San Antonio Commanders News

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 […]

The Orlando Apollos of the Alliance of American Football Announce Full Coaching Staff

The Alliance of American Football’s Orlando Apollos announced today the addition of three assistant coaches, rounding out the staff of 10 coaches who will join head coach Steve Spurrier’s staff for the 2019 inaugural season beginning February 9 when The Apollos take the field against The Atlanta Legends. The Apollos have added Bob Sanders (defensive coordinator), Nick Rapone (defensive backs) and Scott Spurrier (tight ends) to the team’s coaching staff in the new professional league. The other seven Apollos assistant coaches were announced in November. “Now that we have our full coaching staff in place, it’s time for us to get to work towards bringing the city of Orlando a championship,” said Steve Spurrier, head coach, The Orlando Apollos. “We will be hosting our first-ever mini camp this week preparing our players for the league-wide training camp in San Antonio in January with our first snap on February 9, 2019 against The Atlanta Legends.” Bob Sanders, Defensive Coordinator Sanders has spent 14 of his 39 seasons coaching football next to Steve Spurrier and rejoins the Head Ball Coach on his Apollos coaching staff. Sanders coached in the NFL from 2001-17 for five different franchises – the Miami Dolphins (2001-04), Green Bay Packers (2005-08), Buffalo Bills (2009-12), Oakland Raiders (2013-14) and Arizona Cardinals (2015-17). Notably, Sanders served as defensive coordinator for the Packers from 2006-08 helping the team to a 27-21 record in that span and an appearance in the 2007 NFC Championship Game. Prior to the NFL, Sanders coached in the collegiate ranks on a full-time basis from 1980-2000, including stints under Spurrier at Duke University from 1987-89 and the University of Florida from 1990-2000 where he helped the Gators win the 1996 National Championship. His full coaching resume at the collegiate level includes stops at Georgia Tech (part-time, 1978), East Carolina University (1980-82), the University of Richmond (1983-84), Duke (1985-89) and Florida (1990-2000). Nick Rapone, Defensive Backs Rapone carries 41 years of coaching experience at the high school, collegiate and professional levels to Coach Spurrier’s inaugural Apollos coaching staff. After starting out as a graduate assistant with the University of Pittsburgh (1979-80), Rapone navigated to East Tennessee State University (1981-82) and Temple University (1983-88) before returning to Pittsburgh from 1989-92. He would then spend two years as the head coach at his high school alma mater, New Castle (PA) High School, from 1993-94. Rapone returned to the collegiate ranks as defensive coordinator for the University of Connecticut for three years (1995-98) before going back to Temple and taking over the secondary from 1999-2005. In 2006, Rapone made the move to the University of Delaware where he stayed from 2006-12, helping the Blue Hens to national championship appearances in 2007 and 2010 and earning 2010 FootballScoop NCAA Division I FCS Coordinator of the Year honors. He would take his talents to the professional level with the Arizona Cardinals coaching defensive backs from 2013-17 before ultimately returning to coach the cornerbacks at Delaware in 2018. Scott Spurrier, Tight Ends The youngest son of The Apollos’ Head Ball Coach, Scott Spurrier reunites with his father on the sidelines in Orlando. Spurrier spent the […]

QB Aaron Murray Expects an “Awesome Season” for the Legends

By Dinn Mann Quarterback Aaron Murray is here to remind you that football season in Atlanta doesn’t end after the college bowl games or even after the Super Bowl. That’s because The Alliance of American Football’s inaugural season begins Feb. 9 with the Atlanta Legends visiting the Orlando Apollos, coached by Steve Spurrier. The eight-team league has a 10-week schedule and four-team playoff format that culminates in a Las Vegas title game in April. “I’m excited to be back in Atlanta, playing for the Legends,” Murray said after Atlanta landed the former Georgia QB in this winter’s “Protect or Pick” QB Draft. “We’ve got Brad Childress as our head coach, Michael Vick as the OC. I can’t wait to see Legends fans at our home field, Georgia State Stadium, and on the road.” “It’s going to be an awesome season.” The Legends play in the Eastern Conference, which includes Atlanta, Birmingham Iron (coached by Tim Lewis), the Memphis Express (coached by Mike Singletary) and the Orlando Apollos. The Western Conference is made up of the Arizona Hotshots (coached by Rick Neuheisel), the Salt Lake Stallions (coached by Dennis Erickson), the San Antonio Commanders (coached by Mike Riley) and the San Diego Fleet (coached by Mike Martz). The Legends will face their conference rivals home and away, as well as play two Western teams in Atlanta and two in their venues. Tickets are on sale now, here on the official site of the Atlanta Legends. Mini-camp for the Legends started this week. Training camp begins in January in San Antonio.

The Alliance Announces its First Weekend Game Times

By Kareem Yasin Football season ends in February? We think not. The Alliance of American Football launches its inaugural 10-week season one weekend after the Super Bowl, and game times for the first weekend’s match-ups have just been announced. Who will come out victorious when our 8 teams take the field for the very first time? Which teams will come out on top when they meet for the very first time? Saturday, Feb. 9 Atlanta Legends vs. Orlando Apollos Where: Spectrum Stadium, Orlando, FL When: 8:00pm ET (5:00pm PT) San Diego Fleet vs. San Antonio Commanders Where: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX When: 8:00pm ET (7:00pm CT) Sunday, Feb. 10 Memphis Express vs. Birmingham Iron Where: Legion Field, Birmingham, AL When: 2:00pm ET (1:00pm CT) Salt Lake Stallions vs. Arizona Hotshots Where: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ When: 4:00pm ET (2:00pm AZ) Who will win those first week games? Tune in or be there to see it live: season tickets available now!

San Antonio Commanders Introduce Two-Game Ticket Pack

A two-game ticket pack is now available for the San Antonio Commanders’ inaugural season. The pack starts at $30 and features up to 25 percent savings off single-game tickets prices. The pack, which is available for a limited time, allows fans to secure seats to the Commanders’ season-opening game against the San Diego Fleet on Feb. 9 and the Feb. 17 contest against the Orlando Apollos. Fans may call 210-944-0504 to purchase the two-game pack or by clicking HERE.

