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Washington Valor announce Coaching Staff

Wednesday March 15, 2017

 Dean Cokinos’ Staff Bring Extensive Experience to Team

WASHINGTON, D.C.Washington Valor head coach Dean Cokinos announced his football operations staff today. Benji McDowell, Cos Dematteo and Steve Thonn will serve as assistant coaches to Cokinos during the Valor’s inaugural season presented by MedStar Health.

“We have been very fortunate to acquire this group of coaches and support staff in our inaugural season,” said Cokinos. “A strong staff is vital to the development of the team, we have a good blend of experienced and young talented professionals on board.”

McDowell enters his second season coaching in the Arena Football League. Last season, he was on the coaching staff of the Tampa Bay Storm as defensive coordinator. Under his leadership, the Storm bolstered one of the top defenses in the AFL. McDowell has played for the Georgia Force, New Orleans Voodoo and won the Arena Cup as a member of the Alabama Vipers in 2008. He also was a graduate assistant at the University of Georgia.

As the team’s player coordinator, Dematteo brings a wealth of experience to the Valor. He has coached for various teams including New Orleans Voodoo and Georgia Force of the AFL and the Saskatchewan Roughrider of the Canadian Football League. Dematteo also has a great deal of playing experience. He was a member of the NFL Europe’ Barcelona Dragons and has played for the Arizona Rattlers, Nashville Kats and New York Dragons.

Thonn will serve as the Valor’s offensive coordinator. He has been the head coach with the Grand Rapids Rampage, Houston Thunderbears and most recently Cleveland Gladiators. Thonn who started his AFL career with the 1988 Chicago Bruisers and played later on for the Albany Firebirds also served several years as the offensive coordinator for the Georgia Force in the AFL.

Rounding out the football operations support staff are team doctors Jeffrey Mayer and Milford Marchant courtesy of MedStar Health, certified head athletic trainer Casey Carter, operations coordinator John Peavy, equipment manager Shawn Cronin and strength and conditioning coach Ben Jenkins who is a member of the API team, the official training facility of the Valor.

Full season-ticket memberships are currently on sale for the inaugural season by joining our Valor Gridiron 365 Club. Full season tickets start at just $15 per game and include year-round, all-encompassing benefits as a part of your membership. Fans can secure their season tickets for the Valor by calling 202-661-5005 or visiting For more information on joining the Gridiron 365 Club e-mail our membership team at

Single game tickets for the 2017 season are on sale now and can be purchased at The full promotional schedule, including giveaways, theme nights and food and beverage specials, plus the entire broadcast schedule release is forthcoming.

The Washington Valor are owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE), which is one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports. The company also owns and operates the AFL’s Baltimore Brigade, NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL’s Washington Capitals, WNBA’s Washington Mystics and Verizon Center, the premier sports and entertainment venue in Washington, D.C. MSE also oversees the management of Kettler Capitals Iceplex– the training facility for the Washington Capitals and EagleBank Arena at George Mason University. Monumental Sports Network, a digital platform that covers the region’s sports and entertainment news, is also owned by MSE. Visit for more information.