs took a high school football program that had a major losing streak and turned the program around in short order. Caravel appeared in the Delaware State Football playoffs several times in Coach Needs 7 seasons.
Following his time at Caravel, Needs spent two summers at Carson-Newman College assisting the Eagles coaching staff with preparing the Eagles Football team for the coming Fall campaign. In 2005 and 2006, Coach Needs coached the defensive line of the New Castle Saints [semi-pro] of the Diamond League of the Mid-Atlantic region.
Coach Needs successful turn-around of the Mount Pleasant Football Program in the early 80s is chronicled in the 2009 AFCA Summer Manual and is entitled; THE LEGACY OF CHARACTER. He is now the Head Coach of the Red Lion Christian Academy in Deleware.
Coach Dom Bonvetti
Coach Dom Bonvetti (known as Coach Bono) has coached at both the High School and College level for American football and baseball.
American Football: Dom Bonvetti was head coach at Red Lion Academy High School. Coach Bonvetti implemented both a run option offensive strategy and passing offensive strategy to discourage opponents from installing defenses that placed eight men in the box. Also, Dom Bonvetti has been Coach Needs' assistant coach from 1986 - 2002. As an assistant with Coach Needs, he was given many responsibilities - assistant head football coach, co-offensive coordinator, offensive line coach, quarterback coach, A-backs and wide receivers coach. Throughout these years the offense of choice has been run option.
Baseball: Dom Bonvetti was scouted by the Philadelphia Phillies and had major league try-outs with the Pirates and the Orioles; all professional baseball organizations. Dom Bonvetti was an outstanding left-handed pitcher while playing. Coach Bonvetti was the pitching coach at Wilmington University, formerly Wilmington College. During his tenure at Wilmington College the baseball team saw itself in the NAIA World Series. The team record that year was 41 wins with 19 losses. The pitching staff was nationally ranked among all college pitching staff ERA's 3.08. Coach Bonvetti currently gives private pitching lessons to many young athletes in the area.
Dom Bonvetti has three daughters and twelve grand-children, all who live in his immediate area. Dom Bonvetti and his wife Patty have lived in the Wilmington, Delaware area all of there lives. He is now the Athletic Director and Red Lion Christian Academy in Deleware.
Matt played for the Division 1 college The University of Tennessee (Chattanooga) as a wide reciever and was a member of Newark High School's State Championship team for three consecutive years. The Yellow Jackets went undefeated at 12-0 in his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons.
Matt now works for YMCA in Delaware in Strength and Conditioning and will be visiting The Academy with Coach David Needs and Coach Dom Bonvetti in February 2014.