CAYFA's Newest Members of the Board of Directors

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Making Youth Tackle Football the Safest Sport in California

SAN FRANCISCO / January 22, 2019 - As a further step towards making youth tackle football the safest sport in California, we are pleased to announce the expansion of our Board of Directors by welcoming three new board members. These new board members will help advance the work of the CAYFA while working closely with our Executive Officers.

Dr. Peter Cummings

Dr. Cummings is board certified in anatomic pathology, neuropathology and forensic pathology. When asked what motivated him to work with the CAYFA, Dr. Cummings said “I am honored to be asked to join the board of directors for CAYFA. It's always been my philosophy that you are either part of the problem or part of the solution; CAYFA is part of the solution. I have great respect for the way a group of football coaches and parents came together in a proactive effort to guide positive change and what they've accomplished to this point is inspiring. The strategies CAYFA is developing to constantly improve safety and compliance while enhancing the enjoyment of the game for all interested parties is unique and empowering.”

Chris Fore

Chris Fore is a veteran Athletic Director, Football Coach and Teacher from Southern California. When asked why he chose to engage the CAYFA, Chris said “I am honored to be invited to serve on this board. There's no doubt that there is a lot of work to do here in California to help regulate youth football to make it more safe for children. I look forward to working with these tremendous individuals as we strive to honor, improve, and advance the great game of football in the Golden State.”

Merril Hoge

Merril is a former NFL Running Back, Best-Selling Author, and Motivational Speaker. When asked why he accepted the invitation to engage the CAYFA as a board member, Merril shared “I’m honored to be a part of the CAYFA board. This board is filled with people that find solutions and take action to make youth football the safest it can possibly be! I have been a part of football and youth sports for over 45 years as a player, coach, and most importantly a parent. I was the first player/coach/parent to address congress to establish a head trauma protocol in 2009! I have been implementing ways to practice and play along with protocols on head trauma and hydration to make football safer than it has ever been since 1991. Being a part of the CAYFA board we have a chance to improve the environment even more for all youth football players in the state of California and eventually the entire country!! This is just the start, we will Find A Way to educate and improve in all areas for our kids!!”

When asked about the formation of this board and the initial members, Joe Rafter shared “We are excited to welcome Peter, Chris, and Merril to our board. I can’t imagine a better group of people to launch our board. Peter brings a world class medical background combined with a passion for youth football and will serve as our Chief Medical Advisor. Chris is miles deep with football content as a coach and administrator with an unparalleled network in the California football community. Merril is a leader on and off the field with remarkable life experiences, leadership courage, and football achievements.” Mr. Rafter continued, “The commitment from these three men is further demonstration that the CAYFA is embraced by accomplished leaders from the medical and football community and that the future of youth tackle football in California is bright. We look forward to rolling up our sleeves with them to advance our work."


The purpose of the CAYFA is to advance youth tackle football by honoring our past, improving our present, and advancing our future so that more generations of student-athletes, coaches, and communities can experience the intellectual, emotional, social, and physical developmental benefits of the sport. For more information, please visit

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