San Diego Fleet News

SAN DIEGO FLEET ADD FAMILIAR FACES TO COACHING STAFF

Veteran Coaches and Former Pro Players Highlight Fleet Staff San Diego, Calif. – October 11, 2018 – The Alliance of American Football’s San Diego Fleet today unveiled their coaching staff under head coach Mike Martz for the 2019 inaugural season. Jon Kitna joins Martz as his offensive coordinator, Larry Marmie as defensive coordinator and Larry MacDuff will be The Fleet’s special teams and linebacker coach. Additionally,Dre Bly will be Martz’s defensive back coach, Vince Amey the defensive line coach and Anthony Becht the tight end coach. Matt Kitna will serve as an assistant offensive line coach and Az-Zahir Hakim will be The Fleet’s wide receiver coach. “I have a great deal of respect for what each of these coaches have accomplished and experienced throughout their careers and this group will help ensure that we put the best possible football product on the field each weekend in San Diego,” said Mike Martz, head coach, San Diego Fleet. “We have a unique opportunity to provide our players with a dynamic staff that can help shape their careers in ways no other league can provide. He added, “Just as The Alliance is a opportunity for players to begin, extend or continue their careers, this league also provides the same opportunity for coaches to advance their careers. With my coaching staff taking shape, we are getting closer and closer to bringing pro football back to the great city of San Diego.” Jon Kitna, Offensive Coordinator Kitna spent 14 years as a quarterback in the NFL from 1997 to 2011 with four teams; Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions before finishing his playing career with the Dallas Cowboys. Over the course of his career Kitna completed 2,677 of 4,442 passes for 29, 745 yards with 169 touchdowns and 165 interceptions. Following his retirement from playing, Kitna began his coaching career at his alma mater Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Washington where he recorded a 24-8 record as a head coach before taking over the coaching duties at Waxahachie (Texas) High School. While at the helm for Waxahachie Kitna posted a 20-13 record in three seasons for the Indians prior to taking over Brophy (Arizona) Prep in February 2018. Larry Marmie, Defensive Coordinator Marmie has more than four decades of coaching and scouting experience, including 19 seasons in the NFL ranks. Most recently, Marmie spent two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014-15) as a senior defensive assistant working with the team’s nickelbacks Prior to joining Tampa Bay’s coaching staff, he spent four seasons with Seattle (2006-09), two seasons with St. Louis (2004-05) and eight seasons with Arizona (1996-03). Marmie also spent two seasons working as a pro scout for the Oakland Raiders (2012-13). Before joining the professional ranks, Marmie spent 28 seasons coaching in the collegiate ranks, beginning his collegiate coaching career at Morehead State (1968-71), before moving on to Eastern Kentucky (1972-76), Tulsa (1977-78), North Carolina (1979-82), Tennessee (1983-84; 1992-94), Arizona State (1985-87, defensive coordinator; 1988-91, head coach) and UCLA (1995). Larry MacDuff, Special Teams / Linebackers MacDuff brings over 30 years of coaching experience to the Fleet as he has spent time with […]

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 Diego Fleet

Sankey’s mission in San Diego: Keep running  

By Joel Poiley Draftniks will recall that Bishop Sankey was the first running back chosen in the 2014 NFL Draft, selected as the 54th player overall by Tennessee after an outstanding three-year career at the University of Washington. He was drafted ahead of Jeremy Hill, Carlos Hyde and Devonta Freeman, among others. What followed has been a five-year journey, one with peaks and valleys. The window appeared closed when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the opening preseason game with Minnesota in 2017. But the advent of The Alliance of American Football re-opened the door. San-key signed with San Diego’s newest pro team in early September. The hard-charging Sankey provided memorable moments for fans during his time at Washington, where he rushed for 3,496 yards and 37 touchdowns in three seasons. A 200-yard game against Washington State in the Apple Cup in 2013 broke Corey Dillon’s 1996 school record of 1,695 yards in a season. The same play in which he passed Dillon, on a 7-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, he also broke Napoleon Kaufman’s school rushing touchdowns record with his 35th. He finished the season with 1,870 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. Sankey was drafted after his junior year by Tennessee when the Titans sought a replacement for Chris Johnson, who had been released the prior month and signed with the Jets. Then-Titans scout Marv Sunderland compared Sankey to former Giants star running back Tiki Barber. “He can run inside, he can get outside, he runs through guys and he can break the long runs,” Sunderland said after the Draft. “He has great hands out of the backfield, and he’s a good blocker. He is a well-rounded back.” Those attributes still apply to Sankey, a sturdy 5-feet-10, 209-pounds. His story just shows how tough it is to carve out a long career at running back, no matter how high you’re drafted. He proved to be a more than useful back during two seasons in Tennessee, rushing for 762 yards and averaging 3.8 yards per carry. However, he was cut late in training camp in 2016 when the Titans traded for DeMarco Murray and drafted Derrick Henry in the second round, bumping Sankey down the depth chart. Practice squad stops followed with New England, Kansas City and Minnesota, then the ACL injury last season. The opportunity to play with The Fleet couldn’t have come along at a better time for the still hungry RB. “One of the quotes I’ve always lived by is: ‘The race doesn’t go to the swiftest or fastest, but to the one who keeps running,’ ” Sankey said in an interview in The Spokesman-Review in Spokane in 2015. “A quote we had in the training room at Washington was, ‘Durability is more important than ability.’ ” Always goal-driven, Sankey used his off-seasons to complete his degree requirements last June. One goal down, another is still possible, thanks to The Alliance.

