Following on from other exciting announcements from the Leicester Falcons in the latter part of last year, the Falcons have this week announced their coaching staff for 2018.
Shared with DC by the Falcons:
The Falcons management team have been taking big strides in our region to become a more professional outfit. We were recently able to announce our new business model to make American Football more accessible to players and potential players in the midlands, in an effort to grow the game in and around Leicester.
A huge part of our initial plan was to build a solid coaching staff with not just experience but also a core understanding of what The Falcons are trying to achieve this season.
“In the Midlands there are so many teams at different levels with coaches looking for a new challenge, we were spoilt for choice. We spoke to many candidates and eventually decided that a cohesive unit of coaches would be the winning factor for the team’s growth. We looked at Tamworth’s coaching set up and the cohesion between the staff and have picked a group of coaches who have all been involved in football together at some point and spoke well of each other.”
Without further adieu, the Leicester Falcons would like to announce our eight coach line-up for the 2018 season.
Head Coach – Noel Cassar
Coach Cassar, is currently also the head coach of the Derby Braves. Currently focusing on developing rookie players and keeping them inside the British Football loop once the university season ends. As a player Coach Cassar played with The Nottingham Hoods and returned to football five years ago as a coach at The Braves. He has been the Head Coach of the Leicester Falcons for two seasons and the Falcons are happy to continue their relationship with Coach Cassar into the future.
Offensive Coordinator – Simon Juniper
Coach Juniper, will be finishing his career as a player having previously played on the offensive line with the Leicester Falcons for the past two seasons. Prior to that, Coach Juniper was also a player with the Shropshire Revolution and was one of the first Derby Braves players. Juniper was previously the OC of the Derby Braves during their two playoff run seasons with Joe Brammer at Quarterback, who will be playing QB for the Falcons this season. Juniper and Brammer ran The Braves offense together for three seasons before both ending their Braves’ careers. We’re excited to see Coach Juniper re-engage with many ex-Braves’ receivers and running backs at the Falcons this season.
Defensive Coordinator & DB – Wayne Gumbs
Coach Gumbs, helped the Falcons win their Division 2 title and has been a dedicated part of the team for a long time. Previously Wayne was head coach of Northampton University and was also a part of the Coventry Jet’s defense at cornerback through their strongest years. Coach Gumbs brings excellent playing and coaching experience to the table.
Linebackers – Michael Freauff Jr
We were approached by Coach Freauff at the start of winter after our announcement regarding our new business model. Coach Freauff played high school football in Ankeny, Iowa where he played four years of varsity. Starting at linebacker and fullback until his junior year when his coaches transitioned him to play defensive tackle for his final two years. He then received a scholarship to play defensive end at Upper Iowa University. After one season he transferred as a walk on to Iowa State University. Once his playing career ended he began coaching at Ankeny high school where he served as the quarterback coach for three seasons. Coach Freauff is a great pickup for us as he will also be playing when necessary; however his focus is to improve the existing British talent we have on our roster.
Defensive Line – Bernie Hackshaw
Coach Hackhaw is a british football veteran. Having played with the 80’s Birmingham Bulls and the 2000’s Coventry Jets, Coach Hackshaw is no stranger to hard nosed football. Coach Hackshaw has a lot of experience for our defensive line to benefit from.
Assistant Head Coach – Andy Davis
Coach Davis has been a part of the Falcons organisation for a few seasons now, helping the Falcons gain promotion to the 1st Division. Coach Davis has worked with Head Coach Noel Cassar at the Derby Braves for the last four years and helped produce great British players. Coach Davis is responsible for keeping the team moving and keeping our standards high.
Offensive Line – Rob Urquart
Coach Urquart is currently the head coach of the Leicester Longhorns. Having had a long playing career starting at the Nottingham Caesars and taking him oversees both playing and coaching in Germany, Coach Urquart is here to coach our offensive line and make sure every player improves this season. With the Falcons’ emphasis on fostering local talent, Coach Urquart is the perfect coach for the job.
Running Backs – Guy Kersey
Not just General Manager, but also taking care of the Running Backs. Coach Kersey lined up at RB with the Coventry Jets and left to start the Leicester Falcons where he continued to play RB. The Falcons have a strong RB lineup, taking the best from local universities from the last five seasons. Kersey will be looking to develop the running backs of the Leicester Falcons as we begin our push for promotion.
Wide Receivers – Kyren Watts
Coach Watts is a scholarship player for the Derby Braves. Watts grew up playing WR in the elite Texas 5A High School division, before redshirting at the Idaho Vandals, then receiving a scholarship to play receiver at the Missouri State Bears. Coach Watts was also a part of the EA Sports Elite Camp 2010. Watts played for the Leicester Faclons last season, but this year with the teams new focus on British talent, he will be doing everything he can to improve the individuals in the Falcons receiving core.