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Recap: Season Ticket Holder & VIP Appreciation Events During Mini-Camp

Recap: Season Ticket Holder & VIP Appreciation Events During Mini-Camp While the coaching staff and players descended on the Wasatch front for their first few days of team meetings and practice drills on the field, the front office hosted several events that rallied up fan and community support for the team and The Alliance. The Salt Lake Stallions hosted a luncheon with over 100 business executives and community leaders from local associations, charities and youth sports organizations to introduce the team to Utah’s professional sports landscape. Special guest and AAF Head of Player Relations, Troy Polamalu along with Dr. Jeremy Blanchard, Head of Player Wellness addressed the crowd to share the league’s vision for supporting player physical, mental and emotional well being. Team President Tyler Howell highlighted for the local business community a number of ways to get involved with Utah’s first professional football team in the upcoming inaugural season. From group ticket purchases for employee perks to partnership and sponsorship opportunities, local companies were eager to learn more about how they could help the team get off to a solid start in the community. (Photos from the event here.) Holiday Event Full of Fan Cheer The team’s earliest supporters came out in force for an evening full of family fun at Rio Tinto Stadium, where the coaching staff and a number of players came out to meet and take pictures with season ticket holders, signing autographs for fans of all ages. Local standouts Matt Asiata, Anthony Williams, Handsome Tanielu, Tanner Balderee and others were in attendance along with all four Stallions quarterbacks, including Idaho’s Matt Linehan. Wide receiver Kenny Bell (Nebraska) and QBs Austin Allen (Arkansas), Josh Woodrum (Baltimore Ravens) and BJ Daniels (3 Super Bowl appearances with the Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons) received warm welcomes to Utah from the crowd. Seeing the early camaraderie of former Utah, Utah State, BYU, SUU and Weber State players coming together off the field showed a glimpse of what Salt Lake Stallions fans can expect to see from a united team on the field in February. The evening also resulted in a number of toy donations under the tree that will be distributed to children in need this holiday season.  See the full event photo album on the Salt Lake Stallions Facebook page. Last minute holiday shopping? Buy season tickets or single game tickets for the football fans on your list today! 

Memphis Express Announces Inaugural Radio Deal and Play-By-Play Announcer

The Alliance of American Football’s Memphis Express announced a partnership, naming iHeart’s 101.9 Kiss FM the radio home of Memphis Express football for the 2019 inaugural season. Sports 56 Middays co-host Greg Gaston will serve as the play-by-play “Voice of The Express.” “We at iHeart Media Memphis are so excited about being part of the Memphis Express with Kiss 101.9,” said Kevin Klein, area president Memphis/Mississippi Region, iHeart Media. “The partnership with the Express and iHeart is a perfect fit for both our brands. We look forward to starting some rivalries with the Birmingham, Atlanta and Orlando markets.” The partnership with Kiss FM features pregame and postgame shows, a weekly Memphis Express magazine show, the potential to develop more digital inventory including podcasts and social content. iHeart agreed to a sponsorship of the pregame experience on-site at the Liberty Bowl on game days, creating an opportunity to highlight different stations, local and national recording artists. “Our goal is to create a unique experience for all Memphis Express fans,” said Kosha Irby, team president, Memphis Express. “We feel our partnership with iHeart allows us to build on their broadcast and special event expertise.” All 10 Memphis Express regular season games and postseason games will air on KWNW-FM 101.9. Each game will be preceded by a 30-minute pregame show and followed by a half-hour postgame show, featuring head coach Mike Singletary and Express players. “The iHeartMedia team is excited about the addition of professional football in our city and so happy to partner with the Express on making game broadcasts available on 101.9 Kiss FM and iHeartRadio,” said Grant Thompson, area senior vice president of sales. Greg Gaston – Play-by-play Announcer The Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Award-Winning Greg Gaston has been entertaining Mid-South sports fans since arriving in Memphis in December of 1995. In addition to his always-entertaining role as co-host of Middays with Greg & Eli, Gaston has been seen on Memphis television screens for more than a decade. He was the sports director and weeknight Sports Anchor for ABC 24/UPN 30 for 12 years before moving on in August of 2007. Gaston worked for three years as a sports reporter/anchor at WHBQ-TV in Memphis from 2008-2010. Gaston also hosted Sports Files on WKNO-TV for four years. Gaston came to Memphis from WMDT-TV in Salisbury, Maryland where he worked from 1985-1995. Through the years, Gaston has complied an impressive list of honors and awards, including 16 Associated Press awards, as well as individual honors from the Radio/TV News Directors’ Association (RTNDA). In 2010, Gaston won the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for Sports Journalism and a Telly Award for his story on former Memphis Tigers star David Vaughn. Gaston has also called numerous University of Memphis basketball and football games on television since his arrival in Memphis. In addition, Gaston has been behind the microphone for everything from boxing and MMA matches to baseball and tennis. Gaston has called games on ESPN, CSS, Comcast and FSN.

