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Jacob Wiegand, Deseret News
Dennis Erickson, newly introduced head coach of Alliance Salt Lake, speaks to media following a press convention subsequent to J.Okay. McKay, head of soccer operations for the Alliance of American Football, at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 16, 2018.
SALT LAKE CITY — Dennis Erickson might be training once more — and in Rice-Eccles Stadium, to boot.
The former University of Utah assistant coach has been named the primary head coach of Alliance Salt Lake, which was once offered as one of the primary 4 contributors of the fledgling Alliance of American Football league.
Salt Lake’s squad will play its house agenda at the Utes’ turf, a incontrovertible fact that helped trap Erickson out of retirement.
Hearing that Salt Lake City was once one of the primary groups — and the only he’d coach — was once an enormous bonus for Erickson. His 47-year training profession incorporated 4 seasons in Utah together with one season (2013) as Kyle Whittingham’s offensive coordinator.
“Really, I had a great time here,” Erickson stated. “I didn’t have as much pressure because I wasn’t the head coach — that was all Whittingham — but I just loved this town.”
Atlanta, Memphis and Orlando are the opposite 3 groups to had been named to a league that may get started with 8 groups. Phoenix is the following town that might be offered.
The Alliance was once based through TV and movie manufacturer Charlie Ebersol, son of TV legend Dick Ebersol (board of administrators), and Hall of Famer Bill Polian. Former Steelers greats Troy Polamalu (head of participant members of the family) and Hines Ward (participant members of the family govt) are a number of the different well known NFL guys spearheading this league.
AAF executives consider their league will be triumphant the place different secondary pro soccer leagues — just like the USFL and XFL — have failed as a result of of monetary backing and team of workers concerned. The thought is to supplement the NFL, in all probability even changing into of a minor-league springboard.
“It’s impressive. It’s people that are in it for the long haul,” AAF head of soccer operations J.Okay. McKay stated of the financiers and sponsors. “We’ve been very realistic in our budgetary projections in terms of how many tickets we think we can sell and what the costs are going to be.”
The league may be in a just right broadcasting place, having already secured a countrywide TV contract with CBS. Every sport may also be streamed.
The AAF will start its 10-game agenda following the NFL’s Super Bowl on February nine, 2019. There might be two playoff rounds and a championship sport at the ultimate weekend of April.
To assist advertise participant protection, the AAF is not going to have kickoffs or additional issues. Teams hoping to stay the ball after a landing will give you the chance to try a fourth-and-10 play from the 35-yard line to retain ownership.
The league will allocate native avid gamers to the closest team, which means former Beehive State collegiate avid gamers will finally end up with Alliance Salt Lake. There might be a model of a draft for unallocated avid gamers.
“Now that we have the coaches involved, we’re all going to sit in a room and argue about it for a while,” McKay joked.
Erickson chuckled when requested if he’d be keen to coach avid gamers from BYU. He discussed that he’s shut pals with Cougar coaches Kalani Sitake and Aaron Roderick and added, “If they’re good, I’ll coach anybody.”
The 71-year-old Erickson, who has two nationwide championships underneath his belt from his Miami days, is having a look ahead to getting again at the sideline with a league that turns out to have a promising sport plan.
“They’ve got a purpose. It’s about the players. They’ve got great financial backing,” Erickson stated. “To me it was about just the players and the fans. That’s what I miss most about it. When you do it as long as I do, you just want to get back in it. As long as I can do a good job and coach and stay on both feet, I want to coach as long as I can.”
The Alliance additionally plans on taking just right care of its avid gamers through giving each and every participant twelve months of a scholarship to end faculty for annually in the league. Players may also have alternatives to do internships and take benefit of partnerships in a post-career jobs program.
McKay relayed the AAF’s positive outlook of changing into a authentic choice to the NFL thank you to the folks and price range concerned.
“We’re focused 100 percent on football, quality football. That’s why he’s here,” McKay stated, referring to Erickson. “I believe avid gamers will need to come to this league. They all need an opportunity. Our guys will — in the early years — be in a position to transfer to the NFL after the season’s completed.
“The NFL might be staring at, and confidently so much of other folks might be staring at, too.”
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