Harrisburg Stampede Name Nowotarski Head Coach/GM
HARRISBURG, PA (October 18, 2010) - During the 2010 season the Harrisburg Stampede achieved most of their goals by amassing a 12-4 record, earning the team's first postseason berth, and winning the club's first playoff game. They fell just short, however, of their last two goals; making and winning the national championship game. Today they moved closer to achieving those goals in 2011 by hiring Bernie Nowotarski as Harrisburg's General Manager and Head Coach.
Nowotarski brings an extensive, and successful, football record on the field, sidelines, and in the front office to the Stampede. Entering his sixth season of professional football as a coach and/or general manager, the Exeter, Pennsylvania resident has compiled four division championships, two conference championships and won a national title in 2009.
"We're excited to have a coach and general manager with Bernie's long record of success take the helm in Harrisburg," said Stampede Co-Owner and President John Morris.
The Exeter High School Hall of Famer became the first employee of the then expansion Reading Express in 2005 and took his first professional coaching and front office positions as the Express' defensive backs coach and assistant general manager. In their first year of play (2006) Reading raced through the regular season with a 12-2 record, won the first of four straight division titles and advanced to the league championship game.
Nowotarski, who also was an All-American in football and track at Kutztown University, stepped up to lead the Express' front office in 2007 as the team's general manager, while continuing as their DB coach. Again Reading piled up an impressive regular season record at 14-2 and proceeded to the league championship game before falling in a heartbreaking loss, 54-49, to the Lakeland (Florida) Thunderbolts. In 2008, 2009, and part of 2010, he performed double duty as the Express head coach and GM. In 2008 the Express were an overall 11-5, won their third straight division title, and advanced to the conference championship game. In 2009 Nowotarski brought Reading its first national title after compiling a 15-3 record.
In Nowotarski's four plus seasons with Reading, the Express tallied a 60-19 record, won four division titles, two conference championships, and a national title and led the league in attendance every season. In 2009 he was named Coach of the Year, GM of the Year, the Most Influential Person in Indoor/Arena Football, and the Berks County Coach of the Year.
"I am looking for Bernie to build on the on-field success we had last season and to greatly improve our efforts with local businesses and community groups in Harrisburg and the surrounding areas," stated Morris.
Nowotarski also gained valuable pro experience as a player. After his standout prep and college careers he was signed by the Seattle Seahawks in 1981 and later traded to the Detroit Lions. He went on to play for the Michigan Panthers of the United States Football League (USFL) following the NFL players' strike.
In addition to being a member of the Exeter High and Kutztown University Halls of Fame, Nowotarski has been inducted into the Berks County Coaches Hall of Fame, Berks County Chapter of the Pennsylvania State Hall of Fame and has been named to the Berks County All-Century Football Team as a starter and was named Top Male All-Around Athlete in Berks County History.
"I am excited to get into the Harrisburg business community and build up our sponsorships. As we really want to concentrate on creating an atmosphere of family fun and great football, while increasing our attendance by leaps and bounds. I would like to thank John Morris and Fred Clark for this opportunity to lead this franchise into the forefront of indoor football," commented Nowotarski.
He currently lives in Exeter with his five children, his grandson, and his girlfriend Jill and her children.
• Discuss this story on the American Indoor Football Association message board...
American Indoor Football Association Stories from October 18, 2010
- Over a Cup of Coffee - OSC Original by Jerry Hewitt
- Harrisburg Stampede Name Nowotarski Head Coach/GM - Harrisburg Stampede
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.