top of page


About Us - War Dogs Football: Nurturing Excellence in Young Athletes


Welcome to War Dogs Football, where our passion for the game meets our commitment to shaping young lives. Founded by two Central Phoenix Fathers, Michael Ferrari and Gary Knudson, our organization stands as a beacon of empowerment and excellence in youth football.


Our Founders' Journey


Gary Knudson's path from Edmonds, Washington, to the heart of Phoenix is a tale of passion and perseverance. As a standout three-sport letterman in high school, Gary's exceptional skills on the football field led him to Walla Walla JC, where he earned recognition as a JC Gridwire All-American. His journey didn't stop there. In 1986, Gary was a highly sought-after player who accepted a scholarship to Arizona State University. As the starting tight end for the Sun Devils from 1986 to 1990, Gary made a significant impact on the field. Post his collegiate career, he graced the professional stage, playing in two pre-seasons for the Los Angeles Rams in 1990 and 1991. Today, as the CEO of AdSport, Gary infuses our organization with his rich legacy in sports marketing and sponsorship consultancy, driving us toward innovation and excellence.


In contrast, Michael Ferrari's path in football charts a course from talent to mentorship. A Mesa, Arizona native, Michael began his journey as a standout running back at Red Mountain High School. His innate love for the game and exceptional skills led him not to the professional fields but into the realms of coaching and player development. With over 15 years of coaching experience, Michael has honed his skills in nurturing young athletes, guiding them to excel not only in the technical aspects of football but also in life skills.


As the Director of Player Development for the War Dogs program, Michael's vision is to foster the holistic growth of football players. This multifaceted role sees him collaborating closely with coaches and trainers to tailor training programs that enhance individual skills, performance, and game intelligence. His expertise extends beyond the field, as he mentors players in various aspects of life, including academics, personal growth, leadership, and community engagement. Emphasizing character development, teamwork, and discipline, Michael's approach to player development is about shaping confident, responsible, and successful athletes, equipped to excel both on and off the football field.


Empowering the Next Generation


Our mission at War Dogs Football is to empower young athletes to reach their full potential. We believe in the transformative power of football to instill virtues like hard work, discipline, perseverance, and integrity. Our holistic approach encompasses not just physical training but also mental and emotional growth, preparing our athletes for life's challenges on and off the field.


Goals: The Path to Victory and Growth


We have set forth ambitious goals that span various aspects of development. From mastering the fundamentals of football to fostering teamwork, sportsmanship, and leadership, our program is designed to nurture the complete athlete. Our commitment to academic success, physical fitness, and a love for the game is unwavering. At War Dogs Football, we prioritize safety, well-being, and a sense of community, ensuring a supportive and enriching environment and of course, winning!


A Shared Vision with Brophy College Preparatory


Our partnership with Brophy College Preparatory reflects a shared dedication to nurturing growth and excellence. Brophy's Jesuit values and focus on holistic development complement our ethos, creating a synergistic relationship that benefits our athletes academically, athletically, and morally.


A Future Shaped by Values and Purpose


At War Dogs Football, we're not just training athletes; we're cultivating future leaders. In collaboration with Brophy College Preparatory, our players are poised to excel academically, athletically, and as compassionate, responsible citizens. We're honored to guide them on this transformative journey, fostering a partnership that champions their growth and success.


Join us at War Dogs Football, where every play, every game, is a step toward building a brighter, more resilient future.

bottom of page