Vipers name Dean Cokinos head coach
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Tennessee Valley Vipers announced today that former Nashville Kats assistant head coach Dean Cokinos will serve as the team's head coach and director of player personnel for the 2008 arenafootball2 season.
Cokinos becomes Tennessee Valley's sixth head coach, replacing Milt Theodosatos who led the Vipers to a 7-9 mark in '07.
"We are excited to announce Dean as the new head coach of the Tennessee Valley Vipers,'' Vipers owner Keith Jeffries said. "His experience in the AFL will be a tremendous benefit to our team, and will definitely lead him to the recruits needed to ensure the Vipers' success in 2008."
Cokinos was promoted to assistant head coach in Nashville last season and maintained his role as director of personnel after serving as the Kats offensive coordinator in 2006 - in which the offense broke 11 team and individual records - and offensive assistant and personnel coordinator in '05.
"I am excited about coming to work for the Vipers organization. I believe Huntsville to be one of the top areas in the af2 to coach,'' Cokinos said.
"Geographically, you could not ask for a better location to draw player personnel from. Secondly, I am looking forward to working with the Vipers front office staff, particularly Joe Stroud, who has an outstanding reputation. Right now the goal is to get the football operations part of the organization into high gear.
I think with my past experience and contacts with AFL teams, agents and local colleges we should be able to upgrade our roster significantly. Historically, Tennessee Valley was an elite team in the af2 for many years, and right now I view this team as a sleeping giant ready to be awoken. I know the fan base here has an incredible passion for the Vipers and they deserve a winner."
The Boston native landed in Nashville after spending previous seasons as the head coach of the Intense Football League's San Angelo Stampede in 2004 and af2's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers in '03.
Cokinos coached at the collegiate level at UMASS-Boston (1990), Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. ('91), and served as defensive backs coach at West Alabama (formerly Livingston University) in '92. There he coached current Arizona Rattlers and former Vipers head coach Kevin Guy and former Vipers assistant and ex-Rio Grande Valley coach Marty Hammond.
Cokinos also coached in the German Football League which served as an NFL Europe development league for teams in Munich, Berlin and Nurnberg. A total of 18 of his players went on to play in NFLE.
Jeffries also announced that the Vipers have finalized a deal with new investor Doug MacGregor of Austin, Texas. MacGregor and his associates are partners in af2 teams in Texas, Illinois, Idaho and Washington.
"The added experience and strength of the new investor places the Vipers on solid footing for the coming year and beyond,'' Jeffries said.
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