January 16, 2008 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Columbus Destroyers
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The defending National Conference champion Columbus Destroyers, presented by Germain, have announced their coaching staff for the upcoming 2008 Arena Football League season. Michael Baker, John Zinser and Jonathan Churchill will join returning special teams coach and Director of Player Personnel Ken Matous on Head Coach Doug Kay\'s staff this season.
Baker (West Virginia - 1993) enters his fifth season as a coach and 12th overall in the AFL. Last season, he spent his third campaign as the offensive coordinator for the Grand Rapids Rampage after spending 2004 as their wide receivers coach. The Camden, Ga. native, played seven seasons in the AFL as a wide receiver/defensive back. He spent five seasons with the Rampage (1998-2002) and also played for the Albany Firebirds (1997) and St. Louis Stampede (1996) as an offensive specialist.
A member of the 2001 ArenaBowl champion Rampage, Baker was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1994 before being allocated to the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football. At West Virginia, he started three seasons at wide receiver (1991-93) and earned All-Big East First Team honors his senior season.
Zinser (Pennsylvania - 1988) enters his fifth season as a coach and 14th overall in the AFL. A season ago, he was the offensive coordinator, line coach and player personnel director for the Las Vegas Gladiators. In 2004, the New Fairfield, Conn. native was the offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Soul and was the line coach for the Mohegan Wolves (af2) in 2003, New Jersey Gladiators in 2001 and Grand Rapids Rampage in 2000.
Named to the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Div. I-AA) All-American Team and All-Ivy League in 1988 as an offensive/defensive lineman at the University of Pennsylvania, Zinser attended training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1989. He spent nine seasons in the AFL with the Rampage (1998-99), New Jersey Red Dogs (1997), Charlotte Rage (1995-96), Massachusetts Marauders (1994), Miami Hooters (1993), Arizona Rattlers (1992-93) and Albany Firebirds (1991).
Churchill (Bucknell - 2001) enters his fourth season of coaching in the AFL and was a defensive assistant coach for the Nashville Kats in 2007. He began his indoor experience with the Wilkes-Barre Pioneers of the af2 in 2004, where he was offensive/defensive line coach for two seasons. The Pioneers won the American Conference title in 2004 with a 13-3 record.
The Nashville, Tenn. native, was the wide receivers/tight ends coach at Rowan University (N.J.) from 2005-07. The Profs won two New Jersey Athletic Conference championships (2005-06) and advanced to the semifinal round of the Division III playoffs in 2005 and the quarterfinal round in 2006.
In 2001, Churchill was named First-Team All Eastern College Athletic Conference as an offensive lineman at Bucknell. After his four-year playing career (1998-2001), he played two seasons for the Pioneers on the offensive/defensive line.
The Destroyers home schedule kicks off in the "Battle of the Buckeye State" against the Cleveland Gladiators on Saturday, Mar. 15 at 7 p.m., where the team will unveil the 2007 National Conference Championship banner on Huntington Field at Nationwide Arena.
WE BELIEVE Saturdays are for football, the defending National Conference Champion Destroyers will play seven home games "under the lights" on Saturday night including one Monday night game. Deposits are being accepted now for 2008 Destroyers season tickets. Call 1-877-COLS-AFL for further details on season ticket offers. For other Destroyers information, visit www.ColumbusDestroyers.com.