Football

NFL veteran Marcus Coleman to coach Tucson Indoor Football

Marcus Coleman

Former NFL defensive back Marcus Coleman, who has coaching experience in the Indoor Football League, will be the first head coach of Tucson’s new franchise, the team announced Wednesday.

Coleman comes to Tucson after spending two years as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for the Iowa Barnstormers, who won the United Bowl — the IFL’s championship game — last year with the league’s top-ranked defense.

“When we launched the search for our head coach, we wanted to find a leader that could take us to where we want to go. I am confident we have found that in Marcus Coleman,” said Tucson Indoor Football Founder and majority owner Kevin Guy in a statement. “He has been preparing for this his entire career and he is ready for the responsibility and its challenges.”

Coleman, 44, was a safety/outside linebacker at Texas Tech from 1992 to 1995, making nine career interceptions — four returned for touchdowns — and earning first-team All-America honors as a senior.

He played 11 seasons in the NFL after being a fifth-round pick of the New York Jets. Coleman started 101 of his 152 career games, playing for the Jets, Houston and Dallas. He intercepted 25 passes in the NFL.

Coleman made his coaching debut in indoor football in 2016 as a defensive backs coach with the Tri-Cities Fever.

“This is a great opportunity for me to bring my experience and philosophy of hard work, mental toughness and physical play to our team as we establish ourselves in this league,” he said in a statement. “Our team will be exciting to watch, and the goal will always be to win a championship for Tucson.”

Tucson Indoor Football is holding a contest to name the team. The eight-team league will begin its season in March, with Tucson home games being played at the Tucson Convention Center Arena. For information on that and more, go to tucsonindoorfootball.com

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