Bob Kronenberg retained as defensive coordinator

ATLANTA – The Georgia Force announced today they have hired Doug Plank as the team's new head coach, effective immediately. Plank comes to the Force from the Arena Football League's Arizona Rattlers, where he has spent the last three seasons as the club's defensive coordinator. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“I am very excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to building a championship team here in Georgia ,” said Plank. “Arthur Blank's commitment to building the Atlanta Falcons organization into one of the best in the NFL is well known. And it is very obvious that he has that same level of commitment to the Georgia Force and the Arena Football League.”

On May 24, 2004, Atlanta Falcons owner and CEO Arthur M. Blank and Georgia Force owner and chairman Virgil R. Williams announced they had reached an agreement in principle for the sale of the Georgia Force Arena Football League team to Blank. The transaction is subject to the execution of a definitive purchase agreement and approval by the Arena Football League's board of directors with a scheduled meeting date of August 17 th in Las Vegas .

In addition to hiring Plank as head coach, the team announced it will retain Bob Kronenberg as defensive coordinator. Kronenberg joined the Force in 2002 as assistant head coach. He served as interim head coach for the team's final five games of the 2004 season.

Following a 3-5 start last year, the Rattlers turned their season around, finishing with a league-tying best 11-5 record to secure the top seed in the playoffs and reach the AFL's ArenaBowl championship game for the third consecutive season. In 2002, Plank helped guide the Rattlers defense to a number one regular season ranking in rushing defense and scoring defense.

A former member of The Ohio State University football team, Plank played in three consecutive Rose Bowls, 1973, 1974, and 1975. While at Ohio State , Plank played for legendary coach Woody Hayes.

Plank brings with him a wealth of football experience that includes an impressive career in the NFL. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 12th round of the 1975 NFL Entry Draft and started at safety for eight seasons. The “46 Defense” created by Buddy Ryan was named for Plank's jersey number and aggressive style of play. Plank was also the first Bears rookie to ever lead the team in tackles.

Plank's professional history also includes experience as a member of the Rattlers broadcast team. Prior to becoming defensive coordinator, he spent five years as the Rattlers' radio analyst and two seasons as their television color analyst.

His broadcasting experience also includes stints with the Arizona Cardinals, Arizona State University Football, and Fox Sports Net.