WASHINGTON - On Friday, Jan. 12, Georgetown University Football Assistant Coach Adam Neugebauer switched out his Georgetown blue and gray for the red, white and blue of the United States Under-19 Select Team. Neugebauer served as the head coach for the 2018 International Bowl and led the U.S. team to a resounding, 48-13, victory over Team Nordic which consisted of players from Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. The game took place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
“It was an awesome experience overall,” Neugebauer said. “I’ve been working with USA Football for six years now and built a good connection with the directors and managers. Not only does USA Football evaluate the players, but they evaluate the coaches as well. Over the course of six years, I’ve developed a good relationship and they gave me the head coaching gig for the International Bowl.”
The International Bowl features a series of 12 games showcasing top players of different age groups from the United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico and the Nordic nations. Each International Bowl features a series of practices, team activities, scrimmages and games for four high-school aged U.S. national teams as well as U.S. select teams.
The selection process for the national and select teams started in the spring with regional combines where players are evaluated by collegiate coaches. Players then move on to developmental games, where college coaches come in and work with players in weeklong practices and games. The teams are then selected in in preparation for the International Bowl.
The Under-19 Select Team was comprised of players committed to FCS, Division II and some NAIA programs. Neugebauer then had the challenge of coaching a team that consisted of 48 players and a staff that only had a few days to get to know each other.
“Honestly, it was a grind for the players and coaches. We had two-a-day practices Monday through Thursday because we only had a week to practice and install an offense, defense and all of special teams with coaches you don’t know. A couple of our coaches I recommended because I worked with them before, but some of them I had never even met. So it was difficult to get the culture down and the coaches on the same page and then the players on the same page.”
One coach that Neugebauer had familiarity with was fellow Georgetown assistant coach, Bruno Barandas. Barandas, a Brazilian native, works with the offensive line at Georgetown.
“Bruno was our running backs coach and did a great job coaching them. He has worked with our offensive line at Georgetown, but it’s very similar. You’ve just got to carry and protect the ball. He actually became a big star with the media because he was the first international coach to coach for a U.S. national team. It was big for both him and Brazil.”
The game itself was a success as the U.S. opened a 17-0 lead just four minutes into the game, including a 73-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the game. The U.S. led 38-7 at halftime and cruised to the 48-13 victory.
It was after the game that had Neugebauer beaming as, soon after the final whistle, he proposed to his girlfriend on the field.
“I was pretty nervous because my family and my fiancé, Taylor Holmes, and her whole family had game passes and were on the field. When she said yes, all of the players and family members on the field went nuts. Having the opportunity to propose on the midfield star, with her parents and her brother there, it was just the right place at the right time.
"I would like to thank Aaron Ingram, Tanner Schultheis, Gabby Razzetti and our coaching staff for everything they did to make this week such an amazing memory.”