Results: The Alliance of American Football Inaugural Quarterback Draft

By Dinn Mann (Photo: Benjamin Brinker) The Alliance of American Football’s inaugural Quarterback Draft aired on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday night, showcasing some of the faces hoping to lead the league’s eight teams when the historic first season begins in February. Coaches, GMs, media, fans, friends and family gathered at the HypeX eSports Arena in Las Vegas, and the Alliance’s unique “Protect or Pick” event was part of a breakthrough day of festivities from coast to coast. Riding the wave of uniform and helmet unveilings earlier in the day, the first-of-its-kind draft format had an intriguing twist in the first round. It called for teams to “protect” one of the players allocated to them in advance (based on regional ties) or “pick” a player from another territory. The San Diego Fleet had first dibs, with GM Dave Boller and coach Mike Martz calling the shots. They chose to protect a quarterback with ties to the region, the University of San Diego’s Josh Johnson, as their number one selection. On hand for the historic occasion was Johnson’s cousin, Super Bowl-winning running back Marshawn Lynch. It was a magical moment, Johnson said, to be introduced on live TV by Hall of Famer Kurt Warner as the Alliance’s number one quarterback pick, and then be greeted on stage by Super Bowl hero Hines Ward, as well as Martz, a Vince Lombardi Trophy winner himself. Doesn’t get much better than that! We’ll let Johnson’s tweet speak for itself: SD I’m back!!!!!!! Juiced to go #1 to the @AAFFleet return to familiar stopping grounds and start building to win ASAP. Thanks @TheAAF @DaveB_AAF for letting be apart of this history #SDFleet #protectorpick pic.twitter.com/huTKWDzyhR — Head8cke (@Fam1stFamilyQB) November 28, 2018 Drafted by the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fifth round in 2008, Johnson spent time playing for the Jets, Browns, 49ers, Raiders, and Giants. But now, he’s back in San Diego and eager to get reps on an exciting spring stage. The Alliance begins its inaugural season the weekend after the upcoming Super Bowl. Here’s how the rest of the draft played out: ROUND 1: San Diego Fleet (Protect): Josh Johnson, San Diego Atlanta Legends (Protect): Aaron Murray, Georgia Memphis Express (Protect): Troy Cook, University Tennessee at Martin San Antonio Commanders (Protect): Dustin Vaughan, West Texas A&M Birmingham Iron (Pick): Luis Perez, Texas A&M-Commerce Arizona Hotshots (Pick): Trevor Knight, Texas A&M Orlando Apollos (Pick): Garrett Gilbert, Southern Methodist Salt Lake Stallions (Pick): Josh Woodrum, Liberty ROUND 2: San Diego Fleet: Mike Bercovici, Arizona State Birmingham Iron: Blake Sims, Alabama Arizona Hotshots: John Wolford, Wake Forest Orlando Apollos: Stephen Morris, Miami Atlanta Legends: Matt Simms, Tennessee Salt Lake Stallions: B.J. Daniels, South Florida Memphis Express: Christian Hackenberg, Penn State San Antonio Commanders: Marquise Williams, North Carolina ROUND 3: San Antonio Commanders: Logan Woodside, Toledo Memphis Express: Brandon Silvers, Troy Salt Lake Stallions: Austin Allen, Arkansas Atlanta Legends: Peter Pujals, Holy Cross Orlando Apollos: Austin Appleby, Purdue Arizona Hotshots: Quinn McQueary, Montana Tech Birmingham Iron: Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin San Diego Fleet: Philip Nelson, East Carolina ROUND 4: San Antonio Commanders: Dalton Sturm, Texas-San Antonio Memphis Express: Zach Mettenberger, LSU Salt Lake Stallions: Matt Linehan, Idaho Atlanta Legends: […]

The Alliance of American Football Unveils its Inaugural Uniforms

By Kareem Yasin New league, new look! The Alliance of American Football has unveiled the uniforms for its inaugural season, kicking off on February 9, 2019.  Designed by Starter and produced by G-III Sports, these uniforms feature color combinations and designs specifically chosen for each Alliance team. Each captures the unique spirit of the cities our teams are representing and the fierce dynamism of the league’s players. The uniforms feature stretch characteristics and twill used in the torso and numbers allowing for a professional, modern fit. They also include helmets and shoulder pads designed by Riddell, whose SpeedFlex and Speed platforms have a proven track-record of exceptional performance and on-field protection. Orlando Apollos: Like the Greek god of the sun, the sunshine state’s Apollos uniform is a testament to power and energy, using navy blue and orange to reflect the warm Florida sunshine. Atlanta Legends: The purple, white, and gold sported by the Legends capture the rich heritage of Atlanta, a city where legends are made. Birmingham Iron: The colors of Birmingham Iron are black, dark grey, and light grey, derived from the three elements used to make steel, namely: iron ore, coal, and flux. Memphis Express: Memphis is the birthplace of rock and roll and home to the nation’s biggest cargo airport. What better colors to represent it than the unmistakably American red, white, and blue? San Antonio Commanders: The state of Texas is represented by the color red, with maroon capturing San Antonio and silver referencing the dress military swords carried by officers. Arizona Hotshots: Inspired by the uniforms worn by many hotshot crews, the Arizona Hotshots uniform colors are a fitting orange, golden yellow, and forest green. San Diego Fleet: The anthracite gray of the San Diego Fleet uniforms represents the U.S. Navy’s Pacific fleet, complemented by the battleship gray of Navy ships and the warm yellows of the California sun. Salt Lake Stallions: You can almost see the silver tips of the Wasatch Mountains amidst the royal blue of Utah’s great salt lake in the Salt Lake Stallions’ uniform, while the team logo resembles a car hood reflecting the city’s fastest and most famous cars. The Alliance of American Football starts February 9, 2019 on CBS.  

