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 last two seasons with the University of South Florida as a quality control assistant for the Bulls’ offense. Prior to USF, Spurrier was a member of the football staff at the University of South Carolina for eight seasons, spending 2014-15 in a full-time capacity as quality control coordinator for the offense under his father and as an analyst under head coach Will Muschamp in 2016. Spurrier graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sport and entertainment management from South Carolina in 2009 – he was a walk-on wide receiver for the Gamecocks beginning in his freshman year in 2006.
About The Alliance of American Football
Led by some of the most respected football minds in the game, The Alliance of American Football is a dynamic professional football league fueled by an unprecedented Alliance between players, fans and the game. Founded by TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol and Hall of Famer Bill Polian, The Alliance will feature eight teams with 52-player rosters playing a 10-week regular season schedule in the spring beginning February 9, 2019 on CBS, followed by two playoff rounds and culminating with the championship game the weekend of April 26-28, 2019.
The eight cities, stadiums and head coaches are as follows:
Orlando Apollos / Spectrum Stadium / Steve Spurrier
Atlanta Legends / Georgia State Stadium / Brad Childress
Memphis Express / Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium / Mike Singletary
Birmingham Iron / Legion Field Stadium / Tim Lewis
Salt Lake Stallions / Rice-Eccles Stadium / Dennis Erickson
Arizona Hotshots / Sun Devil Stadium / Rick Neuheisel
San Diego Fleet / San Diego County Credit Union Stadium / Mike Martz
San Antonio Commanders / Alamodome / Mike Riley
Fans will be able to stream Alliance matchups live via the free Alliance app while accessing integrated fantasy options with real rewards — for themselves and the players they are cheering on. With a focus on player well-being on and off the field, The Alliance will provide players with a commitment to safety and state-of-the-art equipment as well as a comprehensive bonus system, post-football career planning, financial counseling and scholarship support for postsecondary education.
About The Orlando Apollos
A member of The Alliance of American Football, The Orlando Apollos are led by an experienced professional coaching, playing and front office staff featuring head coach Steve Spurrier, team president Mike Waddell and general manager Tim Ruskell. The Apollos compete in The Alliance of American Football with The Atlanta Legends, Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express, Arizona Hotshots, Salt Lake Stallions, San Antonio Commanders and San Diego Fleet. The name Orlando Apollos is inspired by Apollo, Greek god of the sun, who is often depicted as an archer. The Apollos’ colors are derived from two shades of orange which are reflective of the warm Florida sunshine that is common to Orlando and central Florida, and the color navy also pays respect to the Apollo Space mission and the entire Florida Space Coast. The Apollos’ arrow points east toward Florida. Orlando Apollos’ home games will be played at Spectrum Stadium. Fans can purchase season tickets for as low as $75 at www.orlandoapollos.com or by calling 833-AAF-2019. For more information on The Apollos, visit the team’s website and be sure to follow The Apollos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.