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Peter Vaas named head coach of Cologne franchise

November 3, 2003 - National Football League Europa (NFLE)

PETER VAAS, the only head coach in NFL Europe League history to win back-to-back World Bowls, has been named to take charge of the league's new team in Cologne, Germany.

On the day that the NFLEL introduced Cologne (Köln) as its newest franchise, Vaas was named as the team's first-ever head coach. He had previously spent four seasons as head coach of the Berlin Thunder.

Vaas, who led the Thunder to World Bowl victory in 2001 and 2002, said: "I had four fantastic seasons at the Thunder and take with me great memories of the organisation, the fans and the city of Berlin.

"Now I am very excited about the opportunity of building a winning team for Cologne and helping to introduce the NFL Europe League to a brand new city. It is a great challenge to be here at the start of an exciting new chapter in the league's history and to have the chance to build a new footballing tradition.

"There are some tough challenges ahead as we look to build a team and an organisation from scratch, but we will be ready to make a strong challenge for the World Bowl in the coming season."

Announcing the appointment, NFL Europe League Managing Director JIM CONNELLY said: "Peter has proved his qualities as a coach on the field and has a passion and energy for the sport that will be invaluable as the Cologne franchise develops over the coming months."

Vaas first worked in the NFL Europe League in 1998-99, when he was an offensive assistant for the Barcelona Dragons, helping them to a berth in World Bowl '99. In 2000, he was named as the new head coach of the Berlin Thunder and led the team to its first World Bowl success in 2001, beating the Dragons in the championship game.

In 2002, he was named NFLEL Coach of the Year after turning the Thunder around from an 0-3 start to beat the Rhein Fire in World Bowl X in Düsseldorf.

A former starting quarterback at Holy Cross, Vaas began his coaching career in 1974 as an assistant at Allegheny College and from 1979-85 was offensive coordinator at the University of New Hampshire. In 1986, Vaas returned to Allegheny as head coach and led the team to two North Coast Athletic Conference championships.

He went on to become quarterback and running backs coach at the Notre Dame before four seasons as head coach at Holy Cross, from 1992-95, and a spell as offensive coordinator for the Canadian Football League's Montreal Allouettes.

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