LIVE: The Alliance of American Football Quarterback Draft

By Kareem Yasin and Dinn Mann It’s the kind of occasion that simulates a quarterback’s adrenaline rush during a game-winning drive. The Alliance of American Football is conducting its inaugural “Protect or Pick” QB Draft at 8ET/5PT tonight on CBS Sports Network, live from Las Vegas. More than 50 aspiring pro quarterbacks progressed through the scouting process after tryouts, combines and an elite camp to reach this point. A couple handfuls of those players are attending the draft, each hoping to become faces of franchises when the spring league’s historic first season begins the weekend after the upcoming Super Bowl. The site of the QB Draft is Las Vegas’ HyperX Esports Arena, where attendees will wait for their chance to join host Hines Ward, head of player relations for The Alliance, on stage as the unique process unfolds. “The quarterback position is critical to a team’s success, so we knew the importance of making sure each Alliance team had a top-tier quarterback at the helm,” said Alliance co-founder Bill Polian, explaining how league coaches, front office executives and CEO/co-founder Charlie Ebersol collectively agreed on the format. The league’s “Protect or Pick” draft approach begins with a round in which teams have the option of claiming (“protecting”) a player for whom that team had first dibs based on geographic proximity. The alternative is to “pick” a player from another region if, say, a competitor’s territory had a surplus of talent or a prospect more specifically aligned with a coach’s style of play. Regardless of the way a team chooses to go, each of the 8 teams will complete the first round with a QB to call its own. The intrigue only grows from there as rival teams conceivably will pounce on quarterbacks that for whatever reason became available to push for starting jobs in regions beyond their first-dib footprints. The Draft, with live analysis from NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, will last 4 rounds, with teams protecting/picking in the following order: San Diego Fleet Birmingham Iron Arizona Hotshots Orlando Apollos Atlanta Legends Salt Lake Stallions Memphis Express San Antonio Commanders If a team opts to pick instead of protect, it stays in this order after all who’ve protected voice those decisions. The draft order was determined with each team pulling a number from a helmet. The second, third and fourth rounds have no protect element, so it’s purely picking after Round 1. The order goes as listed above in Round 2. It reverses in Round 3, then snakes back in the fourth round. Check back for updates as the drumroll builds throughout today’s festivities, which also include unveilings of uniforms for each of the eight teams: the Arizona Hotshots (coached by Rick Neuheisel), Atlanta Legends (Brad Childress), Birmingham Iron (Tim Lewis), Memphis Express (Mike Singletary), Orlando Apollos (Steve Spurrier), Salt Lake Stallions (Dennis Erickson), San Antonio Express (Mike Riley) and San Diego Fleet (Mike Martz). ROUND 1: Protect or Pick San Diego Fleet, Atlanta Legends, Memphis Express, and San Antonio Commanders elected to protect. Protect: San Diego Fleet protects: Josh Johnson Atlanta Legends protects: Aaron Murray Memphis Express protects: Troy Cook San […]

QB Camp – Road to the Draft

The Alliance QB hopefuls take the field at the San Antonio Alamodome. Photo by Ben Brinker.  QB Camp – Road to the Draft By Kareem Yasin The Alliance of American Football launches in February, the weekend after the Super Bowl, which means hundreds of players — all hungry for their pro football breakthrough — will perform on this inaugural spring stage for 1 of 8 Alliance teams. After more than 1,000 players put their dreams on the line at combines in LA, Houston, and Atlanta in the hopes of making it into The Alliance, more than 50 aspiring quarterbacks took part in an elite-level QB Camp earlier this month in San Antonio. Each QB taking part in the 2-day evaluations at the Alamodome performed dozens of drills that tested speed, agility, concentration and leadership in team settings. This was a competitive platform to showcase their best qualities for coaches and GMs gathered for the purpose of assembling rosters to compete for the Alliance of American Football’s first championship. The Alliance, co-founded by Bill Polian and Charlie Ebersol, is conducting its one-of-a-kind “Protect or Pick” QB Draft at 8ET/5PT Tuesday evening in Las Vegas. The unique event will be televised and streamed live by CBS Sports Network. With a lineup of proven, innovative coaches, the stage is set. The Alliance head coaches, as a reminder, are: Brad Childress (Atlanta Legends), Dennis Erickson (Salt Lake Stallions), Tim Lewis (Birmingham Iron), Mike Martz (San Diego Fleet), Rick Neuheisel (Arizona Hotshots), Mike Riley (San Antonio Commanders), Mike Singletary (Memphis Express) and Steve Spurrier (Orlando Apollos). Mini-camps begin in December. Training camps follow in January. The drumroll is on. The quarterbacks are ready for their close-ups. Their teammates will include many familiar faces to fans in The Alliance’s eight initial markets. Players were allocated based on where they made names for themselves at the collegiate levels and in many cases professionally. Tune-in to CBS Sports Network on Tuesday 11/27 at 8PM ET / 5PM PT to watch. Tyler Ferguson of Western Kentucky University: B.J. Daniels, who played 5 seasons with pro NFL teams including the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans: Stephen Morris, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts:   Stephen Garcia of the University of South Carolina:   Tommy Armstrong, Jr. of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln:

KURT WARNER NAMED LEAD ANALYST FOR ‘PROTECT OR PICK’ QB DRAFT

Brent Stover and Dana Jacobson to join Warner for Inaugural QB Draft ‘Protect or Pick’ QB Draft Airs Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at 8:00 pm ET LIVE on CBS Sports Network SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – November 21, 2018 – Kurt Warner, a Super Bowl champion, MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback, has been named lead analyst for The Alliance of American Football’s “Protect or Pick” quarterback draft, live from the new Esports Arena Las Vegas at The Luxor on November 27, 2018. Joining Alliance executive and Super Bowl champion Hines Ward, Warner will provide viewers with insight into the quarterback class and dissect each selection, drawing on his 15-year pro career behind center. Alongside Warner will be CBS Sports Network studio host Brent Stover, CBS Sports correspondent and anchor Dana Jacobson and Jason Fisher. CBS Sports Network will televise the first-of-its-kind draft for The Alliance at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT. “The Alliance represents an amazing opportunity for these quarterbacks to begin, extend or revitalize their pro careers,” said Kurt Warner. “They faced adversity and are out to prove themselves, now they have a shot to show what they can do. Having gone undrafted and overlooked, I can relate to their pursuit. I look forward to seeing how this unique draft unfolds and who rises to the top during the inaugural season of The Alliance.” 52 Alliance-signed quarterbacks will be eligible for the “Protect or Pick” draft with additional players being added. Full list can be found here. The “Protect or Pick” draft format begins with each team deciding if they want to protect one quarterback that has been allocated to them from their region. If a team elects to protect, they name the player they are protecting as their first selection in the draft. If they decide to pick, they wait until every other team has made their decision. Once each team makes their decision, the teams that elected to not protect a player make their selection, in the order of the draft, from the remaining pool of all available quarterbacks regardless of region. All selected quarterbacks must be under contract to The Alliance at the time of the draft. The Alliance quarterback draft will be comprised of four rounds. The San Diego Fleet have the first pick in the draft, followed by the Birmingham Iron, Arizona Hotshots, Orlando Apollos, Atlanta Legends, Salt Lake Stallions, Memphis Express and San Antonio Commanders. Quarterbacks are allocated based on where they competed in college. If a player’s college is outside The Alliance footprint, he is allocated based on his last 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. The Alliance’s 2019 and 2020 championship games will be held in Las Vegas at Sam Boyd stadium, with the 2019 championship taking place Saturday, April 27, 2019, at 8:00 pm ET / 5:00 pm PT on CBS. Draft Order Round 1: 1. San Diego Fleet 2. Birmingham Iron 3. Arizona Hotshots 4. Orlando Apollos 5. Atlanta Legends 6. Salt Lake Stallions 7. Memphis Express 8. San Antonio […]

Hines Ward – Player Relations Executive

By Kareem Yasin As a wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Hines Ward earned two Super Bowl titles, a Super Bowl MVP trophy and made 1,000+ receptions during his 14-year career. Now, he’s mentoring a new generation of up-and-coming pro players in the Alliance of American football. Ward brought his experience and knowledge to The Alliance’s two combines in Atlanta, giving players advice, a listening ear and mentorship that helped them advance through a rigorous set of drills and exercises, all with the idea of earning roster spots at the next level.  