Martz, set, go: Fleet will be a force!

By Lyle Spencer Opening day in February is fast approaching for the eight-team Alliance of American Football’s inaugural season, and one thing is as clear as the perfect aerial views in the nation’s self-proclaimed most beautiful city. San Diego’s newest franchise will have a sky-high identity when the hitting, running and scoring start for real. Mike Martz, the team’s first coach, is a homegrown guy, roots firmly planted in the border city. His reputation as a master of offensive football, forged over decades, is beyond dispute. Here is a man who was far ahead of his time, a true game-changer. Schooled at Madison High School and Mesa Junior College in San Diego, Martz was a tight end with a burning desire to consume everything about the game. He would apprentice in numerous jobs before coming into national focus as an innovative mind with uncommon teaching skills. A traveling man along the lines of basketball’s Larry Brown, Martz had served seven college assistant coaching assignments before becoming the Los Angeles Rams’ quarterbacks coach in 1992 when they played in Anaheim. He took over as receivers coach in ’95 and ’96, with the team’s move to St. Louis. Moving to Washington as Redskins QB coach in ’97 and ’98, he rejoined the Rams at Vermeil’s behest to assume control of the offense. A team that was judged the worst in the National Football League in preseason evaluations improbably claimed a division title and won an epic Super Bowl XXXIV against the Tennessee Titans. “It was like when Muhammad Ali first came on the scene,” wide receiver Isaac Bruce said in a Sports Illustrated interview. Martz played an immediate role in the development of the primary sources of the Rams’ fantastic run: Warner, Faulk and wide receivers Bruce and Torry Holt. Martz took over the reins from Vermeil soon thereafter and sustained the soaring success of what was hailed as “The Greatest Show on Turf.” The Rams reached another Super Bowl, falling to New England after going 14-2 in the 2001 season. With former grocery store employee Kurt Warner emerging as a two-time NFL Most Valuable Player under Martz’s guidance and Marshall Faulk serving as an all-purpose force with few peers, the Rams brought a wide-open attack to the game that evolved into the pass-happy show now on display across the landscape. “I like running the football,” Martz said, “but I like running the football well.” Noted for his teams’ passing artistry, Martz is a big believer in balance. He made excellent use of the multiple gifts of Faulk, who established his reputation at San Diego State, when the Rams were indeed lived up to their reputation. After making the playoffs four times and going 53-32 in six seasons in St. Louis, Martz experienced health concerns, and he and the Rams became a memory. Martz turned down head coaching feelers and took his ideas and techniques to the Lions (2006-07), 49ers (2008) and Bears (2011) as an offensive coordinator. San Diego football fans have been spoiled by offensive fireworks from the very beginning. Their early Chargers, featuring the likes of Lance Alworth, Keith […]

Honored to be in SD: Fleet is born!

By Mark Newman San Diego’s has long been known for its strong and inspiring Naval community. With unmistakable recognition of that, there’s a new pro football team in town, here to honor that historic ongoing connection. Introducing the San Diego Fleet, one of eight teams in The Alliance of American Football, which begins its debut season in February. The Fleet made the announcement at a news conference on Tuesday, and everywhere you look is a tribute to that rich local heritage. “San Diego is a football city,” said Charlie Ebersol, co-founder of The Alliance. “It’s deeply ingrained in the culture of the city.”  The tradition of pro football gets a fresh start in San Diego, fitting right in with the region’s majestic, endearing reputation off the field. The San Diego Fleet has a clear mission: Win, offensively and defensively, with firepower, strength and ingenuity. Fleets sail together, and this team will exude the kind of teamwork that’s made the city it calls home famous. Naval Base San Diego is a workplace for more than 35,000 personnel and 54 ships. The Fleet, naturally, sports a Naval-inspired theme. The logo shows appreciation for local shipmen and shipwomen, with a single chevron that pays tribute to hard-working petty officers and to battleships from the Pacific fleet. The colors and typography are unique to professional athletics, mirroring those of Navy ships and the signature San Diego sunshine and Battleship Gray. The Fleet are going to blend into this community just fine. Welcome the San Diego Fleet to the pro sports world.

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.