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American Football Academy Coaches

American Football Academy Coaches


The American Football Academy is led by three of the country’s best in Head Coach Benjamin Herod and Assistant Coaches Daniel Maher and Anthony Fitzpatrick.


Benjamin Herod, Head Coach


– 2011/12 European All Star Head Coach FBU
– 2017 Director of International Player Development, Pro Football Hall of Fame Academy
– 2010 European DODEA Div 1 North Champions
– 2012 European DODEA Div 1 North Runners up
– 2005 BAFCA Junior Kitted Coach of the Year
– 2006 BAFA Junior English Conference Champions (National Runners Up)
– 2006 England v Scotland Junior Bowl Champions
– 2010 BAFA Junior National Champions
– 2004-2012 BAFA National Playoffs every year
– 2005 Team England Junior Receivers Coach
– Hudl Certified
– Safeguard UK certified
– BAFCA Level Two Coach
– SPARQ certified
– First Aid qualified
– 2012 Sports Academy of the Year


Coach Herod has been coaching junior football in some capacity since 1997 and has been the Head Coach of the Bristol Academy PRIDE since its inception in 2008.


Since that time, he has helped his charges defeat American High School sides in Europe including Lakenheath, Weisbaden, Ramstein, Heidelberg and Kaiserslautern and won the Division 1 North title of Europe in 2010. He has also twice made the Division1 European semi-finals, before losing to the eventual European champions on both occasions.


Coach Ben has helped our American Football Academy at SGS defeat the national sides of Great Britain, Holland and France and remarkably has remained unbeaten against university teams across Britain including  Premiership play-off teams of Bath, Swansea and Loughborough as well as Cardiff, Bournemouth, Bristol and the University of West England. Most recently, the PRIDE gave Selwyn House of Canada their only loss on their 2017 British tour.


Additionally, as Head Coach of Team Europe with FBU, Coach Ben helped the team to victory against Mexico at the Alamo Dome in Texas.


Coach Ben has played an integral part in the development of over 30 future NCAA Scholars and 20 JUCO and High school student athletes. More than 100 of his former players have gone on to earn international recognition with many selected as team captains.


In successive years, three of his players won ‘Male Student Athlete of the Year’ at SGS College, which demonstrates the emphasis he places on excellence both on the football field and in the classroom.


Coach Ben Herod also works with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Academy based out of Canton, Ohio, in his role as Director of International Player Development. This is a key position in helping to identify and develop the best junior European talent for American High School and College programmes.


Daniel Maher, Assistant Coach


– 2011 Scholarship as a Running Back to Illinois College NCAA
– 2017 European Scout, Pro Football Hall of Fame
– 2009/10 Bristol Academy PRIDE student athlete
– 2015/16 Great Britain Juniors Assistant RB Coach
– 2011/12 FBU All Europe Assistant RB Coach
– 2015-present UWE Bullets Head Coach
– Safeguard UK certified
– Hudl Certified
– First Aid Qualified
– Pitch Side First Aid certified


Coach Daniel Maher has been a significant component of the PRIDE Academy’s success since his arrival to the coaching staff in 2012.


His role in coaching both the team’s offense and special teams has been particularly valuable and he has mentored some of the UK’s finest running backs, two of whom went on to play for Prep schools in the USA.


He is a great example to all our PRIDE Academy students at SGS College as he followed his dream to play in the USA by competing as a running back in the NCAA for Illinois College.


During his playing career, Coach Maher helped the Aztecs Juniors claim a National Title in 2010 and was part of the PRIDE Academy side that defeated Great Britain. In addition, while playing for the Great Britain Under-19 side, he memorably caught the game-winning interception in a qualifier win over Holland.


As a coach, his reputation has grown and he is now recognised as one of the finest offensive play-callers both in Britain and Europe and his instruction has been incisive in helping the PRIDE to international victories over Holland and France in recent times. Also as Head Coach of UWE, he took the Bullets to the play-offs in his first year.


Coach Maher also works with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Academy based in Canton, Ohio as a European Scout for their player development camps throughout Europe and in the USA.

Anthony Fitzpatrick, Offensive Line Coach


– Great Britain Adult Offensive Line Coach
– National Champion with London Blitz
– European Cup Finalists with London Blitz
– BUCS National Champions with Hertfordshire Hurricanes as both player and coach

Coach Fitzpatrick is new with the coaching staff at the PRIDE, starting September 2017. He has had an instant impact with the offensive line bringing with him a wealth of experience at every level of the European game. He has coached with the Great Britain mens team against some of the top Nations in Europe and competed in the best club competition in Europe with the London Blitz. Fitzpatrick started coaching with Hertfordshire Hurricanes returning to the University to win a second title (this one as a coach).

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