Latest News

Introducing the Salt Lake Stallions

Erickson has drive to lead Stallions

By Doug Miller Dennis Erickson isn’t big on retirement. The 71-year-old veteran of all things football, college and pro, is getting back in the game after a few years on a different path … one with golf carts. “I got tired of hooking it out of bounds and hitting it right all the time, so I thought I better get back in coaching and have a little bit of fun,” Erickson said recently during a media gathering for the announcement that he’ll be the head coach of the Salt Lake franchise in The Alliance of American Football, which makes its debut this Feb. 9. “Golf gets old after a while.”  Football doesn’t. Not for Erickson, who was the head coach at the University of Idaho from 1982-85 and again in 2006, the University of Wyoming (1986), Washington State (1987-88), the University of Miami (1989-94, including national titles in ’89 and ’91), Oregon State (1999-2002) and Arizona State (2007-2011) plus the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks (1995-98) and San Francisco 49ers (2003-04). Got all that? Good. Because there’s about to be more. And, from where Erickson stands, why not? “It’s a chance to work with players again, and enjoy the competition,” Erickson said. “As long as I can do it physically and mentally, I’m going to do it.” When Erickson “retired” on Dec. 30, 2016, after spending four years assisting University of Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham, he immediately started helping his son, Bryce, who was coaching a high school team. By then, he had fallen in love with Salt Lake City and with Rice-Eccles Stadium, where the Utah Utes play their home games in the Pac-12 conference and where the Salt Lake AAF franchise will play its home schedule. “I’m really excited about being here in Salt Lake City,” Erickson said. “The four years I worked here were four great years for me. I know The Alliance will be very successful here. Being out in that stadium and seeing those fans, there’s no better place than this football stadium.” Salt Lake is happy to have him. The team’s general manager, Randy Mueller, is a football lifer, too, having been in the pro game since 1978, when he first showed up as a Seahawks ballboy during training camp in Cheney, Wash. And Erickson said the planning behind The Alliance and the people involved, including co-founder and CEO Charlie Ebersol, co-founder Bill Polian, former players-turned-executives Troy Polamalu, Jared Allen and Justin Tuck and fellow coaches Mike Singletary (Memphis), Steve Spurrier (Orlando), Rick Neuheisel (Arizona), Mike Martz (San Diego), Mike Riley (San Antonio), Tim Lewis (Birmingham) and Brad Childress (Atlanta) has been beyond impressive. Erickson is confident their fingerprints bode well for a successful future.   “It’s people that are in it for the long haul,” Erickson said. Unlike the coach’s experiment with fairways replacing football.

Salt Lake Stallions: Bold new team is born!

By Mark Newman Salt Lake City has always had a bond with horses, both equine and automotive. Now the city has a team with a name that reflects its unique relationship with the history and the future of horsepower. The Salt Lake Stallions are a new team in The Alliance of American Football and begin play in February 2019 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.  The team name became official on Tuesday, and the thinking behind it, naturally, was inspired by local imagery and lore. The new logo is inspired by the hood ornaments that adorned some of the fastest vehicles that raced across Bonneville. The shimmering silver of the whitecap mountaintops blends with the blue Salt Lake sky for a picturesque color scheme. Today’s pro football player is a sight to behold in his stature, exuding confidence and earning fans. The Alliance as a whole is determined to do the same as the country’s favorite sport expands its footprint and calendar at the elite professional level. Head coach Dennis Erickson said recently that “The Alliance is about building a dynamic relationship between players, fans and the game,” and the selection of a team name was one of the first such manifestations. The Alliance invited fans to suggest names on social media in all eight markets. Stallions were the perfect fit. “Our focus on the football side has always been on building the team on the field,” Stallions General Manager Randy Mueller said. “We have been working very hard to put the best group of players together so Coach Erickson and his staff can bring them together and turn the individuals into a ‘team’. Now that we have our identity with name and logo, we hope to bring this same energy to the rest of the Salt Lake area that we have felt internally since Day 1.” The Stallions are about being the fastest on the football field and combining that with equally impressive brute force. That is the Stallion, fast and free, breeding confidence and a winning tradition.

