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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 Season ends after trip to final four
The Golden Eagles faced the #1 ranked team in Florida for a trip to the state finals but came up short, falling to the Miami Central Rockets 41-21. Naples was once again the class of Southwest Florida, but was unable to match the size and speed of the Rockets for 4 quarters. While disappointing by Golden Eagle standards, the bar has been set high by a team that has been in the playoffs 15 of the last 17 years and remains the only area school with two state championships. We are blessed by the teaching, mentoring, and leadership of the coaching staff, the support of the Naples High administration, tremendous fan support, and of course, the players themselves, on and off the field.
To read about the game, you can visit the Naples Herald for more of their excellent coverage.