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July 19, 2007 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Bakersfield Blitz News Release

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Blitz Name Mike Cooper Interim Head Coach

The Bakersfield Blitz announced that Mike Cooper has been named interim head coach, according to President/General Manager Andrew Watkins.

"We're excited to give Mike this opportunity," said Watkins. "He has worked hard and we are looking forward to seeing what he can do."

Cooper will replace Gary Compton, whose Blitz team went 5-9 (.357) this season and 15-17 (.469) overall.

Cooper has been with the Blitz organization since 2006, serving as Special Teams Coordinator and Assistant Offensive and Defensive Line Coach last season and OL/DL coach this season. Following his collegiate career at Northern Arizona University, where he was named to the All-Academic Big Sky team in 1988, Cooper has held coaching positions with numerous high schools in the Bakersfield and Kern County area, including Ridgeview, South, Frazier Mountain, Shafter, West, Brawley Union, and Kingman, among others.

"On behalf of the entire Blitz organization, we would like to thank Coach Compton for his past contributions. Much of the success that the team enjoyed in 2006, including our first-ever playoff win, would not have been possible without him. We wish him well in his future endeavors," said Watkins.

The Blitz will play their final home game of the 2007 season on Saturday, July 21st against the Stockton Lightning. Great seats are still available as low as $10 by visiting the Rabobank Arena Box Office or any Ticketmaster outlet. For more information, please call 661-377-2548 or visit www.bblitz.com.

Cooper Fills Out Coaching Staff

Newly-appointed Bakersfield Blitz Head Coach Mike Cooper (Northern Arizona, '90) has filled out his coaching staff, team officials said today. Pending league approval, Eric Mahanke (Fresno State, '98), Kenny Haslip (USC, '99) and Nick Onaindia (Utah State, '01) will assist Cooper through the remainder of the 2007 season.

Eric Mahanke has been named the team's new offensive coordinator. Mahanke, a native of Newbury Park, CA, played in 11 games this season for the Blitz, catching 57 passes for 537 yards and 3 touchdowns. Defensively, he recorded 31 tackles and had 3 interceptions. He also recovered a fumble in the end zone with under a minute to play to help the Blitz hold off the Stockton Lightning, 45-42, in Week 4. Mahanke has been sidelined with an injury since June 30th.

Kenny Haslip has been named the team's new defensive coordinator. Haslip, a former WR/DB from Pasadena, CA, played for the AFL's Los Angeles Avengers, af2's Central Valley Coyotes and the Bakersfield Blitz.

Finally, Nick Onaindia has been named the Offensive and Defensive Line Coach for the Blitz. Onaindia played in 10 games in 2007 before being placed on Long Term Injured Reserve on June 19th. He had 36.5 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 4 blocked kicks and two forced fumbles before being sidelined due to injury.

"We think the fans will be happy with the staff that Coach Cooper has brought together," said Blitz President/General Manager Andrew Watkins. "All three assistants have had great Arena Football careers and bring a wealth of experience to the organization. We're excited to see what they do in the final two games of the season."

Blitz to Host Fan Appreciation Party at the Days Inn

With the 2007 season winding down, the Bakersfield Blitz are hosting their Fan Appreciation Party next Thursday, July 26th at the Days Inn located at 818 Real Rd., Bakersfield, CA, 93309.

Fans of the Blitz are invited to this FREE event on Thursday, July 26th from 5:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. at the Days Inn, the Official Housing Partner of the Bakersfield Blitz. There will be free food, prizes, the chance to meet players and coaches and much more! Don't miss it!

For more information, please call 661-377-2548 or visit www.BBLITZ.com today.

Fourth BLITZ WOW!Seminar to be Held this Saturday

The Bakersfield Blitz are proud to announce that the fourth BLITZ WOW! (Women of Wisdom) seminar will be held prior to its home game on Saturday, July 21st.

The BLITZ WOW! (Women of Wisdom) program is a series of seminars, sponsored by the University of Phoenix, aimed at increasing awareness of the many educational programs, resources and career enhancement opportunities available to local women, while providing networking opportunities with some of the most successful women in Kern County.

This week's featured speaker is Assemblymember Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield). Elected in November, 2006, Fuller is the Chair of the California State Legislative Rural Caucus. In addition, she currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Assembly Natural Resources committee and is a member of the State Allocation Board, the Assembly Agriculture Committee, and the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance.

Prior to her election to the Assembly, Fuller served as Superintendent of the Bakersfield City School District and was named California Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators during the 2004-05 academic year.

This free event will begin at 5:00 p.m. and continue to 6:00 p.m. with light refreshments served. Those in attendance will receive complimentary admission to the Blitz game against the Stockton Lightning, immediately following the seminar. Tickets to this event may be obtained at the University of Phoenix or the Blitz Corporate Offices.

Previous speakers for the BLITZ WOW! (Women of Wisdom) program include Robin Mangarin, KGET newsanchor; Mary Madland, President and owner of Madland Toyota-Lift, Inc.; and LaMeka Burton, Financial Analyst for Chevron Corporation.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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