GM eyes team SL ‘can be proud of’

By Doug Miller It’s hard to imagine Randy Mueller knew where his football career would take him when he was a ballboy at Seattle Seahawks training camp in Cheney, Wash., in the summer of 1978. What Mueller does know: Where he is now is exciting and new. Mueller, a veteran of four decades in the NFL, is the new general manager of the new Salt Lake franchise of the new elite-level spring pro-football platform, The Alliance of American Football. When you consider all that preparation in traditional pro football circles, you might find it surprising that Mueller sees The Alliance as a challenge he’s waited his whole career to take on. “Most of us on the football side have been involved with rebuilding franchises before at the NFL level. This has been extremely challenging in that we are doing it from scratch,” Mueller said. “Hopefully it makes it that much more satisfying when it all comes together. Our hope is to give Salt Lake something they can be proud of.” He’s already been there, done that when it comes to assembling successful football teams. He made it all the way from ballboy to Seattle’s vice president of football operations, a job he held until 1999. He was the one who selected future Hall of Fame offensive tackle Walter Jones with the sixth overall pick in the 1997 Draft. Mueller then went on to become GM of Football Operations for the New Orleans Saints in 2000, quickly won the NFC West crown and notched the franchise’s first playoff victory in his first year on the job. Mueller was an NFL analyst on ESPN from 2002-05 before jumping back into the front office of the Miami Dolphins, where he served as GM from 2005-07.  Mueller then went to the Chargers in 2008, and he had been an executive with that team, in San Diego and subsequently Los Angeles until The Alliance called. Mueller jumped at the chance to get involved with the AAF because he believes in the mission and the people involved, from co-founder and CEO Charlie Ebersol to football guru and co-founder Bill Polian to the former NFL players all putting their knowledge and effort into running The Alliance, including Troy Polamalu, Jared Allen and Justin Tuck. He’s already been working hard evaluating players and getting them on the roster, and he says it’s not hard to find high-upside players who can develop and dazzle in The Alliance. Mueller has a veteran head coach at the helm of Salt Lake, Dennis Erickson, and he has a roster full of players he’s excited to see on the field at Rice-Eccles Stadium, the home of the University of Utah and, come February, home of the Salt Lake Stallions. Mueller has been in the communities of Seattle, New Orleans, Miami and Southern California. Now he’s ready for Utah.Mueller said, “we hope to bring this same energy to the rest of the Salt Lake area that we have felt internally since Day 1.”

THE ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL NAMES TEAM PRESIDENTS

New Professional Football League Names Seven Team Presidents for Atlanta, Birmingham, Orlando, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego and Salt Lake City SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – August 28, 2018 – The Alliance of American Football has named seven team Presidents who will lead all business operations for The Alliance in their respective cities. The Alliance announced that David Livingston (Atlanta), Tom Ward (Birmingham), Mike Waddell (Orlando), Scott Brubaker (Phoenix), Tyler Howell (Salt Lake City), Vic Gregovits (San Antonio) and Jeff Garner (San Diego) are joining Alliance Memphis team president Kosha Irby, who was announced in May, in the new professional football league. “As we began our journey to find the right leader for each organization, we had a specific set of criteria that we felt was uniquely specific to each city,” said Tom Veit, head of business operations, The Alliance. “Ultimately we were able to find an incredible group of team presidents that possess the intellect, leadership, and strategic mindset necessary to build our alliance.” “As we expand our footprint in each of our eight Alliance markets, our team presidents will build thoughtful community partnerships to ensure we are active and engaged members building lasting and meaningful relationships.” Among the additions announced today are respected executives in a variety of sports and entertainment fields which include: ATLANTA: As an experienced marketer with a career forged building brand programs and platforms connected to sports and entertainment, W. David Livingston joins Alliance Atlanta from Comcast Spectacor’s Spectra Venue Management team where he served as director, national corporate partnerships. Livingston also spent time with the Cleveland Cavaliers and 15 years leading sales and business development for IMG Golf in Cleveland. He began his career in brand management at Procter and Gamble. BIRMINGHAM: A well-rounded and results-driven sports executive with 25 years of experience in marketing, sales, partnership, broadcasting, arena/stadium naming rights and business development, Tom Ward joins Alliance Birmingham after serving as the senior vice president, brand, community, partnership development for the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League. Ward is a veteran award-winning storyteller who has played an integral role in the launching of multiple professional sports franchises and opening arenas and stadiums. ORLANDO: A veteran professional sports and college athletics administrator, Mike Waddell joins Alliance Orlando after spending the previous two years as vice president of Richmond Raceway. In his role with NASCAR, Waddell’s responsibilities included oversight over all marketing, ticketing, strategic communications, creative, digital strategy, eaSports and fan engagement operations for the raceway, which operates as one of the 12 motorsports facilities of International Speedway Corporation. PHOENIX: A well-respected sports sponsorship sales professional with deep Arizona roots, Scott Brubaker joins Alliance Phoenix from Learfield bringing with him more than 30 years of experience. While with Learfield, Brubaker held a variety of senior roles within the company across multiple properties, the last of which was vice president, national sales located in Chicago and Atlanta. SALT LAKE CITY: A veteran sports industry sales professional with over 20 years in leadership experience, Tyler Howell joins Alliance Salt Lake City following an impressive stint with the Portland Trail Blazers. During his time in Portland, Howell had […]

