ALBANY, GA - New Georgia Firebirds head coach Antwone Savage began filling out his coaching staff, hiring three respected arena football assistants and retaining one coach already on staff Tuesday. Cecil Lester III, who led the Albany Panthers arena team to back-to-back league championships as quarterback, joins the Firebirds as an offensive coach. The Firebirds also hired Andre’ Slappey as the team's new line coach, and Mitchell Jenkins as the secondary and special teams coach. Former University of Alabama standout Trent Davidson will remain with the staff as offensive line coach and Chaplin The Firebirds inaugural season resumes Saturday, March 26, against the Atlanta Vultures, in their first ever regular season home game. For the latest news and information, visit www.georgiafirebirds.com or facebook.com/gafirebirds and follow the team on Twitter.
ALBANY - The Georgia Firebirds announced today that General Manager Terrence Fowler has relieved DJ Daniels of his duties as head coach. “This was a tough decision for me to make knowing how tirelessly DJ work to make this a winning team. He is a man of the highest character and integrity that I developed a close personal relationship with. I am extremely disappointed with how we have started the season but I feel confident that we can improve quickly with the talent we have on our roster.” “With that being said I am pleased to announce that Antwone Savage will lead the team as the new head coach going forward.” Savage stared at Westover High School (Albany, Ga) and had a stellar collegiate career at the University of Oklahoma where he won a nation championship and is second all-time in catches for a wide receiver. He also spent several years on the professional level winning an Arena Cup with the Spokane Shock and two league championships with the Albany Panthers. Most recently he is coaching with the Americus/ Sumter Panthers and coached wide receivers in the 2015 Georgia/ Florida All-Star Football game. For the latest news and information, visit georgiafirebirds.com or facebook.com/gafirebirds and follow the team on Twitter.
ALBANY — Georgia Firebirds head coach DJ Daniels has mixed feelings about his team’s season opener today at the Columbus Civic Center against the Columbus Lions. While he’s excited that after months of training, preparing and making roster cuts, the Firebirds’ season opener is finally here. He just wishes his first game wasn’t against a team he spent many years coaching. “They gave me my first start a long time ago,” said Daniels, whose Firebirds meet the Lions in the American Indoor Football season opener at 4 p.m. “I’m very familiar with their whole organization, their ownership, and I’m familiar with how the city (of Columbus) does things.” After the Firebirds defeated the Capital City Cobras 42-22 in an exhibition game last Wednesday at the Albany Civic Center, the team made its final cuts and finalized their 20-man roster. Daniels said Marcus Brooks will earn the start at quarterback after showing strong leadership. He pointed out two early standouts have been linebacker Zack Brown from Tifton and offensive lineman D’Andre Williams who played high school at Dougherty. “Zack has been a catalyst and been strong for us since the first tryouts,” Daniels said. “D’Andre has also been strong for us.” One player that has impressed Daniels is quarterback Clay Ferguson, who isn’t on the 20-man roster but is on the team’s practice squad. “He doesn’t have any experience but he’s shown that he can dream big and get things done,” Daniels said. “He’s shown he can play this game, and it’s a testament to the coaching staff for helping develop him.” After today’s game, the Firebirds will return to the Albany Civic Center for their home opener against the Atlanta Vultures on March 26 at 7:05 p.m. They will remain at home and play the Savannah Steam on April 2. Daniels said the team didn’t want to show much during the exhibition game but that will change today. “We showed everybody what we were about from the basic standpoint,” he said. “But it’s going to be interesting to see how these guys come together and handle adversity. “If people don’t have anything to do Sunday after church and they don’t mind a little drive, it’s going to be good football at a nontraditional time.”
Albany's new indoor football team held their first contact practice Saturday. The Georgia Firebirds are just 3 days away from their preseason opener at the Civic Center, and they are anxious to hit the ground running. Naturally, the firebirds finalized roster has plenty of local flavor, including Albany State defensive back Chavius Jackson. "It's a great opportunity to play in front of all my coworkers, my players," said Jackson. "Because I coach football, I can kind of sort of lead by example by playing professional ball on the highest level. And now my kids see me and they can be influenced by what I'm doing right now." Jackson currently coaches the defensive backs at Monroe High. He's accompanied by Janell Jones. Another former Golden Ram who also serves on the Tornadoes staff. He's also optimistic about the support from the Good Life City. "We're just trying to get the community back," said Jones. "And I know they're ready to see arena football. It's very new to town, but when the crowd come out they gone see what Firebird football is all about." "Same thing we do at Monroe," said Jackson. "We have our kids competing. I coach the defensive backs he coaches the receivers. They steady competing. So now we translate that with professional football. Now me and him competing." There are 5 total Albany state grads, including Jesse Atkins who just stepped off the Albany Coliseum field, and is transitioning into the indoor game. "The speed of the game is way faster because it's so much closer," said Atkins. "Your head always got to stay on a swivel. You got to be alert at every turn." While at ASU, he made an all-SIAC team, won a conference championship and most importantly attracted the eyes of many fans who he hopes will continue to support him in his new gear. "It's a good feeling to continue playing in the city I've been playing in for the past four years. I know I have good supporters." He and the rest of the Firebirds are hoping that support will transfer into the Albany Civic Center throughout the season. For your first glimpse at the Firebirds, they open preseason play on Wednesday in the Albany civic Center against the Capital City Cobras. Kickoff scheduled for 7 PM.
