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ATAVUS Signs Football Partners in Rugby-Football Tackle Program

Int'l News

ATAVUS Signs Football Partners in Rugby-Football Tackle Program

Rex Norris of ATVUS Football works with players from Bellevue HS in the Seattle area.

SEATTLE – Launched in 2015 to improve the efficiency and safety of the tackle, ATAVUS Football today announced the Pac 12’s Washington Huskies and the defending national champions Ohio State University Buckeyes are its first collegiate program partners.

Working onsite and through remote assessment with coaches from each school, ATAVUS is developing specific Tackle Plans for the Buckeyes and Huskies comprised of five core drill types; periodization across off-season, pre-season and in-season; sequencing of and time allotments for the drill types; and analysis of teams' tackling programs over time. Along with these leading NCAA Division I programs, ATAVUS also announces its partnership with the Lakeside (WA) High School and the Bellevue (WA) Junior Wolverine Football teams.

“As Football evolves with bigger, faster and stronger athletes, plays happen more quickly and create a larger tackle area for coaches to address,” said Rex Norris, Head of Football for ATAVUS. “Coach Ash at Ohio State and Coach Choate at UW are leaders who understand that we as coaches must get our plans and practices right for our players to be more efficient, more effective, and safer on the field.”

In today’s faster game, Football players need to problem solve and think on the field in a different manner than before. ATAVUS is using Rugby principles to create a new culture around tackling, giving athletes the confidence needed to react more instinctively to their surroundings. Rugby’s distributed leadership model, which requires virtually every player to think and make split-second decisions, is appealing to coaches as Football evolves.

“There is a great deal of expertise in the ATAVUS program that is helping our players to take the strides they need to compete at the highest level in the Pac 12,” said Jeff Choate, Defensive Line Coach and Special Teams Coordinator for the University of Washington Huskies. “The Tackle Plans that Rex and his team build are very detail oriented, allowing us to focus on player safety and become a more efficient defensive Football team.”

“The tackling philosophy and concepts that Rex and his team at ATAVUS are teaching have already made us a better tackling team,” said Chris Ash, Co-Defensive Coordinator for the Ohio State University Buckeyes. “Their program is backed by years of research and data on how to tackle, make decisions, how to track, and how to analyze our tackling. I'm sure the ATAVUS program will offer significant long term benefits for our game.”

To support the ongoing growth of its Football program, ATAVUS recently formed a Technical Advisory Board comprised of Damon Huard, 12-year NFL veteran and two-time Super Bowl Champion; Chris Ash, Co-Defensive Coordinator for national champion Ohio State University Buckeyes; Jeff Choate, Defensive Line Coach and Special Teams Coordinator for the University of Washington Huskies; and Tom Ingles, a 38-year veteran of high school coaching, including three Washington State Football championships. 

Collegiate, high school and youth football coaches interested in learning more can visit atavus.com/football and fill out the inquiry form to hear back from an ATAVUS coach with more details.