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Georgia Force Hire Doug Plank As Head Coach

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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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  • RamWraith
    Rams take coaching show to LA
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    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

    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.

    -01-17-2006, 04:10 AM
  • RamDez
    Rams agree to terms with Raheem Morris to be team's new defensive coordinator
    by RamDez
    The Los Angeles Rams announced they have agreed to terms with Raheem Morris to be their new defensive coordinator. Morris replaces Brandon Staley, who was named the Chargers' new head coach last Sunday.

    Morris, 44, brings 19 years of NFL coaching experience on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball to the Rams. He most recently served as interim head coach of the Atlanta Falcons for their final 11 games of the 2020 season after spending the first five as their defensive coordinator. The 2020 season was Morris' sixth with Atlanta and first as its defensive coordinator.

    In 2019, Morris began the season on the offensive side of the ball coaching wide receivers before taking over as the Falcons' secondary coach. Following that midseason switch, he helped Atlanta finish 6-2 over the final eight games, and its defense went from having the fewest takeaways in the first half of the season (4) to finishing with the second-most in the NFL (16) after Week 9. The Falcons' defense also improved from 32nd to 10th in sacks, 32nd to ninth in scoring efficiency, and 31st to sixth in redzone efficiency over the final eight weeks of the season.

    Morris first joined the Falcons in 2015 as assistant head coach/defensive passing game coordinator. During that first season in Atlanta, Morris helped the Falcons defense allow the third-fewest total passing touchdowns in the NFL that season (19). He then transitioned over to the offensive side of the ball and served as assistant head coach/wide receivers coach for the next three and a half seasons.

    Prior to joining the Falcons in 2015, Morris spent the 2012-14 seasons on the Washington Football Team's coaching staff as its defensive backs coach. Washington's defense finished tied for fifth in the NFL in takeaways with 31 in his first season. It also tied a league-high with 94 passes defensed and ranked fifth in the NFC with a 3.3 interception rate.

    Before arriving in Washington, Morris spent three seasons as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2009-11). He was the youngest head coach in the NFL in 2009. In 2010, Tampa Bay finished 10-6, marking the best turnaround in franchise history after going 3-13 the previous season.

    Morris began his NFL coaching career as a defensive quality control coach for the Buccaneers in 2002, becoming a defensive assistant in 2003 before being promoted to assistant defensive backs coach (2004-05). After one season as Kansas State University's defensive coordinator (2006), he returned to Tampa Bay for the beginning of his second stint with the Bucs, starting out as their defensive backs coach (2007-08) before becoming their head coach. During that two-year span, Tampa Bay allowed the second-fewest passing yards per game in the NFL (170.5) and also ranked among the league leaders with 22 interceptions.

    Morris is well-acquainted with Rams head coach Sean McVay, having previously worked...
    -01-21-2021, 02:51 PM
  • 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, 01:37 PM
  • RamWraith
    Rams' list of potential new coaches headed by Croom
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    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

    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

    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

    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, 05:25 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Fabris third assistant to leave Georgia staff
    by DJRamFan
    Feb. 22, 2005 wire reports

    ATHENS, Ga. -- For the third time this offseason, Georgia coach Mark Richt has to replace an assistant coach.


    Defensive ends coach Jon Fabris, a fiery leader of Richt's staff for four years, is leaving Georgia to accept a similar position at Oklahoma.

    "Jon has done an outstanding job in his four years at Georgia, and I'm glad we had the experience of having him as part of our staff," Richt said. "No one works harder than Jon, and I wish him nothing but the best."

    Fabris, who also assisted with Georgia's special teams, coached such standout defensive ends as David Pollack, Josh Mallard and NFL first-round pick Charles Grant.

    Fabris is the third member of Richt's staff to accept other jobs this offseason.

    Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder accepted an offer to become linebackers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    Running backs coach Ken Rucker will take over the same job at Texas, apparently swayed by the prospect of improving his retirement package in that state. He previously coached at Baylor and Texas A&M.

    Richt filled the first two openings on Jan. 17, hiring former Bulldog defensive back Kirby Smart to replace Rucker and Central Michigan defensive coordinator John Jancek to coach linebackers.

    Willie Martinez was promoted from secondary coach to defensive coordinator.

    Smart, who played at Georgia from 1995-98, was a teammate of current quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo. Smart was the secondary coach at LSU this past season, following stints at Florida State and Valdosta State.

    Fabris, a Chattanooga, Tenn., native, coached at Georgia Tech, Washington State, Iowa State, Notre Dame, Kansas State, South Carolina and with the NFL Cleveland Browns before joining Richt's original staff in 2001.

    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004-2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -02-24-2005, 08:14 AM