[news]

2023 Coaching Staff announced

11 Monaten
safv.admin

Dear Teams, Players and Fans,

We are excited to announce the arrival of our new Men’s Tackle National Team coaching staff! 

After a lengthy selection process spanning many months, we have managed to recruit some outstanding talent which we hope will take our national team to the next level. 

Our Run-Game Coordinator and Offensive Assistant will be Darius Willis – Darius is a former D1 Running Back from Indiana who has made Switzerland his home over the past decade, developing the Bern Grizzlies squad in the years preceding their Swiss Bowl victory in 2022, then elevating the playing level of the Bienna Jets, and now working with the new Swiss ELF team Helvetic Guards. Darius has already worked with our Men’s NT in the past, and we welcome him back with open arms. We are confident in his ability to help our players continue to grow and perform on the highest level.

Our Defensive Coordinator will be Don Clemons – Don spent over 25 years with the Detroit Lions before making his way to Switzerland where he initially worked with the Fribourg Cardinals, before moving over to support the rise of the Thun Tigers from Liga B to NLA, and is now also working for the Swiss ELF team Helvetic Guards. Don has earned his respect in Switzerland through several years of clinics and tackle coaching around the country, same as his colleague Darius, and also coached the Swiss U19 NT in the past. We are excited to continue to involve somebody of his caliber with our National Teams and look forward to seeing the results of his coaching on the field. 

Finally and with great excitement, we are pleased to welcome Rudy Fonkoue as our Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator. 

Rudy brings a wealth of football experience, including time in Colorado with Boulder High School a European victory with the French National Team in 2018. 

Rudy is currently the WR coach for the Helvetic Guards and has had the pleasure of working with and learning from some of the top American football coaches in Europe. 

He is a fresh addition and we are excited to see how his vision can help our team develop! 

At this time we would also like to thank Chris Winter for leading our National Team through some difficult years on and off the field, with the Covid pandemic disrupting several seasons. We also want to thank Dennis Oppermann, our U19 HC for stepping in during the last several months to support the transition period following Chris’s retirement. 

Our new coaching staff has not been waiting for this announcement to engage in scouting activities – and various members of this group have attended recent games around the league to take notes, and scout players ahead of upcoming training camps and games. 

The next training sessions should take place at the end of July – with partial evening sessions on the week of July 24th and full team training sessions on the week of July 31st. Players will be informed of specifics closer to the dates. 

We are looking forward to seeing our Men’s NT playing for the first time with this new coaching staff on Sunday August 6 against Czechia in Usti nad Labem, CZ

If our team wins that game, we will move on to a placement game against Hungary on October 28/29 – the winner of our group will finish 9th in Europe.

In addition to these exciting coaching announcements, we are also very happy to make a commitment to the Men’s Senior tackle players that they will NOT have to pay for their international travel costs as they have done in the past. 

As we continue to grow and develop our league structure, we look forward to a day when all of our categories (Tackle, Flag, Men’s, Women’s, Juniors and Seniors) can play for national team squads which are fully funded by the SAF. 

We look forward to future games with all of you. Please contact our Head of Player Development Chris Rummel : chris.rummel@safv.ch if you have
any questions or comments. 

Kind Regards,

Swiss American Football 

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