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Wranglers announce additions to coaching staff

August 3, 2006 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Austin Wranglers News Release

AUSTIN-The Austin Wranglers announced today the addition of Lee Johnson as the team's defensive coordinator and Chris MacKeown as the special teams coordinator and receivers coach. In addition, Joe Avezzano has joined the Wranglers as a consultant to the organization.

Johnson comes to the Wranglers following four years of coaching with the Colorado Crush. Having previously worked with Wranglers Head Coach Brian Partlow during his time with the Crush, he assumed the role of defensive coordinator in 2003 and then for the past three seasons he was the special teams coordinator and defensive line coach. Notably, Johnson has coached at the NFL, CFL and AFL levels. As a player, Johnson won a Super Bowl title with the Washington Redskins following the 1990 season and an ArenaBowl Championship in 1993 with the Tampa Bay Storm.

MacKeown spent the 2006 season with the AFL's Columbus Destroyers. He joins the Wranglers having eight years of professional coaching experience. Last season, MacKeown's special teams unit boasted the league's second ranked kickoff return unit and sixth ranked kickoff cover unit. MacKeown has worked as a head coach in the IFL with the Dayton Skyhawks and Cincinnati Swarm of the af2, while assuming assistant roles at the collegiate and AFL levels.

As an assistant with the Indiana Firebirds in 2001-02, MacKeown worked with Partlow on the offense.

"We are excited to bring these men onto our coaching team as they bring a wealth of Arena Football knowledge and an appreciation for the uniqueness of the game," said Partlow. "Both coaches will be a great fit with my coaching style and they will compliment our players well."

Avezzano, who most recently was the special teams coach of the NFL's Oakland Raiders, will join the Wranglers as a consultant to the organization. Bringing over 15 years of NFL coaching experience along with two years in the AFL as head coach of the Dallas Desperados (2002-03), Avezzano will be used to advise the organization on football related matters.

"Joe Avezzano will be a great resource of football knowledge and expertise for the Wranglers coaches and players," said Partlow. "He will be able to assist us on a variety of the organization's football related issues."

Don't wait to get your season tickets to Ambush Arena in 2007. Coming off their most successful season in franchise history, the Wranglers are geared up for a run at ArenaBowl XXI. To reserve your season tickets, call the Wranglers ticket office at (512) 339.3939 or for ticket information log on to

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