The Stars Will Be Out For The Big Daddy Football Camp

Rich Salgado was a star football player on Long Island before moving on to the University of Maryland and then establishing a career as an insurance agent for many sports players and coaches. Known as “Big Daddy” to many of clients, family and friends, Salgado has always been one to give back to his community, he wanted to give young football players on Long Island something special.

So in 2015, Salgado launched the “Big Daddy Youth Football Camp”, a non-contact event that features many current and former NFL coaches and players as guest instructors. This year’s camp will take place June 24 to June 26 from 5pm to 730 each day at his alma mater New Hyde Park Memorial High School and Big Daddy is proud about how the camp that bears his name has gotten bigger and bigger each year.

“It’s very exciting,” said Salgado, the President of Coastal Advisors. “You see the growth and you see the people asking when are you having your camp and who’s coming to your camp? It’s like Christmas. Santa doesn’t tell you what he’s bringing the night before.”

But Santa…I mean “Big Daddy” has announced part of the lineup for this year’s camp. His brother, Buffalo Bills Defensive Assistant Coach Jim Salgado, will once again be the Camp Coach and he will be joined a list of guest instructors that includes…

Patriots safety Devin McCourty
Former Giant and current Redskins safety Landon Collins
Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu
Former Jets Head Coach Eric Mangini
NFL Network Analyst Brian Baldinger
Former Jets safety Erik Coleman
Former Giants offensive lineman Luke Petitgout

And Big Daddy is still going through his Rolodex of clients so there’s plenty of more big names that have yet to be announced.

The first two camps were held at the Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale but in 2017, the Salgado brothers moved the camp to their alma mater New Hyde Park Memorial Hospital. Big Daddy was more than happy to bring his camp “home”.

“It means the world to us that we’re doing it there,” said Salgado who is so thankful that his brother took the reigns of the camp back in 2016.

“I can’t even express the gratitude that I have. My brother has worked very hard to get (to the NFL) and him being an NFL coach obviously lends to a lot of great things because it shows stability. For him to take time out of his little vacation that he gets means the world to me and means the world to a lot of people.”

Especially the many kids who attend the camp each year and learn the fundamentals of football from Jim as well as the guest instructors. It’s one thing for a youth football player to attend a camp, but those kids who attend the Big Daddy Camp are put through drills by guys who have been to the highest level of the sport.

In past years, a camper may have been taught how to throw a football by former Giant and current Jets quarterback Davis Webb or perhaps a youngster was put through a drill by Patriots safety and Super Bowl champion Devin McCourty and shown how to properly catch the ball by Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.

The camp is open to kids in grades one through eight and the goal each year to cap the registration at 100 or 125 campers because the goal is to make sure they get the right instruction.

“That’s why we won’t take 200 kids or 150 kids because Jimmy wants to make sure that each kid gets special attention and that they come away learning something from this camp,” said Big Daddy. “We’re bringing in all these guests that are experienced and have won at all different levels and I think that’s an invaluable thing.”

While the focus of the camp is football, the campers are also treated to a terrific meal after each session. In fact, Big Daddy and I chatted for this story over lunch at Gaetano’s Flour and Fire in Garden City, a new restaurant that will combine with Umberto’s of New Hyde Park for one of the feasts.

The camp is not the success that it has been without the sponsor.

“Arizona Iced Tea has been great to us,” said Salgado. “Ottomanelli Burgers is coming back. Without all those people, these things don’t happen.”

If you’re a youth football parent in the Long Island area, signing your child up for the Big Daddy Youth Football is a must. The kids learn so much about the game from some of the biggest names in the sport and the best part of it is that they have fun while learning the fundamentals regardless of whether they play tackle or flag.

For more information or to register your child, click here

About the Author

Peter Schwartz

Peter Schwartz is a contributor covering the Islanders for NY Sports Day while also writing about general sports in the New York/New Jersey area. In addition to his column, Peter also hosts his “Schwartz On Sports” podcast as he interviews players, coaches, and other sports personalities. He is also currently a sports anchor for WFAN Radio, CBS Sports Radio, and WCBS 880 radio while also serving as the public address announcer for the New York Cosmos soccer club.

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