Interview with Head Coach Adam Shackleford
Like many Spokane Shock fans, we've been anxious to know more about Adam Shackleford, the Shock's new head coach. Besides being the offensive coordinator for one of only two teams that beat the Shock in 2006, we knew little else about his background and the path that led him to fill the shoes of the winningest coach in af2 history.
A quick call to the Spokane Shock and an interview was granted with Adam Shackleford following the open tryouts that were held at the new Shock headquarters.
The first thing we noticed about Coach Shackleford was he was very approachable. He is down to earth and tells it like it is. After speaking with him, we feel strongly that Coach Shackleford will continue to lead our Shock to greatness in 2007.
We are excited to share the following highlights of the interview:
ArenaFan: “Where are you from originally?”
Shackleford: “Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. I went to Moller High School and then to college in Indiana. I've been coaching at Anderson University in Indiana for the last eight years and coaching arena football since 2002.”
ArenaFan: “How has Spokane been treating you so far?
Shackleford: “We love it here! My wife had a job transfer and it has been an easy fit. We live out here in the valley and really enjoy it.”
ArenaFan: “What are your expectations for the team in the coming season?”
Shackleford: “I think as a coach your expectations are exactly what happened last year. You prepare all year and you expect to win.”
ArenaFan: “How does it feel to be taking over an af2 championship team led by former head coach Chris Siegfried?”
Shackleford: “ I just think this was the best job available. This was high on my list, I was high on their list, so it just happened to work out that way. I know Chris is a good coach and did some good things, but the pressure to win I put on myself. I am following a great coach. He did good things, but now it is time for me to step in and do good things as well.”
Our interview with head coach Adam Shackleford was very insightful. As most of you know, Lori and I were complete novices to arena football last season. We've learned a lot about AFL and af2 and thought we had a pretty good handle on things until we sat down with Coach Shackleford.
Here are some of the new insights gained about af2 in our interview:
The af2, the sibling of the AFL, is a very unique league Unlike the AFL, we rarely see NFL players coming down to the af2. However, we do see NFL talent pass through the af2 league on their way up, such as Kevin Beard, Charles Frederick and similar talent.
The AFL and af2 are in fact professional football. At the Seattle Seahawks 2006 Training Camp, I interviewed CB Marcus Trufant about his brother Isaiah's performance in the af2 for the Shock. After breaking into a grin, he said, "Arena football was crazy! Players running into walls and everything." When asked if he would ever play arena football if the pay and benefits were the same as the NFL, he said,"No way. It moves so fast that you don't have time to think. I like being able to take my time and think in the open field." Even players reaching the NFL have a respect for the pace of the af2 professional football league.
The af2 is unique in that it provides players who may have been overlooked by the NFL and other leagues the opportunity to show their capabilities. As a player in af2, every player acquires footage of their playing abilities to be able to send to AFL, CFL and NFL teams.
Coaches in the af2 are very interested in helping their players reach the next level. If their players are not moving on, many times that reflects poorly on the coach's own abilities to help refine their players skills.
As for the players of the Spokane Shock, Siegfried, and now Shackleford, are doing just that...helping our players get noticed. While we may not like seeing our favorite players and coaches leave year after year, that should be the very thing we all strive to help them achieve.
Season ticket holder sales for the 2007 season are now over 7,000! It appears that the fans in Spokane will have no problem to continue to gain both AFL and af2 league recognition for how loud the 9th Man can roar!
In addition to supporting your Spokane Shock with your electrifying screams, you may now also support your team by becoming a Shockwave Booster Club Member. All proceeds from membership and fund raisers go directly to support the players. Per af2 rules, players are compensated only $200 - $250 per game. They're here to play because they love the game of football, but to also entertain their raving fans. What an awesome opportunity to show your support! For more information about Shockwave Booster Club membership and activities, go to their website, www.shockfan.com.
Shawn is in the process of completing and publishing an ebook entitled "The Complete HTPC Guide: Everyone's Guide To Building A Home Theater PC". Shawn has a structured wiring company where he helps homeowners create automated homes through the use of home electronics and computers.
Lori is an aspiring children's writer. After years of being an accomplished QA Analyst for a cutting edge software manufacturer, she now enjoys spending her time with her family and writing.