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Victory over Lexington Brings Tommy Johnson 50th Win

April 26, 2008 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Louisville Fire News Release

Louisville, Ky.- Louisville Fire Head Coach Tommy Johnson gains his 50th win after defeating in state rival the Lexington Horsemen. Johnson is only the seventh coach in the af2 to reach this level of success.

His journey began in 2003 when he stepped into the Fire head coach position. Johnson earned his first win on April 25, 2003, when his squad defeated the Peoria Pirates 54-50. During his time with the Fire, Johnson has taken each Louisville team to successful post season appearances.

In 2005, Johnson went on to lead Louisville to their most successful season in franchise history. Finishing the regular season 11-5, the Fire made an outstanding playoff run, falling short of the Arena Cup Championship. After three convincing back- to- back victories, Louisville fell to Memphis 41-63 in the championship game.

Taking pride in his athletes on and off the field Coach Johnson feels developing the talent and leadership skills of his players is one of his most important jobs. "Developing the young men is one of the things I feel like I am good at. Developing these young men into the type of arena football players they need to be to move on to the next level is something I get joy out of doing," stated Johnson.

Several former Louisville athletes, including Tampa Bay Quarterback Brett Dietz and Georgia Force receiver Tiger Jones were able to further their careers through the help and support of Coach Johnson. His influenced has grown outside of the U.S, as former Fire veteran Tony Stallings joined the Buragamo Giants in Italy.

Having the respect and loyalty of his players and coaching staff, over the last five seasons has made winning that much easier. Without the support of his assistant coaches Johnson feels this level of success would have been impossible, this feeling is mutual. "Coach Johnson is very open minded and positive. He's always smiling and in a good mood. Football wise it's a leadership thing, being straight forward with the players and letting them know what's really going on . . . I have adopted some of that. I like the way he carries himself as far as off the field. I've adopted some of that too," explained Offensive Coordinator Anthony Payton.

Louisville looks to continue their success as they head to the Midwest, taking on the Quad City Steamwheelers on Saturday, May 3. This match-up marks the second meeting between the American conference opponents this season. The game will be available on the internet, visit and click on the Nifty TV link.

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