Combines Set Stage for The Alliance

Combines Set Stage for The Alliance By Mark Newman   For 1,155 players who came to compete and give everything they had in four Scouting Combines across the country, it was a golden opportunity to make a lifelong dream come true. Who knows? Some of them might become your favorite players when the Alliance of American Football turns its talent loose starting the weekend after the Super Bowl this February. The Alliance has purposefully and competitively been building rosters in recent months through various means, and one important step was these Combines overseen by league personnel. The events were held in Los Angeles on Aug. 4, Houston on Aug. 18, and in Atlanta on Aug. 25-26. “When we started this, we started with the idea that there were a lot of really good ballers who weren’t getting a shot,” said Charlie Ebersol, CEO and co-founder of The Alliance along with the legendary Bill Polian. “This is about opportunity, this is about not giving up, this is about trying to find those diamonds in the rough.” The Alliance rosters were up to 661 signings for the eight teams as of Nov. 9, and Combine participants went a long way toward reaching that number. They faced tests and positional drills, with defensive players working the morning sessions and offensive players in the afternoons. Tests included height and weight, arm and hand measurements; running the 40, to show burst and acceleration, and speed; 3 Cone, an agility drill that shows body balance, control, burst and acceleration; and standing broad jump to gauge lower-body explosion. “We evaluate not only your athletic ability, we evaluate how you handle yourself,” Stephen Austin, The Alliance Combine Director, told assembled athletes. “At the pro level, you’ve got to have the whole package.” The nation’s top 300 collegiate players go to the NFL Combine each year, and John Aaron, The Alliance Combine Director, noted that “301 to 1,000 are great football players.” That’s the whole point of this new league, which begins play the Saturday and Sunday after the Super Bowl. People want to keep watching football, and there is big-time talent just waiting to fill that void. Tony Softli, Scouting Director for The Alliance, said he expected the Combines to result in roster additions: “What we wanted to see is what talent is out there, what’s out on the street. There has been some talent that we found in this Combine, and it’s been well worth it.” Michael Vick, the Atlanta Legends’ offensive coordinator, was clearly moved by the stories he heard from some of those going through the tests and drills — including the athlete who told him about his 9-to-5 job. “There are guys who played two or three years in the NFL, got cut, went and played in Canada,” Vick said. “These guys better be hungry. This is another chance. This is another shot. Not too many opportunities come around. This is about taking advantage of what’s in the moment.” Former Alabama State cornerback Ronnie Scott was one of those who hoped to take advantage. Many of the Combine participants were names football fans recognize. […]

THE ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL SIGNS QUARTERBACK AARON MURRAY

Former Georgia Bulldogs and SEC’s All-Time Passing Leader Joins The Alliance with Rights Allocated to The Atlanta Legends San Francisco, Calif. – November 20, 2018 – The Alliance of American Football announced today that quarterback Aaron Murray has signed a player contract with his rights allocated to The Atlanta Legends. Murray, along with the 51 other quarterbacks — and counting, who have signed Alliance contracts, will be eligible for the “Protect or Pick” Quarterback Draft on November 27, 2018 in Las Vegas. The live show will air at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT on CBS Sports Network. Murray was a fifth-round NFL draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014 after his record-breaking career in Athens, Georgia. The Tampa, Florida native played with the Chiefs for two seasons from 2014-15 working with Legends head coach Brad Childress. Murray also played for the Philadelphia Eagles (2016), Arizona Cardinals (2016) and Los Angeles Rams (2017) during his stint in the NFL. A four-year starter at Georgia, the Bulldogs under Murray’s direction totaled 38 victories during his successful tenure at the helm from 2010-13. His productive junior campaign in 2012 included a second straight SEC East crown en route to a trip to the conference championship game. Murray guided UGA to within eight-yards of capturing an SEC title against Alabama at the Georgia Dome before falling in the final seconds, 32-28. Murray’s signing makes him available for The Alliance of American Football’s “Protect or Pick” quarterback draft scheduled for November 27 at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT at the Esports Arena Las Vegas at The Luxor.

THE ALLIANCE TO HOST ‘PROTECT OR PICK’ QB DRAFT ON CBS SPORTS NETWORK

Inaugural QB Draft Scheduled for Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at 8:00pm ET SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – October 31, 2018 – The Alliance of American Football will hold a “Protect or Pick” quarterback draft, live from the new Esports Arena Las Vegas at The Luxor on November 27, 2018. CBS Sports Network will broadcast the first-of-its-kind draft for The Alliance at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT. Former Super Bowl champion and head of football development for The Alliance, Hines Ward, will host the draft. “From combines held over the summer, to our upcoming quarterback camp in San Antonio, our experienced group of GM’s and scouts from each team continue to be impressed with the level of talent on display and available to them,” said Bill Polian, co-founder and head of football, The Alliance. “Our regional allocation system and the ‘Protect or Pick’ draft format were designed to strike a competitive balance across the league and fuel local market interest. The quarterback position is critical to a team’s success, so we knew the importance of making sure each Alliance team had a top-tier quarterback at the helm. We’re confident this group represents the best available players in the market. They are looking forward to the opportunity to begin, extend or revitalize their professional careers, and we’re going to do everything in our power to help them succeed on and off the field.” The “Protect or Pick” draft format begins with each team deciding if they want to protect one quarterback that has been allocated to them from their region. If a team elects to protect, they name the player they are protecting as their first selection in the draft. If they decide to pick, they wait until every other team has made their decision. Once each team makes their decision, the teams that elected to not protect a player make their selection, in the order of the draft, from the remaining pool of all available quarterbacks regardless of region. All selected quarterbacks must be under contract to The Alliance at the time of the draft. The Alliance quarterback draft will be comprised of four rounds. The San Diego Fleet have the first pick in the draft, followed by the Birmingham Iron, Arizona Hotshots, Orlando Apollos, Atlanta Legends, Salt Lake Stallions, Memphis Express and San Antonio Commanders. “We look forward to working closely with CBS Sports Network to tell the stories behind this amazing group of talented, determined and motivated quarterbacks — live from Las Vegas,” said Charlie Ebersol, co-founder and CEO, The Alliance. “Our unique ‘Protect or Pick’ format adds intrigue to our first-ever live broadcast while ensuring we stay true to our guiding principles of putting high quality football on the field and creating strong, authentic connections with our local market fans by keeping hometown favorites, home.” Quarterbacks are allocated based on where they competed in college. If a player’s college is outside The Alliance footprint, he is allocated based on his last 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. The Alliance […]