THE ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL ADDS 105 PLAYERS

The Alliance Signs 105 Players to Contracts for the 2019 Inaugural Season Beginning February 9, 2019 Latest Signings Bring League Total to 205 Players SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – August 17, 2018 – The Alliance of American Football has signed the following 105 players to contracts for the 2019 inaugural season:

THE ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL SIGNS FIRST 100 PLAYERS

New Professional Football League Begins Player Acquisition Process for 2019 Inaugural Season SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – August 6, 2018 – The Alliance of American Football has signed its first 100 players to compete in the new professional league launching on February 9, 2019. The Alliance recently began the process of offering player contracts to potential prospects following an extensive evaluation process by the personnel staff of The Alliance’s eight teams. “Today marks an exciting step in our journey to providing fans and players with top-flight football in the spring, as we begin to establish a competitive foundation and base of talent that will keep expanding throughout this fall and winter,” explained Bill Polian, co-founder and head of football, The Alliance. “These athletes will now have an opportunity to begin, extend or revitalize their professional football careers and continue playing the game we all love.” He added, “Our personnel staff, general managers and coaches will continue to recruit aggressively in the days and months to come. Team-building is a never ending task and we are excited to attack that challenge and to build on this very positive start.” The standard Alliance player contract offers players a base salary of $250,000 over three years with a comprehensive bonus system which will award financial compensation based on a variety of metrics such as performance, win, and fan engagement. Additionally, players who make final rosters will be offered postsecondary education assistance and health and wellness benefits. Players are allocated to Alliance teams based on where they competed in college. If a player’s college is outside The Alliance footprint, he will be allocated based on his most recent NFL/CFL team. If a player’s college is outside The Alliance allocation footprint AND he did not play in the NFL or CFL, then he is unallocated and available to be tendered a contract by any Alliance team. If a player signs with The Alliance and is then offered a contract to play in the National Football League, the player will be granted permission to pursue that opportunity.

Another new professional football league will start next February, getting a head start on the XFL

Spring football is returning — and sooner than we thought. The Alliance of American Football league was announced Tuesday and will debut on Feb. 9, 2019, a week after Super Bowl LIII and at least a year before the XFL resurfaces sometime in 2020. Charlie Ebersol — whose father, Dick Ebersol, founded the original XFL with WWE's Vince McMahon almost two decades ago — created the new league along with Pro Football Hall of Fame member Bill Polian, formerly NFL general manager and currently an ESPN analyst. {{ vc_btn:title=Learn+More&shape=square&link=url%3Ahttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.latimes.com%252Fsports%252Fsportsnow%252Fla-sp-alliance-american-football-20180320-story.html%7C%7Ctarget%3A%2520_blank%7C }}