Preds announce new head coach

Published On: Sep 05 2012 02:16:40 PM EDT
Doug Plank

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando Predators on Wednesday announced the hiring of two-time Arena Football League Coach of the Year Doug Plank as the team’s new head coach and President of Football Operations.

In his first five years as an AFL head coach, Plank has won more games to start his career than any previous coach in AFL history (64-29). He has made two ArenaBowl trips, including leading the American Conference Champion Philadelphia Soul to ArenaBowl XXV in 2012. He was also named AFL’s Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2007 when he was with the Georgia Force.

“We are thrilled to have Doug Plank join the Orlando Predators organization,” said Predators Managing Partner Brett Bouchy. “With Doug’s work ethic and passion for the sport of football, I am confident that he can bring the Predators back to our winning tradition and bring an ArenaBowl title home to Orlando.” In addition, the team announced that AFL Hall of Fame Coach Tim Marcum will join the Predators as the team’s Associate Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator, marking his 25th year overall coaching in the AFL.

Plank began his coaching career in 2001 as the Arizona Rattlers’ defensive coordinator for three seasons, under which the Rattlers made it to three consecutive ArenaBowls. He was hired as head coach of the Georgia Force in 2004, where he led the team to ArenaBowl XIX during his first year with the team, as well as three playoff appearances.

A native of Greensburg, PA, Plank spent eight years as a safety for the NFL’s Chicago Bears, where he was the team’s first rookie to lead the team in tackles. He was drafted out of Ohio State, where he made three consecutive Rose Bowl appearances under Coach Woody Hayes.

Marcum has been an AFL fixture since the league’s inception in 1987, holding a 211-99 career coaching mark, coupled with seven ArenaBowl Championships in the 10 times his teams reached the big game. “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Tim to the team,” said Bouchy. “He is a legendary coach, and we are confident that he and Doug are going to do great things in Orlando."

Marcum’s most recent AFL tour of duty took place in Tampa Bay, where he served as the Storm’s head coach from 1995 to 2010. With the Storm, Marcum had a 140-77 regular season record and a 16-10 postseason mark over 15 seasons, winning five of the seven ArenaBowls that he coached in during that span.

His prior stops before settling in with the Storm include stints with the Detroit Drive from 1988 to 1993 and the Denver Dynamite in the League’s inaugural 1987 season. The Snyder, Texas native is a two-time AFL Coach of the Year recipient, winning the award in 1987 and 1998. In 1998, he was also inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame and still stands as the only coach in the League’s history to lead three different franchises to ArenaBowl appearances.

Orlando’s Arena Football League franchise since 1991, the Orlando Predators are heading into their 22nd year in the AFL. In that time, the Predators have advanced to the AFL Playoffs a league-leading 19 seasons and appeared in the Arena Bowl seven times, winning AFL Championships in 1998 and 2000.