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John Morris Introduces The AIF and Nowotarski to Lead Stampede

October 18, 2011 - Southern Indoor Football League (SIFL) - Harrisburg Stampede News Release

HARRISBURG, PA (October 18, 2011) - John Morris, President/Owner of the Harrisburg Stampede and the newly formed AIF, announced that his Harrisburg Stampede will be a part of AIF for the 2012 season. Morris has also returned long time colleague, Bernie Nowotarski as Harrisburg's General Manager and Head Coach.

The AIFA burst onto the Indoor Football scene for the 2007 season and quickly became a Nationally recognized league for its strong competitive and wide-open style of play. The 2011 season saw the AIFA combine with the SIFL. With the development of the AIF for the 2012 Season, the AIF footprint will stay Regional but will be on each coast. Keeping the East and West Coast divisions regional will allow Owners to create Budgets and Travel, which will be sustainable over the long term and not force teams out of business. Teams and season schedules will be released in the next few weeks, with games kicking off in March of 2012. Over the next few seasons growth is expected to maintain the Regional Philosophy of keeping Travel and Budget Expenses as a priority. We will have a quality product on the field and our teams will be able to become fixtures in their cities with the goal of becoming a key to hometown community fellowship and relationships, commented Morris.

Nowotarski brings an extensive, and successful, football record on the field, sidelines, and in the front office to the Stampede. Entering his seventh 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 and AIF League Owner John Morris. Last season we had a rough start with injuries and setbacks. "Bernie and I decided we had to make a change and as Head Coach and GM there was no other move to make, but I have the utmost confidence in Bernie and that the Stampede will be in the AIF hunt for a 2012 Championship Title", commented 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-field success and 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 return to Harrisburg and its 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. I would like to thank John Morris for this opportunity to lead his franchise into the forefront of indoor football and get back to the excitement that AIF football provides," commented Nowotarski.

He currently lives in Exeter with his wife Jill and their eight children and grandson. You can follow Coach Bernie on Twitter at bdbcoach. As well you can friend request his and the Stampede Face Book pages. The Stampede website will also be updated regularly with player, dance and team news.

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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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