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  • Georgia Force Hire Doug Plank As Head Coach

    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.

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  • DJRamFan
    Rattlers fire coach
    by DJRamFan
    Richard Obert
    The Arizona Republic
    Jul. 21, 2004 12:00 AM


    Rattlers coach Danny White, the state's longest-tenured and most successful pro coach, was fired Wednesday.

    Neither team officials nor White would comment.

    Defensive coordinator Doug Plank and team captain Hunkie Cooper confirmed that the former Mesa Westwood High, Arizona State and Dallas Cowboys quarterback was let go.

    New York head coach Todd Shell is considered the front-runner to replace White, the Rattlers' only head coach since they started playing in 1992.

    Shell, who could not be reached, was White's defensive coordinator in 1994, when the Rattlers won the ArenaBowl in only their third season.

    White may have done his best coaching, leading the team to 10 straight wins, a Western Division title and a third straight ArenaBowl appearance after a franchise-worst 3-5 start. The Rattlers lost 69-62 to San Jose, where Shell was head coach after leaving the Rattlers.

    White's contract would have expired in October. He was 123-56 in 13 seasons (the second-most victories in the Arena Football League's 18-year history).

    "The coach had a lot of success over the years," said Plank, who has been offered a similar position with the Los Angeles Avengers and will interview for the head coaching position with the Georgia Force. "I don't know what the criteria was for making the decision."

    White, 52, may have priced out the Rattlers, who have lost money every year. They are under new owner Robert Sarver, who is seeking a partner. Without one there is no certainty the team will be around beyond 2005.

    Sarver and Rattlers President Jim Pitman are in Salt Lake City, with the Suns and could not be reached. Vice President Gene Nudo did not return a call.

    "A couple of players won't be far behind," said Cooper, a receiver/linebacker who has played under White, along with quarterback Sherdrick Bonner, since 1993.

    "Sometimes, you questioned what his motive was," Cooper said, "but he was a great leader for our franchise, and a role model for the league. I wish him the best."
    -07-22-2004, 10:04 AM
  • RamWraith
    Rams take coaching show to LA
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Monday, Jan. 16 2006

    The final phase of the Rams' coaching search apparently began Monday in Los
    Angeles with a second interview for Miami offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.

    According to league sources, Linehan was on a plane Monday to meet with Rams
    president John Shaw and president of football operations Jay Zygmunt in LA.
    After holding a series of interviews in St. Louis last week, the second round
    of interviews for the finalists apparently will be held on the West Coast.

    San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and Chicago Bears
    defensive coordinator Ron Rivera also are scheduled to get second interviews.
    Barring a last-second hitch, the next head coach of the Rams should be named by
    the end of this week.

    With the Bears' elimination from the playoffs Sunday against the Carolina
    Panthers, Rivera became free to interview with any team. He huddled with an
    advisor Monday to prepare for his second interview with the Rams. Rivera isn't
    expected to meet with Shaw and Zygmunt until Wednesday or Thursday.

    Another team could be in the running for Rivera because Buffalo has expressed
    interest in talking to him about its head-coaching position, which opened with
    the resignation of Mike Mularkey.

    Among the seven candidates who met with Shaw and Zygmunt, Linehan, 42, was the
    frontrunner after the first round of interviews, with Rivera, 44, running
    second. Cameron, 44, is a surprise candidate. He wasn't even mentioned until
    late in the process. For several weeks, Shaw denied that Cameron was a
    candidate.

    Meanwhile, reports in New Orleans are that Dallas assistant head coach Sean
    Payton is the favorite to replace ousted Jim Haslett, with Cleveland offensive
    coordinator Maurice Carthon a close second. Former Rams head coach Mike Martz
    interviewed for the Saints' job on Friday and Saturday.

    In New York, the Associated Press is reporting that New England defensive
    coordinator Eric Mangini has accepted the Jets head-coaching job. Rams interim
    head coach Joe Vitt interviewed with the Jets last week.

    RamBill
    -01-17-2006, 05:10 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Todd Shell to be named Rattlers coach
    by DJRamFan
    Richard Obert
    The Arizona Republic
    Aug. 3, 2004 04:42 PM


    Todd Shell on Thursday will officially be announced as Danny White's replacement as head coach of the Rattlers.

    Shell, the team's top choice since White was fired two weeks ago, is succeeding the man who gave him his first break in Arena football. White hired Shell in 1993 to be his defensive coordinator. The next season, the Rattlers won the ArenaBowl.

    Shell, who will be introduced during an 11:30 a.m. news conference at America West Arena, took his first head coaching job in 1995 when the San Jose SaberCats made him the franchise's first coach. In his first season, the SaberCats became the first expansion team in Arena football history to win a division title, taking the Western crown.

    He was 29-25, taking San Jose to the playoffs three times in his four seasons there. He was 15-9 as the New York Dragons coach the past 1˝ seasons.

    Shell, a former Mesa Mountain View High and Brigham Young linebacker, won Super Bowl rings as a player with the San Francisco ***** in 1984 and '88. He retired after five season due to injuries.