Memphis Express Single Game Tickets On Sale Now

Single game tickets for The Alliance of American Football’s Memphis Express are on sale now with new seating options available for fans planning to attend games at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium beginning February 16. Tickets start at $20 in the general admission Family Section and Super Saver reserved seating area. Reserved seating in the corners runs $30. The Hub, a general admission destination for the most enthusiastic fans, and the Flight Deck, a new social area at the Liberty Bowl unique to Memphis Express home games, both retail for $35 and include one drink coupon per person. Two ticketing options feature all-inclusive food and beverage: the Stadium Club ($160), a fully climate controlled area with general admission seating and Express Loge ($135), a brand new area in the Liberty Bowl with table space. Priority Sideline ($125) comes with a $10 concessions credit and fixed chairback seating at midfield. Stadium Club, Express Loge and Priority Sideline include one parking pass for every four tickets purchased. Group discounts are available for fans purchasing 10 tickets or more. Take advantage by booking a Field-Level Cabana, an all-inclusive on-field suite for 16 people, another first-time offering exclusive to Memphis Express home games. Reserved seating at midfield costs $35 and $60 for lower midfield. Tickets are available by visiting Memphis-Express.com, calling 901-881-3344 or emailing Sales.Express@aaf.com. The Memphis Express opens its home schedule on February 16, 2019 against the Arizona Hotshots led by Rick Neuheisel.

The Atlanta Legends Add to Coaching Staff

The Alliance of American Football’s Atlanta Legends announced today three new additions to its coaching staff. The Legends named Jen Welter (defensive specialist), Miles Robinson (offensive assistant) and Tyler Anderson (defensive assistant) to head coach Brad Childress’ new staff. Jen Welter, Defensive Specialist Welter is the first female coach in the history of the NFL as she broke into the pro ranks as a linebackers coach at training camp with the Arizona Cardinals in 2015. Following her record-breaking accomplishment with the Cardinals, she became the head coach of the first Australian women’s national team in 2017. Welter’s pioneering career in football includes becoming the first woman to play running back in a men’s professional football league with the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League in 2014. Her career highlights as a player in women’s football include two gold medals with Team USA, four World Championships (in Super Bowl for Women) and eight all-star selections. She was inducted into the first class of the Women’s Football Hall of Fame on November 30, 2018. Welter has served on the advisory board for the NFL’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Game for Life Academy since 2017. Miles Robinson, Offensive Assistant Robinson is a product of Tuskegee University and was a standout player and coach for the Golden Tigers. His coaching career began at his alma mater in 2012 as he tutored tight ends and H-backs and then moved to assistant offensive line and special teams until 2016. In 2017, Robinson served as assistant director of player development/operations analyst for one season at UCLA. He accepted the tight ends/H-back coaching position at Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama for the 2018 season and helped the school to a SIAC Conference Championship. A former stalwart tight end/H-back at Tuskegee, Robinson was a three-year captain for the Golden Tigers and was part of teams that captured two SIAC titles. Tyler Anderson, Defensive Assistant Anderson has been working on head coach Kirk Ferentz’ staff at Iowa for the last eight seasons. He assisted with the Hawkeyes’ special teams in 2018. Anderson was a graduate assistant at Iowa from 2015-17 working with the school’s linebackers and defensive backs. As an undergraduate assistant, he began his career on the Iowa sidelines assisting with the linebackers in 2011. The native of Drummond Island, Michigan is the grandson of Iowa’s former longtime defensive coordinator Norm Parker.     About The Alliance of American Football Led by some of the most respected football minds in the game, The Alliance of American Football is a dynamic professional football league fueled by an unprecedented Alliance between players, fans and the game. Founded by TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol and Hall of Famer Bill Polian, The Alliance will feature eight teams with 52-player rosters playing a 10-week regular season schedule in the spring beginning February 9, 2019 on CBS, followed by two playoff rounds and culminating with the championship game on April 27, 2019. The eight cities, stadiums and head coaches are as follows: Orlando Apollos / Spectrum Stadium / Steve Spurrier Atlanta Legends / Georgia State Stadium / Brad Childress Memphis Express / […]

