Saturday, October 23, 2010
Allen Wranglers, new arena football team, hires head coach
Chris MacKeown is extremely excited to be a head coach again in professional football.
ALLEN The Allen Wranglers arena football team is pleased to announce Chris MacKeown has joined the team as head coach.
"I am extremely excited about the opportunity to be a head coach again in professional football," said MacKeown. "I couldn't imagine a better area of the country to have this opportunity than in Allen."
Coach MacKeown is in the process of recruiting new talent for the team. In 10 seasons of coaching professional football MacKeown's teams have made the playoffs seven times, Conference Finals four times and the ArenaCup once. With this record he is sure to put together a strong and talented team. All players must have played in college and some may be former NFL players.
"A lot of work goes into building a pro football team, but I have always believed that the most important qualities of championship players that make a championship team are: character, toughness and intelligence," MacKowen said. "My number one goal is to win the IFL Championship, but my second goal is to build a team that the community can be proud of on and off the football field."
MacKeown was named the offensive coordinator for the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League (AFL) in October of 2008 after leading the Amarillo Dusters of the Arena Football 2 (af2), as their head coach and director of football operations, to their best record in team history and their first ever appearance in the National Conference ArenaCup Finals.
MacKeown, who in his coaching career has shown a knack for making poor teams into winners, took the Dusters, who were a perennial bottom four team in the af2, to a top four team in his first season as head coach. In 2007 He was named the special teams coordinator and wide receiver coach for the AFL's Austin Wranglers. He coached the AFL's 2007 Kicker of the Year, Mark Lewis, in 2006 and 2007. As special teams coordinator and offensive assistant he helped guide the 2006 Columbus Destroyers (AFL) to their best record in franchise history (8-8).
With the Destroyers, MacKeown took the team to number two in kick-off return average, number three in field goal percentage and number six in the AFL in kick-off cover average. In 2004 and 2005 MacKeown was the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach for the Louisville Fire, helping to lead the Fire to their first winning record, first playoff appearance, first playoff win in franchise history and their first and only ArenaCup appearance in 2005. In both seasons as offensive coordinator he coordinated af2's number one total offense.
In 2003 as head coach and director of player personnel, MacKeown led the 2003 expansion team, Cincinnati Swarm, to a second place finish in af2's, traditionally very tough, Mid-Western Division. In Cincinnati he made a name for himself as a strong evaluator and developer of personnel having six Swarm players go to the NFL and 11 Swarm players sign contracts with the AFL or CFL.
In 2001 and 2002 MacKeown worked as an assistant coach for the Indiana Firebirds, of the AFL, and helped guide the Firebirds to the Semi-Finals of the Arena Bowl XV Playoffs in 2001 and an Arena Bowl XVI Playoff berth in 2002. Prior to joining the Firebirds he led the Dayton Skyhawks, of the IFL, to the Indoor Football League's 2000 Gold Cup Playoffs versus the IFL's toughest schedule in 2000, and as special teams coordinator and wide receiver coach for the Dayton Skyhawks. MacKeown helped Head Coach Earnest Wilson guide the Skyhawks to the Semi-Finals of the 1999 IFL Gold Cup Playoffs.
MacKeown also has eight years of coaching experience at the college and high school levels in Ohio. MacKeown is from Dayton, OH and received his Bachelor's from the University of Toledo ('91) and Masters' from the University of Dayton ('01). MacKeown has also coached at the high school and college levels in Ohio and Texas.
North Texas-based owner Jim Smith recently announced the Allen Wranglers as the newest team in the Indoor Football League (IFL). The official announcement of the team name and its location to the Allen Event Center followed a month long naming campaign and approval of the event license by the Allen City Council.
Smith, who has been involved with Arena Football for over seven years, said, “I am excited to be in Allen, a rapidly growing area and popular football community. The city and fans have been wonderful supporters and I look forward to the season start in March at the Allen Event Center,” stated Smith.
The IFL originated in Texas in 2003 with six teams. The league grew from six to eight to 10 within five seasons. In 2008 the league began receiving inquiries from teams across America to grow to 19 teams for the 2009 season. In 2010, the league increases to 25 teams with the Allen Wranglers as one of the newest additions. With the latest expansion, the IFL is restructuring the various divisions for the upcoming season.
Allen Mayor Stephen Terrell said, “We are pleased to expand the use of the Allen Event Center with this exciting new sport. The Allen Wranglers gives us another hometown team to rally behind while continuing the Council’s vision for Allen and the Allen Event Center to be a destination venue.
The event license for the new IFL team, approved at the council meeting on September 28, establishes a base rental fee of $7,500 per game over a 10-year period with the team providing support for infrastructure such as the turf, dasher board pads, goal post, and miscellaneous equipment.
Smith said, “Our vision for the Allen Wranglers is to be the community’s team full of family entertainment. We want to support the local youth programs, charities, and schools through fundraisers, personal appearances, and team promotional events.”
The 2011 schedule will be released October 15. There will be seven home games and possibly three additional playoff games if the team has the best record. The season will start late February and last through mid-June with playoffs going through mid-July. Ticket prices range from $10 - $50 and there is no such thing as a bad seat at the Allen Event Center. Season and team information will be available online at www.allenwranglers.com.
Source: Allen Wranglers
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