White out: Gladiators look elsewhere for coach
By MARK ANDERSON
Gladiators could not meet coaching candidate's salary demands
Las Vegas was No. 1 on Danny White's list of potential coaching destinations, but the Gladiators did not make hiring him a priority and a deal almost certainly will not be reached.
"Right now they have no shot," White said Monday. "I haven't heard from them. It does (surprise me) a little bit because they were the front-runner going in because of their closeness to Phoenix."
White built a successful resumé with the Arizona Rattlers, winning two Arena Football League championships and making five ArenaBowls in 13 years.
Gladiators general manager Dan Dolby said two factors have worked against a more aggressive pursuit of White -- team owner Jim Ferraro's unavailability because of business overseas and White's asking price.
Dolby would not comment on White's salary parameters, but a source said he was seeking more than $200,000. Frank Haege, fired as Gladiators head coach last month, made a base salary of $110,000.
"From a compensation standpoint, we were too far apart," Dolby said. "It was a lot of money for the coaching ranks of the AFL."
The sides were so far apart, Dolby said, that a deal would have been extremely difficult even if Ferraro had been in the country. Ferraro returns to the United States on Thursday.
White has been more hotly pursued by other AFL teams, such as Grand Rapids and New York. He said he met with officials from both clubs recently, but that he was considering other teams, which he declined to name.
Grand Rapids had wanted an answer from White by today, but he said he would make a decision on his job search by next week's AFL board of directors meeting in Las Vegas.
"I've been actively involved with several teams ... but Las Vegas isn't one of them," White said.
With White no longer a serious candidate, assuming he ever was, that leaves seven others on the list the Gladiators are considering.
Those candidates are: current Gladiators assistants Stan Davis and Ron James; Oklahoma City (af2) offensive coordinator Sparky McEwen; New Orleans VooDoo defensive coordinator Kevin Porter; Oklahoma City head coach Gary Reasons; Carolina Cobras interim coach Ron Selesky; and Indiana coach Mike Wilpolt.
The list will be trimmed by next week, and in-person interviews will begin.