Former Wake Forest leader ready for fresh start in Arizona

By. Kaci Demarest, Arizona Hotshots Content Manager  John Wolford and his brother were sitting in New York watching the AAF Quarterback draft progress when suddenly his phone rang. It was Arizona Hotshots Head Coach Rick Neuheisel and General Manager Phil Savage. “I thought he was a competitive guy, he’s just a winner,” Neuheisel said. “He’s just a gritty son of a gun.” Wolford had the chance to talk with the Arizona team during the Quarterback mini camp in San Antonio and knew Arizona could be one of the teams to take a shot at him because their offensive plan was the same one he’d ran in college. Neuheisel said with the style of play that is going to shape the AAF, its imperative to have an athletic quarterback and that’s a large part of what drove them to lean towards Wolford in the second round. “The way football is going, you need guys that can create because sometimes the windows are small and you’ve gotta roll out and make a play,” Wolford said. Wolford spent his collegiate days at Wake Forest. Per Alliance allocation rules, Wake Forest is one of the schools that doesn’t have a designated team so he entered the draft as an unallocated quarterback. “Our hope was that we would be in position to get him, and ultimately, he was still there in the second round, so we were really excited that John was available to us,” Savage said. During his senior campaign, Wolford had 29 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He capped off his collegiate career by scooping up the Belk Bowl MVP after throwing for 400 yards and four touchdowns in a 55-52 victory against Texas A&M. Savage added: “He’s tough. He’s got a quick arm, quick feet, he’s a quick processor and just sees things well.” Coming out of college, Wolford took and momentarily put his job at finance company on hold to pursue an opportunity with the New York Jets during training camp last year. He said the biggest thing that he took away from the camp was  learning from pros like Josh McCown and even rookie Sam Darnold on how they prepare ahead of games. “You pick up on why guys are able to make things work, what makes them successful, and you try to bring that with you as you go,” Wolford said. Wolford’s been training at his alma mater where he has the chance to throw to receivers who didn’t see action during the season and ramping up ahead of Hotshots training camp in January. “This is a dream of mine to continue playing football and this is just the next shot at it,” Wolford said. “I’ve played since I was five years old, and I’m going to keep playing until they tell me to hang up the cleats.”

‘Night of the Express’ Pairs Players and Local Youth Organizations at Main Event Memphis

The Alliance of American Football’s Memphis Express opened minicamp on Saturday and wasted no time engaging with its newfound community, hosting an event for local youth organizations CodeCrew and Memphis Athletic Ministries at Main Event, a games and entertainment facility in Memphis. “This means a lot,” said Audrey Willis, CodeCrew co-founder. “These are folks these kids will see on TV and playing on the field, and they’ll have a personal relationship with them. For kids growing up in Memphis, we don’t get football players here, now those folks are in their lives, playing, and in their community. It means a lot when there’s a corporate organization giving back not just in dollars but in time. These guys have been here for hours playing with our kids. It means a whole lot.” CodeCrew’s summer camps, after school programs, in-school electives, internships and special events have taught more than 1,000 students to code since May 2015. Of the 250 kids they serve weekly 91 percent are African-American and Hispanic youth, 41 percent are girls, and overall, 89 percent of their students become more likely to study computer science. “We try to make sure that we’re lending a hand before extending a hand,” said Greg Herring, Memphis Express vice president  of marketing. “We don’t want to ask the community for support without becoming a part of it, ingrained from the start. The players have been in town less than 24 hours, and here we are with local youth, playing games, eating some food, and having a great time here at Main Event.” Upon arrival at Main Event, Memphis Express players were paired with a child and spent the next few hours bowling, playing laser tag, having dinner, and forming a connection. The overwhelming response from both sides expressed an appreciation for the importance of the evening. “It’s huge,” said Rendon Bradley, director, Memphis Athletic Ministries Neighborhood. “The players get a connection to the community, seeing these kids and their parents. You can see it in the kids eyes. They’ve never met a pro athlete. They’re laughing and enjoying it, loving every minute.” Founded in 1998, Memphis Athletic Ministries (MAM) exists to coach, grow, and lead the youth of Memphis by helping them discover their identity in Christ and their purpose in the community. MAM’s vision is to see identity found, hope restored, and lives changed. Minicamp continues for the Express on Sunday, with the team’s first practices. On Monday, players will meet with media for the first time, with practice open to press for filming from 11:30 am to Noon at the Liberty Bowl. selected players and coaches will be available for comment from 12-12:30 pm. Minicamp wraps on Tuesday.

