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  • Gladiators Name Ron James New Head Coach

    Las Vegas, NV, August 24, 2004 Ron James has been named the new head coach of the Las Vegas Gladiators it was announced today by Gladiators' General Manager Dan Dolby. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
    "After an extensive search, Ron James is the right man to lead this team to the next level," said Dolby. "We feel that we need a true leader at the helm of our football team, and Coach James is definitely that. He has a great arena football mind and will bring not only a physical toughness to our team, but mental toughness and discipline as well."

    James spent the last three seasons as the Gladiators assistant head coach/defensive-offensive line and special teams coach. This will be his first head coaching assignment.

    "I am tremendously excited about this great opportunity," said the 40-year old James. "I came to Las Vegas with the Gladiators two seasons ago and there is nothing I want more than to make this an Arena Football championship town. Jim Ferraro has made commitment to this team and to the city of Las Vegas. With the talent we have, I feel that this team is ready to make a run at an ArenaBowl title right now. I am excited about the chance to bring it all together."

    James began his AFL coaching career as line coach and Director of Player Personnel for the Houston ThunderBears from 1999-2001.

    Prior to his time in the AFL, James coached a combined 14 years at the collegiate level including two seasons as assistant football coach, offensive line coach and Admissions Support Officer at Army and five seasons at Kentucky Wesleyan College.

    James was a four-year starter at offensive tackle at Siena College. An N.C.F.A All-America First Team and two-time First-Team All-Conference selection, James also saw action at defensive tackle. He earned a BA from Siena and a MPA from Rockefeller College, which is a subsidiary of the State University of New York at Albany.

    "This decision was all about giving us the best chance to win an ArenaBowl title and we can do that with Ron James as the head coach of the Gladiators," said Gladiators owner James L. Ferraro. "His leadership skills, knowledge of arena football and the respect he has from players made this the right choice. I have no doubt that this team is on the right track towards a championship."

    Gladiators' 2005 season seats are on sale now. Fans interested in purchasing Gladiators' season seats can do so by calling the Gladiators office at 702-731-4977.

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  • DJRamFan
    Gladiators considering coaches
    by DJRamFan
    Eight candidates, including White, being looked at to replace Haege

    By MARK ANDERSON
    REVIEW-JOURNAL






    In addition to Danny White, the Gladiators' coaching search includes two current Arena Football League head coaches whose contracts for next season are in doubt, two team sources said Tuesday.

    The Gladiators are considering Carolina Cobras interim coach Ron Selesky and Indiana Firebirds coach Mike Wilpolt to replace Frank Haege, who was fired last week. The Cobras have yet to remove Selesky's interim tag, and Wilpolt has not been signed for next season.

    They are among eight candidates, according to the sources, who provided the information on condition of anonymity. The others are: Gladiators assistants Stan Davis and Ron James; Sparky McEwen, offensive coordinator for Oklahoma City of af2; Kevin Porter, New Orleans VooDoo defensive coordinator; and Gary Reasons, Oklahoma City head coach.

    Gladiators spokesman Adam Grant declined comment about specific candidates, but said, "We obviously have narrowed the list down to individuals we feel give us a chance to compete for the ArenaBowl in 2005."

    Probably the coach most in demand is White, fired last month by the Arizona Rattlers after two AFL championships and five ArenaBowl appearances in 13 seasons. The Grand Rapids Rampage even altered its coaching search for White, keeping open the job after interviewing five candidates.

    Grant said coaches' talks with other teams will not affect the Gladiators' process.

    "The message we've given out to everyone is we don't want to hold them up from making any decision they feel is best for them and their family," Grant said. "With our owner (Jim Ferraro) out of (the country), we are physically unable to make any decisions this week."

    Ferraro is expected back Aug. 12 and will be in Las Vegas for the AFL's board of directors meeting Aug. 17. Grant said the Gladiators would like to decide on the finalists Aug. 16 or 17 and conduct in-person interviews that week.

    McEwen, also a candidate for the Grand Rapids job, said Tuesday he is particularly interested in the Gladiators position.

    Before moving to the af2 this season, McEwen was the Rampage's offensive coordinator for three years, coaching current Gladiators quarterback Clint Dolezel.

    "That roster is ready to win right now," McEwen said. "When I say win, I mean compete for the ArenaBowl title. That's saying a lot because of that division with Arizona, San Jose and Los Angeles."
    -08-04-2004, 01:42 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Owner says 'sloppy' play led to Haege's dismissal
    by DJRamFan
    Fear of losing players contributed to decision
    By Adam Candee
    <[email protected]>
    LAS VEGAS SUN

    An emotionally detached assessment showed Jim Ferraro that he wanted to fire Frank Haege as the Gladiators' head coach. The perceived danger of losing current and prospective players because of Haege, combined with the owner's distaste for the team's "sloppy" play during the past two seasons, made it easy for Ferraro.

