Wednesday, August 11, 2004
By Gary Bond
The Grand Rapids Press
Danny White, whose interest in the Grand Rapids Rampage head coaching vacancy made him the No. 1 candidate, said no Tuesday.

White threw his name into the hat after he was fired three weeks ago by the Arizona Rattlers. He had a deadline of Tuesday to inform the Rampage of his intentions.

White told Rampage general manager Scott Gorsline thanks, but no thanks. The reason was mostly geographical.

"It was a tough decision turning down the coaching opportunity in Grand Rapids because I was impressed with everything about the city and organization," White said.

"I was presented with an unique coaching opportunity, one I can't elaborate on right now and I expect this opportunity will be announced no later than the Arena Football League's board of directors meeting next week in Las Vegas.

"When everything happened with Arizona, Grand Rapids was the first team to call and make me an offer. They have been first class with everything they did and someone is going to get a great organization to work and coach for."

White, who was born and raised in Phoenix, said he also has declined coaching positions in Las Vegas and New York.

"White was very impressed with everything about the Grand Rapids organization and was happy with a lot of the parameters, including his contract we had talked about," Gorsline said. "In the end, though, he said he was pursuing another opportunity that was a great opportunity for him to be closer to home.

"We knew geography would be a big issue with White especially with his family based in the southwest part of the country.

"After speaking with Rampage owner Dan DeVos and minority owner David Green, I anticipate moving quickly in filling the job here. I don't know if we will name a coach this week, but I expect it will happen soon."

Sources told The Press the AFL plans to announce next week that St. Lake City, Utah, will have an arena football franchise for the 2005 season and White will be the team's head coach.

Without White, and Steve Thonn, who accepted the offensive coordinator's position with the Georgia Force, the Rampage are left with four candidates: Sparky McEwen, offensive coordinator for the arenafootball2 Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz; Kevin Porter, defensive coordinator with the New Orleans VooDoo; Rick Frazier, who finished the season as the Rampage interim head coach after Bob Cortese was fired after a team started 1-10, and Tom Luginbill, the head coach of the Detroit Fury.

McEwen, who also was the Rampage's offensive coordinator from 2001-2003, and Porter, are candidates for the Las Vegas position. They plan to begin it face-to-face interviews no later than next week.

© 2004 Grand Rapids Press. Used with permission