(INDIO) – For the past six years, the SoCal Coyotes non-profit leadership organization has given Coachella Valley educators something they not only want, but also what schools so desperately need.

The Coyotes Above The Line™ leadership program traces its roots back to 2012, when team Founder and Head Coach J David Miller first created and implemented a curriculum for local schools.

In a time of unprecedented change, when family structures are collapsing, education is degenerating into indoctrination, and political society is dangerously polarizing, the Coyotes delivered an antidote to life’s very modern problems for area youth.

Coyotes Founder and Head Coach J David Miller

Coach Miller and his Coyotes orchestrated an exceptional, reciprocating leadership program that engages and impacts both school-age students – and their adult pro football prospects.

Coyote players and staff shared motivating personal stories, while gaining invaluable speaking and interpersonal communication skills. Students received a full-blown leadership curriculum that laid a foundation for the rest of their lives.

Skillful. Intentional. Driven. On-Purpose. All credos of the centerpiece Coyote Leadership Quiz™, which has now taught over 120,000 students to make their beds, obey their parents, accept the responsibilities of life, respect authority, make eye contact, and stand up straight with their shoulders back.

With topics like “Readers are Leaders,” and “Show Me Your Friends – I’ll Show You Your Future,” the Coyotes have ignited a revival across the desert’s elementary, middle, junior high and high schools.

In addition,  the Coyotes support programs that aid the youth and families of their region, and assist programs that foster cultural diversity, education, family and health.

The Coyotes take special interest in lifting up youth programs that encourage education, creativity and development of character.

Coyote players annually administer their published leadership curriculum to more than 30,000 students, and their efforts range from guidance to at-risk youth, to motivational leadership symposiums, coaching clinics, and intramural football.

Today, educators at area schools throughout the Coachella Valley swear by the results-driven Above the Line™ program.

“The Coyotes practice what they preach,” says teacher Wendy Mead, of Indio Middle School. “Their community outreach, and the example they set, is necessary in our classrooms. We need role models like the Coyotes. Every time they come here, the results are incredible.”

The wide-sweeping impact of the Coyotes Above the Line™ program is so broad that local high school sports stars and their coaches now join the Coyotes in their clinics, camps, and symposiums, preaching the gospel of a lifestyle free from blaming, complaining and excuses.

SVP Ron DiGrandi

With SVP Ron DiGrandi as its ringmaster, the Coyotes program has morphed into a high-energy affair. Replete with pounding music, sensational highlights and motivational speakers, the Coyotes rely on Coach Miller and Athletic Director Robert L. Cummings to hammer home the program tenets.

The 50-question Coyote Leadership Quiz™ is now in use in classrooms across the valley. Some high school students have now seen the Coyotes every year since the sixth grade.

This year, Developmental Football International (DFI) adopted the program, extending the Coyotes footprint to four other states, five other teams, and dozens of schools across the country.

Coach Miller envisions a state-of-the-art-learning facility that will serve desert youth like a theme park of leadership. He has included it into The Shield™,  his proposed multi-million-dollar, mixed-use stadium campus that will soon be reality.

The Coyotes 27-game win streak dates back to 2015

“Among our youth there is huge demand for discipline, courage, living properly, and clear, truthful thinking,” Coach Miller says. “There is profound power in using the inspiration of our football organization to give kids the tools to attack life with confidence.”

The lasting legacy of the five-time champion Coyotes may not be their irrefutable on-field success of  ‘Building Champions, Building Men™’ as America’s #1 Developmental Football Program™.

It more likely will be the generations of Above the Line™ youth they taught to shoulder the cross, make the sacrifices required to create a life of purpose, and to be the ark that lifts families – and communities – from the floods of life’s uncertainties.

NEXT ABOVE THE LINE – Tuesday, April 10, at Cesar Chavez Elementary School. Featured speakers are honorary Coyotes J.D. Lang, Kaleb Welmas and Quintcy Egson – all prep football stars from Shadow Hills High School.


The SoCal Coyotes are the national standard of American developmental football. The Coyotes non-profit organization provides elite athletes a professional environment that refines and showcases their skills through trademarked processes similar to the NBA’s D-league and MLB’s minor-league systems.

NFL executives have named the SoCal Coyotes organization America’s #1 Developmental Football Program™ for its national, scalable brands, community outreach programs, five-year operating track record, verifiable data, youth curriculum, sales, public-private sector alliances, and measured results.

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