Michael Vick returning to coach pro football


The Alliance of American Football continues to line up big names for its debut season.

Earlier this month, the spring league revealed college football legend Steve Spurrier will coach a team in Orlando, Florida. Spurrier won the Heisman Trophy as a quarterback for the Florida Gators and later coached his alma mater to a national title.

Now the AAF has tapped another football icon to coach a team based in an area where he has strong ties.

Michael Vick, who rose to stardom with the Atlanta Falcons, will be the offensive coordinator for that city’s AAF team, the league announced Wednesday.

Brad Childress, who coached the Minnesota Vikings from 2006 to 2010, will be the head coach.

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The team, whose name has not been revealed, will play at Georgia State Stadium, a 24,000-seat outdoor facility.

Vick’s only coaching experience came last year when he worked as an intern under Andy Reid during the Kansas City Chiefs’ training camp.

“I’ve always had a passion for teaching, a passion for coaching,” Vick told reporters at a news conference Wednesday morning in Atlanta. “When Brad called me about this opportunity, I felt like it was obviously something I couldn’t pass up.”

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Drafted No. 1 overall by the Falcons in 2001 out of Virginia Tech, Vick became a superstar because of his combination of blazing speed (he ran a 4.33 40-yard dash on his pro day) and incredible arm strength.

However, his career unraveled in 2007 because of his involvement in a dog fighting ring. Vick pleaded guilty to federal charges and spent 21 months in prison.

He returned to the NFL in 2009 with Philadelphia and played there for five seasons. After one-year stints with the Jets and Steelers, he was out of the league in 2016.

The AAF was announced in March as an “Alliance where fans and players share in the success of their teams,” according to Charlie Ebersol, its founder and CEO.

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Ebersol, the son of longtime NBC executive Dick Ebersol, said players will benefit from safety measures and profit participation, and fans will get free live-streaming of games and integrated fantasy sports elements.

The AAF’s leadership team features former NFL executive Bill Polian as well as several retired players, including Jared Allen, Justin Tuck and Troy Polamalu.

The league’s six other cities are slated to be announced in the coming months, and its debut season is set to begin Feb. 9, 2019, the week after Super Bowl LIII.

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Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He has worked as an editor or reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years.
Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He was born in Baltimore and grew up in Maryland. He graduated from the University of Miami (he dreams of wearing the turnover chain) and has worked as an editor and reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years. Todd started at The Miami News (defunct) and went on to work at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times, The Baltimore Sun and Space News before joining Liftable Media in 2016. He and his beautiful wife have two amazing daughters and a very old Beagle.
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