Vipers name Theodosatos head coach; Stroud returns as GM
HUNTSVILLE, AL - The Tennessee Valley Vipers will have a pair of familiar faces at the helm heading into the 2007 arenafootball2 season.
Veteran coach Milt Theodosatos - who replaced Chris Williams as head coach in June - will lead the Vipers into their seventh campaign as they look to improve on last season's 3-13 record.
Tennessee Valley has also announced that Joe Stroud, who served as the Vipers vice president and general manager from 2000-04, will return as the team's general manager.
"With the commitment made by both Joe and Coach T we know the Vipers leadership is on solid footing, both on the field and off, for the 2007 season,'' Tennessee Valley President Keith Jeffries said.
"Combining Joe's management experience in pro sports with T's coaching and motivational abilities guarantee the team and fans a better 2007 season."
A former Vipers assistant coach, Theodosatos joined the Vipers in 2003 as the team's fullbacks/linebackers coach for former head coach Kevin Guy. During the '04 Vipers' season, he served as the offensive/defensive line coach and moved on with Guy to the Rio Grande Valley Dorados in '05.
"Football is my passion. It's something I've been living for a long, long time,'' said Theodosatos, whose team completed last season with a 55-40 victory at Birmingham.
"It's like a dream come true for me. Living in Huntsville and being able to coach in Huntsville with the fans and people here - it's a tremendous opportunity. It's a fun thing."
In five seasons under Stroud's guidance, the Vipers had 10 over capacity crowds, an average of 5,620 fans per game at the Von Braun Center and an overall 63-17 regular season record. He previously served as marketing director and assistant general manager for the East Coast Hockey League's Birmingham Bulls from 1997-'98 and Director of Marketing at his alma mater Samford University from '98-'99.
"I feel blessed and honored to be back in this position,'' Stroud said. "Our goal is to be the No. 1 franchise in af2 both on and off the field."
Theodosatos had a career 192-162-6 record as a head coach in high school in New Jersey, New York and Oklahoma before retiring in 2001. He served as the head coach for the Luebeck Cougars of the German Football League in 2002 and has over 40 years experience as a head coach, rebuilding 14 programs into contenders, winners and champions.
Named Coach of the Year in 1970, 1978, 1982, 1991, 1996 and 1998, Theodosatos took five different programs to the state playoffs and won a New Jersey State Championship in 1998 at Madison High School. He also coached in the Governors Bowl in 2000, where the all-stars from New Jersey beat New York 47-7.
"Our assignment here is to bring back the success that we've had in the past and do it the right way,'' Theodosatos said. "We're going to bring in quality players who are quality people. Our goal is to win.
"Losing isn't fun and not fun for anyone - including our fans. We've always felt that we had the best fans in the league and the most loyal who acted the proper way - even towards our opponents. We have a responsibility to get it done."
Vipers tryout set for Dec. 10: Tennessee Valley will hold an open tryout Dec. 10 in the VBC's South Hall. There will be a 1 p.m. registration and a 2 p.m. start. There will be an early registration charge of $35 and a $40 fee the day of the event. For more information contact Theodosatos at 256-551-2387.
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