Fullbacks may not always be the focal point of an NFL team’s offense these days, but they can prove to be vital contributors to the team when necessary. Mike Alstott was an exception to this trend and had a fantastic 11-year career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Let’s take a look at what the A-Train has done during his time as a coach and reflect on his monumentally successful NFL career.
Mike Alstott’s HS Coaching Career
Former Bucs fullback Mike Alstott is in his seventh season as the head coach of Northside Christian, and he brought them to glory rather quickly.
Alstott was offered the role in 2012 but was initially hesitant to lead the team, so he settled for an offensive coordinator position. At the insistence of his son, Griffin, Alstott took the Mustangs up on their initial offer and became the man in charge.
It was not smooth sailing from the onset: his first team went winless, and his second went 3-7. However, the team made steady progress with Griffin as the quarterback, and reached the playoffs in two consecutive years before being knocked out in the first round.
Things changed in 2016. The team went 10-2 and was crowned both district and regional champions.
Northside Christian has been a contender in the years since, though the team has struggled in 2020.
Understandably, the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 has made it hard to remain consistent on a week-to-week basis. Griffin Alstott now plays his college football for Western Michigan, but he will always have those moments of success to share with his father.
In addition to his coaching duties, the former fullback is also the head of the Mike Alstott Family Foundation, and he has used his celebrity status to do charitable acts like delivering meals to families on Thanksgiving and playing visiting sick children in the hospital.
It is clear that Alstott is a great leader on and off the field, and Northside Christian is lucky to have him as a head coach.
Mike Alstott’s Football Career
Michael Alstott grew up in Joilet, Illinois. His success on the football field led to him earning a scholarship from Purdue University, where he went on to become the Boilermakers’ leading rusher and was the first player to be named the team’s MVP three times.
The Buccaneers took Alstott in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft, and it did not take long for him to become immersed in the offense. The presence of running back Warrick Dunn helped Alstott. He was named to his first of six consecutive Pro Bowls in 1997 and earned three selections to the All-Pro team.
The Bucs were led by two impressive coaches during this time: Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden. The team made the playoffs frequently, culminating in a dominant 2002 season that saw the team face off against the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Alstott scored the first touchdown of the game — one of four scores he had that postseason — and the Bucs won their first (and to date, only) Super Bowl title. The team was talented, featuring the likes of Ronde Barber and John Lynch on defense, but Alstott’s presence was undoubtedly a factor in their success as well.
Alstott played with the team through 2006, amassing a career total of 58 rushing touchdowns and an additional 13 receiving TDs — the most in Bucs history. He spent all of 2007 on injured reserve with a severe neck injury and was forced to retire from football at the age of 34.
The A-Train was inducted into Tampa Bay’s Ring of Honor in 2015, and some have attempted to make an argument for him to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame, though there has not been much traction made yet.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not a franchise known for their winning ways, but the presence of new quarterback Tom Brady and an elite receiving corps of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and new signee Antonio Brown may change that this season.
For now, fans have Mike Alstott and the magical 2002 season to look back on fondly.