Birmingham Lions Announce 2017/18 Coaching Staff

The University of Birmingham Lions are pleased to announce their staff for the upcoming 2017/8 BUCS Premier League. Since the end of the 2016/7 season Head Coach and Director of Football has been hard at work recruiting and formulating a staff that will continue to promote the core values of Lions Football.

There are a number of additions to the staff, however many are not new faces to the programme. There has also been a restructuring with certain returning coaches to take on additional responsibilities.

The 2017/18 University of Birmingham Lions staff is as follows:

Firstly, a promotion within the staff, as long time Lion Coach Greg Freeman takes up the role of Assistant Head Coach. Greg will continue his role as Defensive Backs and Special Teams coach but with added responsibilities across the programme.

Coach Hill stated,

“Greg is tremendous for the programme and showcases the development, commitment and desire required to move through the programme from player to coach. I am extremely proud of him and the Coach he has become.”

Head Coach Wayne Hill will be handing over the Defensive Coordinator duties this year to returning Lion Maxwell Petitjean. Maxwell graduated through the Lions programme and played for the Great Britain Student team. Since then Maxwell has coached the Lions Youth team before moving to London to work with the London Blitz and transforming the University of Brunel defensive unit in their recent undefeated championship season. Maxwell has also worked alongside Wayne Hill as a Graduate Assistant coach for the GB Adult programme. This philosophical understanding, energy and commitment that Coach Petitjean will bring to the programme means the Lions defence will not miss a beat and continue to develop under new leadership.

maxwell petitjean

Coach Petitjean will be assisted on the Defence by recent graduate Joshua Gaff who will take over the reins of the DL. With Brandon Hattiloney and Will Stone returning it will be down to Coach Gaff to continue to develop the latest in a long line of successful Lions Defensive Linemen.

Stuart Andrew will be returning as Linebackers Coach whilst also taking on much more responsibility. Stuart joined the Lions in 2016 and has been a huge asset to the programme. His attention to detail, dedication to film and scout means the defensive staff will provide the players with every opportunity to succeed.

The Offensive staff will be lead again by workaholic OC Andrew Morgan. Andrew is an enthusiastic coach who will never be outworked in his preparation for practice, classroom or games. This offseason already has seen Coach Morgan pushing the offensive staff to self-evaluate, review and establish a philosophy to ensure progress is made in his third season at the Birmingham Lions Offensive Coordinator.

Coach Morgan led a session on the success of his no huddle offence at this year's BAFCA Convention
Coach Morgan led a session on the success of his no huddle offence at this year’s BAFCA Convention

Coach Morgan will be supported by a large offensive staff that sees many familiar faces returning to the pride. Paul Cooper will continue to link between OL and RB as the Run Game Coordinator. Coach Cooper’s experience as the former Lions OC always offers a sounding board for the rest of the staff and someone who takes Coach Development to the next level.

The Offensive Line sees the return of OL Coach Ross Barrow who in recent years has developed a tenacious unit who have been the driving force behind the Lions success. Coach Barrows detailed approach will be supported by newcomer Carl Lewis. Carl has played OL for the GB Adult programme and has successfully won four championships with the Lions Women’s team developing one of the best OL’s in Women’s football. Coach Lewis will split his duties between Women’s and Men’s this season with the focus being on his own coach development, which in turn will support the development of all the players he comes into contact with.

A large stable of Running Backs will be guided by highly committed returning coach Laurence Matthews. Laurence is another product of the programme, who has grown within the team to embody the core values of a Lions Coach – Work Ethic, Effort and Enthusiasm.

The development of a new starting QB falls in the hands of All-World QB Tristan Varney. Coach Varney’s calm and deliberate coaching style is one that allows Quarterbacks to flourish and focus on the fundamentals which build the bricks of a successful passer and, more importantly, leader.

Image result for tristan varney
Photography (c) Bec Edwards, Via

Wide Receivers will be guided by returning WR’s Coach Steve Kinnersely, who as a Cambridge graduate is someone who is precise, organised and dedicated to the development of each player in his group. Bringing the “Juice” to this unit will be returning Lions Legend Jay Alexander. Coach Alexander brings the experience of being a HC, OC, ST’s and RB coach, as well as being a long time member of the pride both as a player and a coach. Jay brings a huge amount of competitive desire to the table and EVERYONE is excited to see the competition between the DB’s and WR’s throughout the coming season. Because if the players aren’t going at it, we are certain that Coach Freeman and Coach Alexander will set the tone.

Rounding up the coaching staff is Offensive GA Inderjit Pharwaha. Indy is just getting into coaching but his dedication and love for the sport is undeniable and he is someone that we believe will add a tremendous amount to the programme.

Beyond the coaching staff the Lions are pleased to announce the large backroom staff that make the University of Birmingham Lions special. Starting with Women’s Team WR and former UoB Graduate Rachel Trim who will lead the organisation and communications on game day, as Game Day Manager. Rachel was new to this role last year and added a tremendous amount to the programme.

The returning statisticians Jonty Carter and Noel Clarke are already working with the staff to develop new data analysis and statistical breakdowns to enable greater ability to self scout, along with detailing opportunities to exploit opposition tendencies through the scouting process.


No scouting would be available without the dedication of Video Analyst Mike Hinton. The ability to film practices, games and opposition enables the coaches and players to have every opportunity to continue to develop players as well as manufacturing positive situations within games.

Another area where the Lions pride’s itself on is the health and wellbeing management of its players. The Lions have a dedicated medical staff that ensure all players have every opportunity to be healthy, through screening, pre-hab, injury review and re-hab. Headed up by Team Physio Sarah Harrison and including Team Doctor Emir Battiloglu and Sports Therapist Callum Davidson. The Lions not only have a medical team dedicated to care, advice and guidance but also a staff that fully understands football. Sarah is also a lead physio on the GB Adult programme and both Emir and Callum combine their medical duties with playing football for the GB Adult Programme.

Finally, but by no means least, Photographer Bec Edwards returns to capture the history, memories and bonds that are created when playing football. Bec is the true Lioness of the programme offering countless hours away from her job as a Doctor to support the programme and capture the special times that only come when you fully understand “Once, Always and Forever.”




Nick 'Willy Tee' Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he's spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general 'BUAFL wafflage'. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1