    Shell could possibly bring Lary Kuharich with him to be offensive coordinator of the Rattlers. White always handled those duties in his 13 seasons with the Rattlers. Kuharich was running-backs coach of the New Orleans Saints in 1998 and '99 when Ricky Williams played there. Kuharich is friends with Rattlers Vice President Gene Nudo,. who advised Shell to hire Kuharich two seasons ago when Shell was given the New York job at midseason.
    -08-04-2004, 02:37 PM
  • Nick
    Cardinals name Ken Whisenhunt as new head coach
    by Nick
    Tempe, AZ – The Arizona Cardinals Football Club today announced the hiring of KEN WHISENHUNT as the team’s head coach. He has signed a four-year contract with a team option for a fifth. Whisenhunt will be introduced in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon at the team’s training facility (time TBA).

    The 44-year-old Whisenhunt has spent the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers and helped the team win Super Bowl XL a year ago. In all, he has spent 10 years as NFL assistant coach and also played nine seasons in the league as a tight end.

    “As the interview process went on, Ken continued to impress us and distinguish himself,” said Cardinals Vice President of Football Operation Rod Graves. “It’s clear to us that he has the all the attributes we were seeking in terms of coaching ability, enthusiasm, organizational and leadership skills and the overall ability to lead this team to success immediately and for years to come.”

    Whisenhunt (pronounced “WIZZ-en-hunt”) served as an assistant on Bill Cowher’s staff with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the last six years, the first three as tight ends coach and the last three as offensive coordinator.

    In his first year as coordinator, the Steelers rushing attack improved from 31st to 2nd and the overall offense ranked 16th behind rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger. His second year ended with an NFL title after the Steelers offense averaged 26.8 points per game in the playoffs. This past season, Pittsburgh’s offense ranked 7th overall (9th passing and 10th rushing).

    Whisenhunt took over as Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator in 2004, the same year the team drafted Roethlisberger. The rookie QB set an NFL record with wins in his first 13 career starts en route to Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. The next season he became the youngest QB in NFL history to win a Super Bowl and finished third in the league in passer rating (98.6).

    He previously coached at the pro level with the New York Jets (tight ends, 2000), Cleveland Browns (special teams, 1999) and Baltimore Ravens (tight ends, 1997-98). He began his coaching career in the collegiate ranks with Vanderbilt for two seasons (1995-96)

    A native of Atlanta, GA, and a graduate of Georgia Tech, Whisenhunt played nine NFL seasons with the Falcons (1985-88), Redskins (1989-90), and Jets (1991-93). He finished his college playing career ranked second on Georgia Tech’s receiving yardage list (1,264 yards) and fourth in career receptions (82).
    -01-14-2007, 02:23 PM
  • RamWraith
    Rams' list of potential new coaches headed by Croom
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Friday, Jan. 30 2009
    For nearly two weeks since he was hired as Rams head coach, Steve Spagnuolo has
    been grinding away at the task of putting together his staff.

    He's getting close to the goal line. Although there has been no official
    announcement or confirmation, the Rams are set to hire former Mississippi State
    head coach Sylvester Croom, according to league sources. It's believed that
    Croom, 54, will coach running backs in St. Louis.

    The club also is ready to hire Rock Gullickson as strength and conditioning
    coach, and Matt House to an undetermined position, according to league sources.
    In addition, Brendan Daly is joining Spagnuolo's staff as the Rams' new
    defensive line coach, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

    Gullickson, 53, was strength coach for the Green Bay Packers the past three
    seasons, and had the same position with the New Orleans Saints from 2000 to
    2005.

    House, 30, was a special teams assistant as well as assistant strength and
    conditioning coach for Carolina last season — his first year in the NFL. He
    worked with new Rams defensive coordinator Ken Flajole last season with the
    Panthers.

    Daly, 33, was a defensive assistant-defensive line coach for Minnesota in 2008,
    joining the Vikings' staff in '06. He joins another former Vikings assistant,
    Paul Ferraro, on Spagnoulo's staff.

    But the "name" hire among this latest batch of Rams assistants clearly is
    Croom. Prior to his five-year tenure as head coach at Mississippi State, Croom
    spent 17 seasons coaching in the NFL.

    Thirteen of those 17 seasons were as a running backs coach with Tampa Bay,
    Indianapolis, San Diego, and Green Bay. Croom coached in the Super Bowl 14
    years ago on the San Diego Chargers' staff. The other four seasons were spent
    as offensive coordinator for Bobby Ross and the Detroit Lions, from 1997 to
    2000.

    Croom became the first African-American head coach ever in Southeastern
    Conference football when hired by Mississippi State in 2004. In 2007, he was
    named SEC coach of the year after the Bulldogs won eight games including a
    Liberty Bowl triumph. But following a season-ending loss to rival Mississippi
    in '08, Croom resigned. His five-year record at Mississippi State was 21-38.

    He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Alabama, spending all but one
    of 11 seasons there coaching linebackers. Among the linebackers he coached with
    the Crimson Tide were future NFL stars Cornelius Bennett and Derrick Thomas. As
    a player, Croom was a center for Paul "Bear" Bryant's 1973 national
    championship squad.

    Gullickson was named the NFL's strength and conditioning...
    -01-30-2009, 06:25 AM
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