Orlando Apollos in force as College GameDay comes to UCF

By Joel Poiley ORLANDO – As University of Central Florida (UCF) fans whipped themselves into a frenzy in front of the ESPN College GameDay crew here Saturday, Orlando Apollos vice president of marketing and strategic communications Mike Harris pictured the excitement the Apollos will offer when they begin play in the Alliance of American Football’s inaugural season against Atlanta on Feb. 9. Like UCF, the Apollos will play their home games at Spectrum Stadium. Harris is taking aim to fill the 44,000-seat venue for the Steve Spurrier-led Apollos. “We want the stadium sold out for game number one so we can show people just how much football means to this city,” Harris said. “The energy that the UCF fans have is tremendous. They call it The Bounce House because they make the place bounce all night long. That’s one of the things we want to bring to our games. They’ll be exciting. We’ll have the head ball coach with his Fun-and-Gun fast-paced style of offense we think the fans will enjoy.” Orlando’s sales team has been aggressive, with events like Saturday’s presence scheduled throughout November to give out schedules, swag and information to drum up interest in the new team and league. The effort has paid off in the two weeks tickets have been on sale, but there’s more work to be done. Harris and his staff, soaking in the scene around unbeaten UCF’s 38-13 victory over Cincinnati, know the interest is there. “Even today, we had people coming up to our table saying they heard about us and want to know more about the league and were buying season tickets,” Harris said. “People love football here, that’s why there are all the college bowl games here, the Pro Bowl did well here … it’s a football hotbed. “People are excited we’re in town. We’re trying to engage the community and develop a one-on-one relationship where our fans are connected to the Apollos. Just like our ad says, football season doesn’t have to end after the Super Bowl.” That mantra, which The Alliance co-founder and CEO Charlie Ebersol has trumpeted since introducing The Alliance in March, is resonating with fans. Give them quality play on the field and they will come. The UCF game Saturday was televised nationally, and similarly, the Apollos will open on the prime-time stage, on CBS. Austin Bosch, 25, attended the University of Mississippi and now lives in St. Petersburg. He said he gladly will make the trip to Orlando to watch pro football in the spring. “For sure I’d come over here because I love football,” Bosch said. “It’s such a cool thing because there were so many players that we loved watching in college that maybe didn’t make it in such a tight roster spot in the NFL, and this give us a second chance to watch them again.” His buddy, 27-year-old Wade Russom, works in downtown Orlando and said he likes how The Alliance fills the football void after the NFL season. “Plus, it’s great to see the head ball coach coaching again,” Russom said. “I love that guy and his style of play.” Bo Armstrong, an Orlando business owner, said he is interested in purchasing season tickets to help support the area’s newest professional sports franchise. “With us being a local business, we do everything […]

32 PLAYERS SIGN NEW CONTRACTS WITH THE ALLIANCE

The Alliance Signed 32 Additional Players to Contracts for the 2019 Inaugural Season Beginning February 9, 2019 on CBS   SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – November 9, 2018 – The Alliance of American Football has signed the following 32 players to contracts for the 2019 inaugural season bringing the league total to 661 players signed: Team Last First Pos College ARIZONA Johnson Steven LB Kansas ARIZONA Moore Rahim DB UCLA ATLANTA Howard Bug WR North Carolina ATLANTA Motuapuaka Andrew LB Virginia Tech ATLANTA Simmons Antonio DE Georgia Tech BIRMINGHAM Brown Leon G Alabama BIRMINGHAM Etta-Tawo Amba WR Maryland BIRMINGHAM Faulk Jeremy DL Garden City CC BIRMINGHAM Fry Elliott K South Carolina BIRMINGHAM Saxton Wes TE South Alabama BIRMINGHAM Schleuger Chris G Alabama-Birmingham MEMPHIS East Andrew LS Vanderbilt MEMPHIS Stribling Channing DB Michigan ORLANDO Eatmon Quinterrius T South Florida ORLANDO Myers Mark DB Southeastern (FL) SALT LAKE Anderson Dres WR Utah SALT LAKE Jennings Adonis WR Temple SALT LAKE Robertson Korey WR Southern Mississippi SAN ANTONIO Ayers Demarcus WR Houston SAN ANTONIO Porter Mo T Baylor SAN ANTONIO Williams Jaboree LB Wake Forest SAN ANTONIO Wren Erick C Oklahoma SAN DIEGO Barrett Alex DT San Diego State SAN DIEGO Fleer Austin T Colorado-Mesa SAN DIEGO Kolone Jeremiah T San Jose State SAN DIEGO Lewis Kyle WR Cal Poly SAN DIEGO Lotuleli John LB Nevada-Las Vegas SAN DIEGO Okeke Tobenna LB Fresno State SAN DIEGO Owusu Francis WR Stanford SAN DIEGO Pericak Will G Colorado   *ALL QUARTERBACKS WHO HAVE SIGNED WITH THE ALLIANCE HAVE RECEIVED ROSTER EXEMPTIONS AND ARE ELIGIBLE FOR A QUARTERBACK DRAFT WHICH WILL OCCUR ON NOVEMBER 27, 2018 IN LAS VEGAS. Last First Pos College *Tolzien Scott QB Wisconsin *Hackenberg Christian QB Penn State   THE FOLLOWING PLAYERS’ RIGHTS HAVE BEEN WAIVED BY THEIR ALLIANCE TEAM AND HAVE BECOME FREE AGENTS ELIGIBLE TO SIGN WITH ANY TEAM Last First Pos College Waived By Eugene Dwayne LB Arkansas MEMPHIS Tucker D’Maujeric RB E. New Mexico State MEMPHIS Bell Wilson G Florida State ORLANDO Durant Davon LB Marshall ORLANDO Johnson Drico DB Central Florida ORLANDO Smith Tyler LB South Carolina State ORLANDO

