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Danton Barto Voted af2 Coach of the Year

August 16, 2005 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Memphis Xplorers News Release

Southaven, MS-Memphis Xplorers Head Coach Danton Barto has been named the SFC af2 Coach of the Year, as voted on by af2 head coaches and members of the media.

Barto is in his fourth season as the Xplorers' head coach, and has guided his team to the National Conference Championship Game for the first time in franchise history. The Xplorers will host the Rio Grande Valley Dorardos Friday night at the DeSoto Civic Center at 7:30pm.

Memphis finished the af2 regular season with the number one overall offense and the number one overall defense. Memphis averaged a total of 55.8 points per game, while allowing a mere 37.6 points against them. Barto serves as both the Offensive and Defensive Coordinator for the Xplorers. In the final af2 Coaches Poll, the Xplorers were allotted the top spot. This is an accomplishment Memphis achieved for the first time this season.

The Xplorers also have five players on All-af2 teams, including first team members Dahnel Singfield and Khreem Smith, and second team members Terrell Adams, Joseph Crear, and Kevin Prentiss.

"The players are the ones out there that make us coaches look good," said Barto. "This year we have been fortunate that we have a talented group of athletes that believe in our coaching system. Being a good coach begins with having talented players."

In his four seasons as the Xplorers Head Coach, Barto has improved the overall record of the team each time. Memphis reached the postseason for the first time in franchise history, finishing the regular season at 10-6 and eventually losing in the first round by two points to the eventual af2 champions. This year has been even stronger than 2004 with Memphis winning 13 regular season games and losing three games by a total of nine points.

"I have to thank the Maddox Foundation and our owner Robin Costa for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to coach this team," said Barto.

The Xplorers won the 2005 Mid West Division of the National Conference, which is a division that features four of the six playoff teams in the conference. Last Friday against the Amarillo Dusters marked the first home playoff game in team history. The Xplorers dominated the Dusters 71-30, advancing to the Conference Championship Game.

"This means a lot to be recognized by me peers and the media in the league," said Barto.

Over the past two regular seasons, Barto has the best winning percentage and the highest number of wins in the af2 with 23.

The Xplorers coaching staff consists FB/LB Coach Jesse Allen, OL/DL Coach Chuck Boler, and WR/DB Coach Deumaine Reeder. Both Allen and Reeder played under Barto during his first few season as the Head Coach.

"I have to give a lot of the credit to my coaching staff," said Barto. "Jesse, Chuck, and Deumaine have been a large reason for the success we have had this season."

"I also owe a lot of this award to Chris Bauer, and all the hard work he has done with the scouting," said Barto. Bauer serves as the Xplorers Director of Player Personnel.

Barto played college football at the University of Memphis where he is still considered a football legend. His 473 career tackles is the best all-time at the University. To this day Barto is the only Tiger to be named to the All-American team three different seasons. Barto also played professional football for five seasons in the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League.

The Xplorers will play in the National Conference Championship game this weekend against the Rio Grande Valley Dorados. Game time is scheduled for 7:30pm. All Xplorers games can be heard on SportsRadio WMC, The Mighty 790 AM. Single game tickets start as low as $9 and can be purchased by calling 662-342-1755, visiting the DeSoto Civic Center box office, or by logging onto today. Memphis Xplorers Arena Football! Back in Black!

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