Tumwater, Wash. — The Seattle Seahawks and UnitedHeathcare presented legendary Washington high school football coach Sid Otton and the football program at Tumwater High School with 28 new helmets for students that the school will use this upcoming season.
The presentation came last week in respect to Otton, who received 2016 Coach of the Week honors last fall and the 2016 Coach of the Year award after finishing his final season on the sidelines as the winningest football coach in Washington state history. United Healthcare sponsored the 2016 Coach of the Week and Coach of the Year awards.
The 28 helmets are a combination of the Riddell SpeedFlex and Riddell Speed helmets. The SpeedFlex helmet is one of fastest growing designs in football and is designed to disperse energy and reduce the risk of head trauma.
"To be able to purchase 28 new state of the art helmets, I think was a great parting gift for coach Otton, even though his legacy is already something that can never be surpassed," said Seahawks Director of Youth Football & Alumni Programs Paul Johns, who aided in the presentation alongside UnitedHealthcare CEO Claire Verity. "But this right here is just one extra cherry on top … that was a great gift."
Verity added: "We've always felt pretty passionate about involving ourselves in the community and the Seahawks have been a terrific partner, helping UnitedHealthcare to socialize the health and wellness agenda that we're focused on across the state of Washington."
New Tumwater head coach Bill Beattie, who once played under Otton, said the following about the new helmets being added to the program: "Anytime in these budget conscience times we can receive a gift like this makes a tremendous difference in a program. They are the best helmets out there for protection and this allows us to use some money to upgrade other pieces of equipment to make an even safer environment for our players.
"The equipment that players are wearing now is so much improved in the area of preventing injuries and the overall safety of players. There is no question that along with the teaching of the game and new equipment such as these helmets that the game has become so much safer and that is always the goal of football coaches."
The Tumwater High School football program was presented with a set of concussion-tested helmets on Tuesday, May 30 as part of the Seattle Seahawks' and United HealthCare's High School Coach of the Year campaign which last December recognized Tumwater's Sid Otton, the winningest football coach in Washington state history.