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DeMatteo and Gonos to Lead Fire

February 27, 2014 - Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) - Georgia Fire News Release

ROME, GA (February 27, 2014) - The Georgia Fire of the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) have announced former Tennessee Chattanooga star and two-time Division I-AA All-American Cosmo DeMatteo as the Fire's first Head Coach.

DeMatteo was Head Coach of the Knoxville Nighthawks in 2013, a season which was hampered by series of injures. After two early season victories over the previous two league champions, the Nighthawks lost many key player and several close games.

Previously, DeMatteo has served as Defensive Coordinator of the Georgia Force in 2012. He was the assistant coach and director of player personnel for the Tennessee Valley Vipers in AF2 in 2008 and 2009. The Winchester, TN native spent the 2010-2011 seasons as wide receivers coach for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.

"I'm very excited to be getting things started in Rome" DeMatteo said. "I have talked with the management of the former indoor team (Rome Renegades) and they raved about the City and the entire region. It's hard not to be pumped up about the situation especially with so many players that have been on multiple championship teams."

DeMatteo played five seasons for Arena Football League teams in Wilkes-Barre (2002), New York (2003), Nashville (2004) and Arizona (2005-06), earning AF2 MVP in 2002 and Iron Man of the Year in the AFL in 2003. He played for the Barcelona Dragons in NFL Europe in 2002.Coach DeMatteo was inducted to the University of Tennesee Chattanooga sports Hall of Fame in 2011. He scored six touchdowns in a game in 2000 surpassing NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.

In addition, Jeff Gonos, Executive Director of the PIFL will assume the role of General Manager of the Fire. Jeff is currently in his third season with the PIFL after spending the previous 13 seasons working for professional football teams. He began his career with the Erie Invaders of the Indoor Football League in 1999 before moving on to the AF2 Greensboro Prowlers from 2000-2003.

In 2004, Gonos spent time doing a Football Operations internship with the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. Following the internship, Gonos moved on to work with the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe as the teams' Operation Manager. The Admirals captured the World Bowl Championship that year behind the arm of Big 10 quarterback Kurt Kitner (Illinois) and University of Miami running back, Jarrett Payton.

Gonos then returned to the Arena Football League as the Director of Football Operations for the Austin Wranglers from 2005-2007 managing to make the playoffs in his first season. After 2007 the Arena Football League suspended operations Gonos took the General Managers position with the Columbus Lions. While with the Lions, the team made the playoffs every year, compiled a 40-11 regular season record, and won the 2010 SIFL Championship.

The Georgia Fire is the newest team in the PIFL, kicking off April 5th at the Forum in Rome, Ga. For the latest information on the Fire visit us at www.georgiafire.us or face book at Georgia Fire Football. To purchase single game tickets or multi game tickets visit www.forumevents.org/

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