The Pittsburgh Power, the city's new arena football team, hired Chris Siegfried as its first head coach Tuesday, team owner/general manager Matt Shaner said.
The Power signed Siegfried, winner of an ArenaCup, the championship game of the minor league arenafootball2, and most recently the offensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Sharks, to a one-year contract as mandated by AFL rules, Shaner said. Shaner did not disclose the terms of the contract.
"He was highly recommended by the commissioner of the league [Jerry Kurz] and he came highly recommended by other owners in the league," Shaner said.
The Sharks, an expansion team in 2010, went 12-4 in their first season and made the playoffs. Shaner said he was impressed not only with Siegfried's success with a new franchise and his offensive mindset -- a must in the high-scoring AFL -- but with his demeanor outside of football.
"He's a family man, very committed to his wife and kids," Shaner said.
The selection process, Shaner said, took about a month to complete. Shaner said he fielded calls from current and former coaches in the league interested in the job and that he selected Siegfried from a list of five or six serious candidates.
Before joining Jacksonville for the 2010 season, Siegfried coached the Arkansas Twisters of the now-defunct AF2 from 2008-09. In '07, he served as the offensive coordinator for the AFL's Kansas City Brigade. He coached the AF2's Spokane Shock in '06, its first year of play, where he won an ArenaCup and was named the AF2's Coach of the Year. The Shock became the first expansion team to both reach, and then win, the ArenaCup.
Siegfried also coached the AF2's South Georgia/Cape Fear Wildcats from 2002-05. He previously played wide receiver and defensive back for the AF2's Augusta Stallions and was the first AF2 player to become a head coach.
Siegfried graduated from Millersville University in Milllersville, Pa., in 1991, where he played football and wrestled.
Now comes the task of assembling a coaching staff and putting together a team. Because of the accommodations and living arrangements the Power can provide players and a home field in the new Consol Energy Center, Shaner said, veteran players have expressed interest in coming to Pittsburgh.
"His phone's been ringing off the hook, my phone's been ringing off the hook with players that want to come and play for Pittsburgh," Shaner said. "People are very excited to play for the Pittsburgh Power."
The team plans to introduce Siegfried at a news conference at Consol Energy Center this afternoon.
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