    But the owner's personal respect for Haege made it hard to pull the trigger.

    "You look at it all and the decision was not really hard at the end of the day," Ferraro said Friday, speaking publicly for the first time since Haege was fired on July 28. "It was just hard for me to do it."

    Along with a long evaluation process that Ferraro said could not have happened while the team focused on winning games during the season, that respect led to the two-month wait after the season's end to fire Haege.

    Ferraro is in town to conduct interviews with the three finalists to replace Haege: Gladiators assistant head coach Ron James; New Orleans defensive coordinator Kevin Porter; and Indiana interim head coach Mike Wilpolt. Interviews begin tonight and continue Tuesday, with Ferraro and general manager Dan Dolby hoping to select someone by Friday. Ferraro recently returned from a long trip out of the country, which slowed the process of hiring a new coach.

    After three middling seasons that produced a 25-21 record and a division title, but no playoff wins, Ferraro entered the offseason intent on evaluating Haege's situation after signing the coach to a three-year contract extension during the 2003 season.

    The most distressing conversations Ferraro had, he said, were with people both inside the organization and around the league indicated that some free agents might avoid Las Vegas and that some current Gladiators might try to get away from the team if Haege remained the head coach.

    He became more disturbed by the lack of support he found for Haege from both players and management.

    "I didn't have anyone who objected to it," Ferraro said of firing Haege.

    No players have spoken out against Haege. Talking the day after Haege's firing, Gladiators quarterback Clint Dolezel -- the team's centerpiece acquisition last offseason -- expressed no reservations about the coach.

    Dolezel did not mourn for long, though, phoning Dolby to vouch for Sparky McEwen as Haege's replacement. McEwen, who worked with Dolezel in Grand Rapids as the offensive coordinator, came off the Gladiators' finalist list Friday when he accepted the head job with the Rampage.

    Ferraro was disappointed in both the Gladiators' preparation and performance leading to an 8-8 record in 2004 after he spent up to the $1.7 million salary cap to upgrade...
    -08-17-2004, 10:12 AM
  • RamsFan16
    Rams Name Murphy Quality Control Coach
    by RamsFan16
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    02/13/2007

    Rams Name Murphy Quality Control Coach

    The Rams named Keith Murphy as offensive quality control coach, the team announced today.

    Murphy comes to the Rams from Eastern Washington University, where he spent nine years, the last eight as wide receivers and special teams coach. Murphy served as a graduate assistant at University of Washington, where he worked with the wide receivers, quarterbacks, and special teams from 1997-1999. He also was a student assistant in 1996, helping coach the running backs and special teams.

    Murphy played wide receiver and on special teams for the Huskies. He was part of two Pacific 10 Conference championships (1992, 1995) and five bowl teams (1998 Oahu Bowl, 1997 Aloha Bowl, 1996 Holiday Bowl, 1995 Sun Bowl, and the 1993 Rose Bowl).

    In other coaching moves, the Rams promoted Todd Downing to coaching assistant/assistant special teams coach, and named Mike Cox defensive quality control/assistant defensive line coach.
    -02-12-2007, 07:49 PM
  • DJRamFan
    League bosses come to Vegas; is the ArenaBowl far behind?
    by DJRamFan
    Adam Candee
    LAS VEGAS SUN

    Both locally and nationally, Las Vegas will be the center of the action in the Arena Football League today.

    While the Gladiators conduct their third and final interview for a new head coach, the AFL is holding its board of directors meeting today at the MGM Grand.

    Among the topics being discussed at the AFL meeting is the possibility of creating a neutral-site ArenaBowl for the first time in the league's 19-year history. If the owners decide to do that, Las Vegas is at the top of the list of candidates to host what league officials envision as a weeklong event leading up to the championship game.

    Adding expansion franchises and adjusting the playoff format are other major topics to be covered at the meeting. The league is looking at adding franchises in Utah, Cleveland, Boston, Miami and other cities, although no more than a couple are expected for 2005. The future of struggling franchises in Detroit, Indiana and Carolina could also be up for review.

    Gladiators owner Jim Ferraro and general manager Dan Dolby interviewed Ron James, the Gladiators' assistant head coach, and Mike Wilpolt, the Indiana interim head coach, Monday night. New Orleans defensive coordinator Kevin Porter was to interview with Ferraro and Dolby this morning. The team hopes to make its final decision within a couple of days.

    Las Vegas fired head coach Frank Haege on July 28 after three seasons with the team.
    -08-17-2004, 10:08 AM
  • 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, 05:25 AM
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