THE ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL SURPASSES 600 PLAYERS SIGNED

The Alliance Signed 34 Additional Players to Contracts for the 2019 Inaugural Season Beginning February 9, 2019 on CBS SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – October 26, 2018 – The Alliance of American Football has signed the following 37 players to contracts for the 2019 inaugural season bringing the league total to 629 players signed: Team Last First Position College ARIZONA Bunche Malcolm T UCLA ARIZONA Langford Ryan LB New Mexico ARIZONA Lucien Devin WR Arizona State ARIZONA Murphy Pace G Northwestern State ARIZONA Symmank Taylor P Texas Tech ARIZONA Yates Rykeem DE Nevada-Reno ATLANTA #Folston Tarean RB Notre Dame ATLANTA Garrett Keyarris WR Tulsa ATLANTA Griffin Corey DB Georgia Tech ATLANTA Holba Colin LS Louisville ATLANTA Jones J.T. DE Miami (OH) ATLANTA Marvin David P Wofford BIRMINGHAM Dickson Xzavier LP Alabama BIRMINGHAM Greene Brandon T Alabama BIRMINGHAM Taylor Devin DE South Carolina ORLANDO Ferris Drew LS Florida ORLANDO Horton Justin LB Jacksonville ORLANDO Price Sean TE South Florida ORLANDO Northrup Reggie LB Florida State ORLANDO #Orndoff Scott TE Pittsburgh ORLANDO Bracy-Williams Marvin WR Florida State SAN ANTONIO Clear Cameron TE Texas A&M SAN ANTONIO Daly Scott LS Notre Dame SAN ANTONIO Mays Boomer LB Northern Illinois SAN ANTONIO Noil Speedy WR Texas A&M SAN ANTONIO Teuhema Maea SE Louisiana SAN ANTONIO Jones-Smith Jaryd T Pittsburgh SAN DIEGO Baugh Marcus TE Ohio State SAN DIEGO Green Darrell G San Diego State SAN DIEGO Irwin-Hill Sam P Arkansas SAN DIEGO James Kendall DB Maine SAN DIEGO Kelly Kameron DB San Diego State SAN DIEGO Montelus John T Notre Dame *ALL QUARTERBACKS WHO HAVE SIGNED WITH THE ALLIANCE HAVE RECEIVED ROSTER EXEMPTIONS AND ARE ELIGIBLE FOR A QUARTERBACK DRAFT WHICH WILL OCCUR LATER THIS YEAR. Last First Position College *Holman Justin QB Central Florida *Nelson Phillip QB East Carolina *Woodrum Josh QB Liberty

SAN ANTONIO COMMANDERS LOAD UP DEFENSIVE COACHING STAFF

San Antonio Commanders Name Jim Grobe Defensive Coordinator SAN ANTONIO, Texas – October 9, 2018 – The Alliance of American Football’s San Antonio Commanders today announced additions to head coach Mike Riley’s staff. Jim Grobe joins as defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach, Bill Bradley will serve as defensive backs coach and Joe Baker has been named run defense coordinator and outside linebackers coach. “We want to put our players in the best position to succeed both on and off the field, and the hiring of coach Grobe, Bradley and Baker adds decades of invaluable football experience to our staff,” said Coach Riley. “I’m proud of what we’re building here in San Antonio. We want to play fast, hard and smart, giving this city an exciting brand of football that they can rally around and enjoy.” Jim Grobe, Defensive Coordinator / Inside Linebackers Coach Jim Grobe most recently served as the interim head football coach of Baylor University for the 2016 season. He led the Baylor Bears to a seventh consecutive bowl game, defeating Boise State 31-12 in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl. From 2001-2013 Grobe was the head football coach at Wake Forest University. In 2006, Grobe was named ACC Coach of the Year by a unanimous vote and AP Coach of the Year after guiding the Demon Deacons to an 11-2 regular season, an ACC Championship and the program’s first BCS bowl game. Bill Bradley, Defensive Backs Coach A Texas native, Bill Bradley began his coaching career as a defensive backs coach in the USFL from 1983-1985, first with the San Antonio Gunslingers and then the Memphis Showboats. From 1988-1990, Bradley was a defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator for the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. Bradley linked up with San Antonio Commanders head coach Mike Riley in the World League of American Football as defensive back coach from 1991-1993, before returning to the CFL and winning two Grey Cups with the Toronto Argonauts. Bradley’s success led to his transition to the NFL, where he served as defensive backs coach for the Buffalo Bills (1998-2000) and New York Jets (2001-2003). He would go on to serve as defensive backs coach at Baylor University (2004-2006), secondary coach for the San Diego Chargers (2006-2008), secondary coach for the Florida Tuskers of the UFL (2009-2010), and defensive coordinator at Lamar University (2012-2014). Prior to coaching, Bradley played defensive back at The University of Texas, setting the Texas and Southwest Conference records for most interceptions in a game when he picked off Texas A&M four times his senior year. Bradley earned three All-Pro selections (1971–73) at free safety for the Philadelphia Eagles, leading the league in interceptions in both 1971 and 1972. Joe Baker, Run Defense Coordinator / Outside Linebackers Coach Joe Baker has spent the last 22 years as an NFL coach, most recently serving as the secondary coach for the Dallas Cowboys. Baker joined the Cowboys in 2012 as the assistant secondary coach. He moved to safeties in 2014, and was promoted to secondary coach in 2016. Baker started his NFL coaching career in 1995 with the Jacksonville Jaguars as […]

Over Five Hundred Players Signed to The Alliance

The Alliance of American Football has reached a milestone in player acquisition, signing over 500 players to contracts for the 2019 inaugural season. The mark was surpassed with the latest batch of signings highlighted below, bringing the total to 515 players signed to contracts. “As we get closer to our first snap on February 9th, our experienced general managers and personnel teams have been working around the clock to build their rosters and offer players a chance to begin, extend or revitalize their careers,” said Bill Polian, co-founder, The Alliance. “I know the pressure and dedication that goes into building a championship-caliber team and it’s been exciting to see our rosters fill up with talented athletes that have come from all over the country – from small universities in the Midwest to powerhouse SEC schools and successful NFL franchises. They are all vying for another shot in professional football.” “Each day, when I see the personnel notice come across my desk, I’m reminded of why The Alliance is a league of opportunity — these players deserve a chance to continue their football careers and I’m honored they chose The Alliance,” said Charlie Ebersol, co-founder, The Alliance. “With our Super Bowl champion league executives, our best-in-class coaches and general managers, these players will take the field in February prepared and supported by those who have been there before them with an opportunity to compete at a high level in front of passionate, engaged fans. We welcome these 515 players to The Alliance.” Rosters Arizona Hotshots Atlanta Legends Birmingham Iron Memphis Express Orlando Apollos Salt Lake Stallions San Antonio Commanders San Diego Fleet

