This past June, Sleepy Hollow High School hired new football coach Jerry Flora to help rebuild its program. Since his start, not only has Flora dedicated his time and effort to help the Sleepy Hollow football program grow, but he has also assisted students around the country in the collegiate sport recruiting process.
Flora’s transition to Sleepy Hollow High School has been unique. He had never worked as a high school football coach before, but he has recruited from high school for over 20 years; a skill that only makes Flora’s coaching more valuable. Flora explained that football in high school is much different than football in college. You do not have as many funds, time and players at the high school level compared to collegiate. But, despite the differences, Flora treats his high school team as if they are competing at the collegiate level.
Flora said, “We practice at a college tempo. We film our practices, grade our practices. We hold kids accountable. All I know is college, so that is how we do things.”
Being only hired for less than a year did not give Flora much time to transition his team into this new tempo of playing. The team, which finished 2-7 this past season, is, according to Flora, about halfway there in the rebuilding process.
“We had less than four weeks to turn things around,” Flora explained.
Flora is not only focusing on making Sleepy Hollow High School the great football school that it once was back in the mid/late 1900s, but he is also determined to expose his players to colleges across the country. In December he ran a college fair where 75 kids from the section came and met representatives from different colleges. This upcoming May Flora will be hosting a football showcase at Sleepy Hollow High School to give kids the opportunity to see what college football is all about, but more importantly that it is accessible to them.
Flora continues to help kids understand and reach collegiate sports through his side business where he helps players across the country make their college dreams come true. To do this successfully, Flora is always moving. Always doing something to help his clients gain exposure or skills. Case and point, as I spoke to Flora, he was sitting in his car at a Recreational facility in Garden City, NY. He had just worked with his friend’s son for an hour on the football field to give him an honest evaluation of his playing skills.
Through his business, Flora has helped kids go to Ivy Leagues, Division II prep schools, NESCACs, Division III schools, the Naval Academy, the list can go on and on. Flora has a plethora of connections from his coaching days at Iona College and William Patterson. He helps athletes get a fair shot at playing at an advanced level.
“I help educate them. I think one of the biggest issues nowadays is the education piece of how the process works. The process now is different than ever before because of Covid,” Flora said.
Flora understands this process at the highest level, and his clients are drawn to his business because of how many people he knows. He can call a playing camp and make sure his kids are given a fair shot. And at the end of the day, Flora just wants his kids to be happy. He wants them to truly love where they are going to college whether it is for a sport or not. For him, making money is just a bonus. Flora is determined to make Sleepy Hollow High School a place where playing college football is a possibility and option for those who want it.
If you, your family member, or friend is interested in playing sports at the collegiate level check out Jerry Flora’s business for a fair evaluation and mentorship. Find him on Twitter @JerryFlora1 and his website JerryFlorainc.com.