San Antonio Commanders Add to Coaching Staff

The Alliance of American Football’s San Antonio Commanders today announced six additions to head coach Mike Riley’s staff for the 2019 inaugural season, which begins February 9, 2019 when the Commanders host the San Diego Fleet at the Alamodome. Matt Troxel has been named the offensive coordinator, Lyle Moevao will serve as the running backs coach and Josh Oglesby will coach the tight ends. On the defensive side of the ball, Jeff McInerney is the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator, while James Rodgers will coach the outside linebackers and Ken Watson will coach the defensive backfield. McInerney, Rodgers and Watson join previously announced defensive coaches Jim Grobe (defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach) and Bill Bradley (defensive backs coach). “We have an experienced staff with guys that have spent time on NFL, CFL and college staffs,” said coach Riley. “Combined with some young teachers of the game, we have put together a great blended staff of both experience and youth.”   Matt Troxel Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach Coach Matt Troxel comes to San Antonio after spending the 2018 season as an offensive quality control assistant at Oregon State University. Prior to OSU, Troxel was on the Idaho State University staff for seven seasons, including time as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. His coaching career also includes stints at the University of Idaho and University of Montana. Troxel played collegiate football at Montana from 2004-07 where his team was the 2004 and 2006 NCAA Division I-AA Finalist. Troxel helped Montana to four consecutive Big Sky championship during his time as a player.   Lyle Moevao Running Backs Coach Coach Lyle Moevao most recently served as the offensive coordinator for two seasons at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. Moevao spent four years working with quarterbacks at his alma mater, Oregon State University. He was a quality control assistant during the 2015 and 2016 seasons after previously holding an associate student intern role with the Beavers in 2013 and 2014. Moevao earned three letters as a Beaver and finished his career as one of the most successful quarterbacks in OSU history, finishing his OSU career ranked in the top 10 in school history in both passing yards and touchdowns. Following Moevao’s collegiate career, he played the 2011 season in Paris for the La Cournueve Flash. In 2012, he played for the Elecom Finies in Osaka, Japan.   Josh Oglesby Tight Ends Coach Josh Oglesby comes to the San Antonio Commanders after a season as an offensive quality control assistant at UTEP. He spent three seasons with Oregon State, the first in 2015 at offensive quality control and the last two (2016 & 2017) as a graduate assistant with the offensive line. Oglesby also spent time as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin, working with the offensive tackles, tight ends, specialists and scout teams. He was a four-year letterman and three-year starter along the offensive line at Wisconsin where he was a consensus All-Big Ten Conference selection as a senior and helped the Badgers to two division titles and […]

Hotshots First Round Selection Draws on Family Influence, Prior Arizona Football Experience

By. Kaci Demarest, Arizona Hotshots Content Manager  As Trevor Knight waited backstage at the The Alliance of American Football Protect or Pick Quarterback Draft, he didn’t know how the evening would shake out but he was excited to get started in whatever city he ended up in. “I had the chance to spend time with every team at our QB minicamp in San Antonio,” Knight said. “I was really excited with the Arizona staff and what they’re planning on the offensive side of the ball.” During the first round, the Arizona Hotshots picked Knight because they liked his athleticism at the position. Arizona Hotshots General Manager Phil Savage thought he was the total package for their first selection. “From a physical standpoint, he’s got plenty of arm strength,” Savage said. “He’s a very good athlete.  He’s extremely fast. He ran a 4.54 at the combine when he came out for the [NFL] draft a few years ago.” With the draft in the rearview mirror and the inaugural season coming up quick, Knight’s looking forward to returning to his hometown of San Antonio for the month. “Getting to play ball back in your home city is special,” Knight said. “I’ll get to see a lot of different people that have shaped the path of my football career.” Those people include his twin brother, Connor, and his dad, who was the first person he called after he found out he was heading back to Arizona. “He was always around, whether he was a coach or getting into school ball he was always there on the sidelines,” Knight said. “I’ve always shared a pretty unique bond in sports and just life. He’s definitely one of my heroes so of course he was one of the first people I called after I got drafted.” Connor has been right beside Trevor for the majority of his football career. The two grew up as a quarterback receiver duo all the way through their days at Oklahoma until Trevor transferred to Texas A&M his senior year. “It was one of the things that made that decision so difficult for me because I had never been away from my brother before, never played on a team that he wasn’t a part of,” Knight said. The experience turned out to be beneficial because he was able to get off the field and call up his brother or turn on the TV to watch him play. Leading up to the inaugural season, Knight’s stayed busy off the field as well finishing his master’s from Texas A&M in Business Management ahead of mini camp in Phoenix. He said he’s looking forward to return to the Valley where he previously spent a stint with the Arizona Cardinals. “I loved Arizona when I was out there the first time, and I didn’t ever think I would be back,” Knight said. “I’m excited to have another opportunity to come back.” With the start of the season closing in, Savage is looking forward to seeing what Knight can really do at the helm of the Hotshots offense. “When you take the intangibles and the natural […]