IMG Academy already has conquered the realm of elite youth training for tennis and golf. Now it's eyeing football.
The institute has announced it would activate plans for the John Madden football academy this summer, led by director and former Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke.
Currently, the academy will largely consist of summer camps ranging anywhere from $499 to $2,000 taking place on its 350-plus-acre facilities in Bradenton. But the long-term goal is to field enough players to support full-time residency teams for 8- to 18-year-old youth players.
The first camp will begin June 4-6.
"It's a first-class facility and an opportunity for kids to get bigger, stronger, faster," said Weinke, who trained at IMG before he was drafted in the fourth round by the Carolina Panthers in 2001.
IMG said it will evaluate the popularity of the camps over the next few years to determine whether to move forward with a full-time academy.
Weinke, 37, will help create the daily curriculum and oversee the development of the overall football program. This is the first coaching job for Weinke, who completed his final season in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers in 2007.
"Coach Madden strongly believes that he wants me to create a fun environment here," he said. "They're going to get the proper teaching, but at the same time enjoy their experience."