Introducing the San Antonio Commanders

Robinson resumes quest to impress

By Doug Miller Khiry Robinson knows what it’s like to go above and beyond for recognition, to surprise people with an undeniable impact on the football field. The running back did it when he came out of NAIA Division II West Texas A&M to sign with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2013 after a tryout. He would go on to gain 224 yards in 10 NFL games that year and help the Saints beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs. Robinson backed up Mark Ingram in 2014 and played well in 2015 until a broken leg ended his season. He ended up gaining 766 yards while part of New Orleans coach Sean Payton’s rotation of running backs and scored eight touchdowns. Robinson broke his leg the next year in a preseason game for the Jets and continued to suffer leg injuries that led to his release from the NFL in March 2017. Now he’s back, trying to prove himself again. Robinson signed with the San Antonio franchise in The Alliance of American Football, and he’ll be ready to go when that elite-level spring-schedule venture kicks off its first regular-season games Feb. 9, 2019. Robinson has been fighting for his whole professional career. Back in 2014, at the height of his NFL presence, looking back as a product of the Canyon, Texas, program that hadn’t exactly made him a household name, Robinson told ESPN: “it was all about having faith.” “So I didn’t get drafted, I didn’t get picked up, you know,” he said then. “But it all worked out for me. I just kept my head high, kept my faith and kept working hard. And I’m here today to help the team win. I’m happy for that.” It figures to be just as tough if not tougher for Robinson now. He’s had serious leg injuries, and he’s 28 years old. But he’s also experienced. He has been through the NFL grind. He’s entering a situation where opportunity is there for him to impress the people he needs to impress. But he’s been through this before, and his words from 2014 can be repeated if he succeeds in this next opportunity. “I just wait for my number to be called,” Robinson said. “And when my number’s called, I try to do something great so I can get it called again.”

Riley will prepare Commanders to fly

By Lyle Spencer The Alliance of American Football is new and exciting to Mike Riley, and to everyone else involved, but San Antonio isn’t new to him. He has coached in the Alamo City before. Taking his drive back to San Antonio to compete in a brand new league that kicks off the week following the NFL Super Bowl is as natural to Riley as breathing. It might be a cliche, but it’s as accurate as Tom Brady under pressure. Mike Riley was born to be a coach. It’s in his blood, inherited from a man, Bud Riley, who loved and coached football and passed his passion along. Like father, like son. The ride started when Mike Riley drove Corvallis High School to two Oregon state title games, winning one, and it’s been there ever since, across four decades of coaching collegians and pros. “I kind of fell in love with the idea of the team and the whole idea behind strategy and technique,” Riley said. “That’s just always what I was going to do. I never was going to be a fireman… I knew I was going to be a coach. I knew I was going to be in football from the beginning, and I’m very grateful for that.” Riley will teach athletes those techniques he has known virtually since birth, as a teen quarterback and then as a defensive back at the University of Alabama. Going back to his earliest days as a QB who could run and throw and lead, Riley has always loved a wide-open attack. San Antonio fans can expect their team to “fly around and have fun,” one of his favorite expressions. Riley jumped into coaching after his playing days ended, and it’s been a wildly entertaining ride ever since. Riley spent six years cutting his coaching teeth as a defensive coordinator at Linfield College in Oregon before moving north to coach, as his father had, in the Canadian Football League. After serving as an assistant, Riley took the head reins of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at 33, winning two Grey Cups in four seasons. Next came the San Antonio Riders of the WLAF, where he was 11-9 in two seasons before the team folded in 1993. Moving to the University of Southern California, Riley enjoyed great success as John Robinson’s offensive coordinator and QB coach. The Trojans won bowl games in three of Riley’s four seasons, and his next move brought him back to Corvallis. Riley spent two seasons as OSU’s head coach, implementing a pro-style attack and establishing a talent base that would thrive in a highly competitive conference before accepting the San Diego Chargers’ head coaching job. After three seasons with the Bolts, going 14-34, he assisted with the New Orleans Saints for a year before returning home to the work that probably best defines his career.      From 2003 through 2014, wildly entertaining Oregon State teams went 93-80, winning five consecutive bowl games and six of eight overall. Riley directed three quarterbacks who went on to play in the NFL: Sean Canfield, Matt Moore, and Derek Anderson. While he is […]

Commanders swagger into San Antonio

By Mark Newman When The Alliance of American Football announced earlier this year that San Antonio would represent Texas as one of eight teams on this exciting new stage, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said: “We are a big-league city, and The Alliance is big-league sports. This provides an opportunity for us to have a professional football team we can call our own.” Now they have a name for that team. The San Antonio Commanders. The team announced its new name on Tuesday, a big step on the road to the Commanders’ season opener Feb. 9. This much-anticipated choice appropriately reflects the essence of Military City, USA. It’s an undeniable emotional connection with a city and its people — a tribute to San Antonio’s collaborative spirit, its many victories, and its three centuries of military presence now embodied by so many Army and Air Force families. Look closely at the new team logo that comes with a new team name, and you can see why it’s time to show support. The Commanders will sport a sword on their logo, which resembles a military patch. You also see the iconic mission edifice in the logo, a nod to that rich military past and the ringing shout out: “Remember the Alamo.”  The Lone Star of Texas shines brightly at the bottom of the shield. Courage and bravery are real in San Antonio. The name stands for a stalwart defense that always makes a stand and an explosive offense with lightning-strike strength, precision control, and great protection. They wear uniforms with pride here, and the new ones will come in maroon, red and silver. The leadership of Commanders: leaders of people, leaders in the standings. A Commander is defined as “a person in authority, especially over a body of troops or a military operation.” Bowie and Travis, they were commanders. Commanders of many stripes can be found at Lockland Air Force Base, Fort Sam Houston, Camp Bullis and Randolph Air Force Base, all part of Joint Base San Antonio. There are 39,000 students who graduate each year from military training in San Antonio, and they all look to play their part, to follow the plan, to honor their Commanders and country. New head coach Mike Riley and general manager Daryl Johnston are examples of the kind of leadership experience already in place in San Antonio’s newest team. “We do look forward in the very few short months before kickoff to show the rest of the league how passionate and engaged our fans are,” Nirenberg said. “This team will become an integral part of this city, and we’ll rally around and support this team as they begin to hoist trophies throughout our streets.” The Commanders are here, and they will define success as you’d expect in a city of champions. Their spirit, that of their community and the pro football games headed this way: A proud tribute to teamwork, resolve, innovation and sacrifice. That’s how the games are played in Military City, USA.

