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Head Coach Bill Kramer elected to the
Florida Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame
Bill Kramer was named to the 40th class of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. It was only the second time it was earned by a coach from Collier County. The move, announced in a FACA news release, solidifies Kramer’s status among the area’s most well-respected coaches.
Kramer, who coached the Naples football team to its fifth straight district championship last fall, joins former fellow Golden Eagles softball coach Robert Iamurri as the lone Collier County coaches to receive the honor from the FACA, which voted on this year’s Hall of Fame inductees at the Board of Directors meeting on June 24.
Joining Coach Kramer in the seven-man class were Jim Belin from Port St. Joe, Mark Feely from Tallahassee-Leon, Greg Jones from Tallahassee-Chiles, Jeff McClean from Merritt Island, Rob Shafer from Lake Wales, and the late Jeff Sommer from Estero. A minimum of 20 years coaching experience or FACA participation is required for Hall of Fame consideration. Voting criteria is based on coaching records, championships and FACA service.
Kramer has led Naples to the state playoffs all but two seasons since he took over the program in 1998. He’s the only sitting football coach in Southwest Florida who has won two state championships.
In a phone interview, Kramer said it felt “surreal” to be in the hall among local legends he looked up to as a young coach, like Joe Hampton, who coached at Estero and was inducted as a South Fort Myers High School coach, and Sam Sirianni Sr., the late Fort Myers High School football coaching legend.
“Every player, every coach, the administrators – everybody gave me a chance to be successful and made me better than I would have been,” Kramer said. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for Jan. 9 at the Daytona Beach Hilton Oceanfront Resort.
Naples takes early lead but falls late to American Heritage Delray 20-14
In a marquee matchup between two teams with high hopes of a deep playoff run, American Heritage scored late to hand the Eagles a bittersweet loss to start the season. Naples scored early after Carlin Fils-Aime blocked a Stallion punt and punched it in 3 plays later. American Heritage would score to start the second quarter and the game remained tied until there was just 4:10 left in the game.
In the loss, the Golden Eagles learned that they could hang with one of the best teams in the state. Now they will work on taking the next step.