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Haege Returning as Defensive Coordinator

January 4, 2007 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Arkansas Diamonds News Release

(North Little Rock, AR) - Art Haege is returning as the Defensive Coordinator for the upcoming 2007 season after helping lead the Twisters back to the playoffs in '06. He will also assist Head Coach John Gregory with recruiting of talent and handle all the defensive planning on game day.

The former St. Ambrose coached the Twisters defense into one of the top defenses in the entire af2. The Twisters ranked top five in every major category and finished the season with a franchise tying sack record. Arkansas also used that defense to advance to the conference finals for the second time in four years, winning a franchise record 12 games in '06.

Haege joined Gregory's staff four games into the 2005 season with a reputation for helping turnaround struggling football programs. The Twisters went from giving up an average of over 60 points a game through the first four games of '05 into a defense that gave up just over 40 points per game.

Football has been Haege's life for many years. He has coached on every level of football throughout five decades, from the smallest little leagues with young children, to giants on the gridiron in professional football in the NFL, CFL, and AFL. Gregory and Haege coached together in Iowa with the Barnstormers in the mid to late 90's. While the offense, led by Kurt Warner, garnered the headlines, Haege's defense help lead the team to two Arena Bowl game appearances.

After growing up in Peoria, Illinois, Haege went to college at St. Ambrose in Davenport, Iowa, where he earned All-American honorable mention as a tight-end and defensive end. He was named Ambrose athlete of the year in '59 and inducted into their Hall of Fame in '93. Haege played one year in the CFL before a serious shoulder injury cut his playing career short. Coaching stayed in the family with Haege's oldest son Frank coached the Quad City Steamwheelers from '00-'01, losing just one time while winning two ArenaCup Championships.

News of Haege returning to the Twisters comes shortly after the team announcing it was assigned reigning Intense Football League defensive lineman of the year Barrett Dallmeyer.

The Twisters take the field in the spring of '07 and fans can purchase season tickets starting as low as $64 in the lower bowl of Alltel Arena. Interested fans can call 975-KICK for more information.

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