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Raiders recognize Tom Flores Coach of the Year Jodi Reich, girls flag football state champion Coronado Cougars

Jodi Reich, Coronado High School's Girls Flag Football coach, sat in shock in the team room at Intermountain Health Performance Center. Alongside her assistant coaches and players, a surprise video announcement appeared on the projector screen – naming her the Tom Flores Girls Flag Football Coach of the Year.

While Reich wasn't expecting the announcement to be made, it didn't come as a surprise to anyone else in the room she received this honor. Her Coronado Cougars finished the 2023 season with a 20-2 record and won the 4A State Championship while Reich was voted 4A Coach of the Year by Southern Nevada Flag Coaches Association.

"I think it's really important for these female athletes to see a female coach of the year because all of these athletes in this room could be a head coach," said Jodi Reich. "I think we're going to see a really big increase in coaching in general with women because of how many opportunities there are now to with what [the Raiders] are doing to highlight the sport. It feels really good and I'm super thankful."

If anything for Reich, it's more of a full-circle revelation than it was a surprise for her. Coronado is also her alma mater, as she played on the school's first girls flag football team following its inception. With the opening of a teaching position at the school, she soon took over the reins of the team from her former head coach as a player.

"It's been a complete shift," Reich on the evolution of the sport from her time as a player to a coach. "It was coming from [having] no players, we have no uniforms. We were just scrapping together a team. Back then a lot of our players were soccer players or track runners that just needed something to do in the winter. We just got a random assortment of athletes and now we have girls that are just flag players and they're dominant in their sport.

"The Raiders support is something I've never experienced as a player and it's been really cool. The game has completely changed, but it's completely changed for the best."

Senior Maci Joncich, one of Reich's star players, was also recognized at the Raiders facility. Joncich played quarterback, wide receiver and safety for the Cougars and was voted 4A Player of the Year. She now has a huge opportunity on the horizon, setting her sights on the Olympics.

She's one of two players from the Las Vegas Valley to be selected for the initial 18-athlete roster for USA Football's U.S. Women's Flag Football National Team. She'll have the chance to make the final 12-woman roster and compete in the Flag Football World Championships in Finland this summer.

"Playing flag [football] all my life and working so hard towards that big goal of mine and finally reaching it – it was so exciting," said Maci Joncich. "And it really makes me more eager to reach the Olympics and to win gold in Finland this August. It's just so excited and I'm so pumped.

"The Raiders have just been so supportive year after year, it's got so much better," continued Jonicich on the Raiders' involvement in youth sports for women. "With all of this, I've been to headquarters now about five or six times and that just shows you how much they do for flag football and the community in general.

Along with the Coach of the Year award, the Las Vegas Raiders presented Reich and her team with a $2,000 contribution as they prepare to defend their state title.

The Las Vegas Raiders hosted local high school flag football teams for an evening honoring players, coaches and Tom Flores Coach of the Year Jodi Reich.

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