Commanders’ GM Johnston a Texas treasure

By Mark Newman It remains to be seen whether Daryl Johnston will try to help keep the tradition of the fullback position alive as he assembles this San Antonio Commanders roster along with head coach Mike Riley for the first season of The Alliance of American Football starting in February. All “Moose” wants is to build another Texas pro football tradition and help aspiring players reach their dreams in the process, the way he did a few decades back. “It’s been a long time since San Antonio has been able to call a football team their own at the professional level,” said Johnston, the Commanders’ new general manager and a Dallas Cowboys legend. “We were really excited to be a part of this, and I know Mike Riley has made the statement, and I’m the same way, this has been a great opportunity for both of us, but we weren’t going to do this if it wasn’t going to be in the city of San Antonio. Mike has ties from his previous time here, and my tie is just being in the state of Texas and understanding that it was very important for us to be an important part of San Antonio.” The Commanders have a majority of the Texas college territorial imprint through the new player allocation process. There will be plenty of local and regional ties to help attract fans to the new team, based on roster signings so far, and having Johnston in a leadership position helps steer that popularity. “There are so many talented athletes who are right on the cusp of making an NFL roster, but for one reason or another end up on a practice squad or out of football completely,” Johnston said. “We’re going to give them the chance to show the football world what they can do, that they do belong. A number of these guys are from the great state of Texas, where football is a way of life, and we look forward to having them in San Antonio uniforms.” Johnston, 52, earned three Super Bowl rings with Dallas before going onto a successful broadcasting career, one he will hold onto as a FOX Sports analyst while serving in this new capacity. Troy Aikman, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Don Meredith and even Roger Staubach tried their hand at broadcasting after their Cowboys days, many of them to longtime acclaim, but Johnston is unique in that he now re-enters the game in an executive capacity. You’re not likely to find another Daryl Johnston on the Commanders roster, as fullbacks are few and far between. But you definitely will find a Daryl Richardson, the former NFL running back from Abilene Christian. Or former NFL running back Khiry Robinson from West Texas A&M. They are more of the prototype backs, the kinds Johnston can easily size up with his top-notch football IQ. Johnston cleared a path for all-time NFL rushing leader Emmitt Smith in those heady days, and many people will never forget the part of Smith’s 2010 Hall of Fame speech where he had Johnston stand up […]

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 }}

New AAF pro football league, set for 2019 debut, described as ‘complementary’ to NFL

The XFL won’t be the only new professional football league set to launch over the next couple of years.

Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward, More to Oversee Alliance of America Football League

The new Alliance of American Football will include the involvement of former NFL general manager Bill Polian as well as former NFL players Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward and Justin Tuck. {{ vc_btn:title=Learn+More&shape=square&link=url%3Ahttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.sportsbusinessdaily.com%252FDaily%252FMorning-Buzz%252F2018%252F03%252F20%252FAlliance-of-American-Football.aspx%7C%7Ctarget%3A%2520_blank%7C }}

Why A New Football League Thinks It Has What It Takes To Survive

The All American Football League, United Football League, United States Football League, Fall Experimental Football League, Major League Football and North American Football League all have something in common -- {{ vc_btn:title=Learn+More&shape=square&link=url%3Ahttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.forbes.com%252Fsites%252Fdarrenheitner%252F2018%252F03%252F21%252Fwhy-a-new-football-league-thinks-it-has-what-it-takes-to-survive%252F%252338bb2810555a%7C%7Ctarget%3A%2520_blank%7C }}

Charlie Ebersol The Latest To Try Hand At Spring Football League

Vince McMahon in January announced plans to launch a new XFL by ‘20. At a media event in N.Y. this morning, Charlie Ebersol announced his plans to launch a competing, single-entity spring football league called the Alliance of American Football in February. Longtime NBC Sports boss Dick Ebersol, Charlie’s father and a driving force behind the original XFL, will be on the AAF's BOD. The AAF carries a roster of high-profile investors including The Chernin Group and Founders Fund, which was an early investor in Facebook, Space-X and Lyft. M Ventures, entrepreneur Keith Rabois and former NFLer Jared Allen also are investing in the league. Charlie Ebersol would not say how much he raised or how much the league needs to succeed. “Getting a lot of money was obviously important, but getting the right money was even more important,” Ebersol said. “All of these previous attempts have been based on the idea of a one- or two-year business model. I went out and said, ‘Look, I need money for seven-to-10 years.’ They were the type of people that jumped on board.” The AAF already has a deal in place with CBS Sports, which has committed to show the league’s first game in primetime on its broadcast network on Feb. 9. That is the week following Super Bowl LII, which will be produced by CBS. The broadcast network also has committed to show the league’s first championship game in primetime the weekend of April 26-28. CBS Sports Network will carry a weekly regular-season game. All games will be live streamed for free via the league’s app, which will allow for an in-game fantasy component. {{ vc_btn:title=Learn+More&shape=square&link=url%3Ahttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.sportsbusinessdaily.com%252FDaily%252FMorning-Buzz%252F2018%252F03%252F20%252FAlliance-of-American-Football.aspx%7C%7Ctarget%3A%2520_blank%7C }}

XFL documentary maker plans new football league

While Vince McMahon promises to bring back a revamped XFL in 2020, a son of McMahon's partner in the original short-lived XFL venture said his football league will come first. And some big NFL names will be involved. Charlie Ebersol, who directed a documentary on the XFL that aired last year as part of ESPN's 30 for 30 series, announced Tuesday that his league, the Alliance of American Football, plans to debut Feb. 9, 2019, the week after Super Bowl LIII. The season will run 10 weeks and will have 50-man teams. {{ vc_btn:title=Learn+More&shape=square&link=url%3Ahttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.espn.com%252Fnfl%252Fstory%252F_%252Fid%252F22844453%252Fxfl-documentary-maker-plans-own-football-league%7C%7Ctarget%3A%2520_blank%7C }}

New Pro Football League Sets 2019 Debut With CBS Sports Pact

Charlie Ebersol made a documentary about why the XFL failed. Now he’s set to launch an eight-team pro football league in 2019 with a CBS Sports broadcast deal and a roster of ex-NFL players in executive and advisory roles – a year ahead of WWE chairman Vince McMahon’s planned XFL reboot.