Come out and meet your Georgia Firebirds at DJ's Lounge & Grill February 27th at 7pm. See you there!
The Georgia Firebirds indoor football team today announced that the March 9th exhibition game against the Capital City Cobra’s cost of admission will be free, all fans are being asked to bring canned goods or monetary donations for the Albany Community Builders in order to enter the gates at The Albany/James H Gray Civic Center. The Community Builders are in particular need of canned fruits and meats at this time, but all canned goods will be accepted. Coach David (DJ) Daniels' squad will get things kicked off on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against the Capital City Cobra’s. It will be the final tune-up for the newly formed team before the March 20 season opener with the Columbus Lions. For the latest news and information, visit georgiafirebirds.com or facebook.com/gafirebirds and follow the team on Twitter.
The Georgia Firebirds indoor football team today announced two updates to the team’s coaching staff. On defense, the Firebirds coaching staff additions include Defensive Backs Coach Gary Davis and Defensive Line Coach Jeff Hunter. Gary Davis, has been coaching football for more than 20 years. He has experience planning, developing and implementing winning football programs. He is Defensive Coordinator, and Secondary Coach at Mount Zion High School in Morrow Georgia. He has assisted various players’ transition into College, The NFL and Arena Football. Gary is a native of Albany Georgia and a Graduate of Dougherty High School where he was a three sport athlete. He was an impact player in High School where he played football, basketball and also ran track. He returned to later Coach linebackers and receivers under the expertise of Head Coach John Reynolds (Dougherty High School, Albany, Ga) and helped them achieve in1996 State Semifinals, and 1AAA Football Georgia State Championship in 1998. He later was named the Defensive Coordinator2002-2004. He then coached at Albany High School. In 2008 he moved to Atlanta, Georgia and was the receiver coach at Frederick Douglass High School. In 2010-2012 He was Assistant Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Back coach at Atlanta Sports Academy in Dawsonville, Georgia. Jeff Hunter played his college football career at Albany State in Albany, GA where he studied Health & Physical Education. He was drafted in 1989 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals, his career spanned several teams including the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions and the Miami Dolphins. He also played two seasons for the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football. They join previously announced hires of Head Coach David (DJ) Daniels’s coaching staff that include Offensive Specialist Antwoin Savage and Offensive Line Coach A.D. Laster. “I am excited about this group of talented and experienced coaches,” said Daniels. “I have high regard for their collective experience, knowledge and passion for the game. We will tirelessly work together to build schemes around our players’ strengths and are looking forward to getting to work and preparing for the upcoming season.” The Firebirds inaugural season kicks off Sunday, March 20, in Columbus, Georgia, against the Columbus Lions with their first ever home game against the Atlanta Vultures, Saturday March 26th.
Three of the open Firebirds' 25 open roster spots were taken up at the tryouts this weekend. Former Valdosta state wide receiver Isaiah Jupiter put pen to paper along with his two new teammates cornerback Chavius Jackson and linebacker Zack Brown. The three players will try and lead the Firebirds to a championship in it's first season in American Indoor Football. They will do so right here at the Albany Civic Center where they can't wait to put on a show for fans. "I've been playing football since like 6," said Jupiter who will be a vocal leader. "So it's just all in me. The crowd man, that's a big for football man. That's the biggest part. And talent-wise, everybody come out here to eat man. It's zero to hero." The first home game for the Firebirds will be against the Atlanta Vultures on March 26th.
ALBANY — Terence Fowler stood at the south end zone on the artificial surface of the Albany Civic Center and gazed across the field. He saw prospective players as far as he could see. For the co-owner of the Georgia Firebirds, Albany’s new Arena Football League team, Fowler couldn’t help but get excited as more than 90 players showed up for tryouts Saturday morning. “It’s definitely exciting for us as an organization to see the turnout that we have today and the support we’ve had from the community thus far,” said Fowler, who along with Darrien Teals, helped bring indoor football back to Albany. “It’s super exciting, and it’s a humbling situation.” Former Monroe High School offensive lineman David Noel was one many players seeking to earn a spot on the roster. Noel has played indoor football before, including playing on a travel team last year. But having a team in his hometown makes it even better. “I’m ready to dominate,” Noel said. “I want to put Albany on the map. I want to help any way I can. We just want to have fun and win.” Many of the players showed up appearing to be in midseason form. But for those not in shape who possess the skills Firebirds officials are looking for, there is plenty of time to get acclimated. “It’s fun, but when you’re not in the program for a while, you have to loosen your body back up,” he said. ” You have to take pain that you haven’t taken in years. I don’t think too many of us are in shape like we’re supposed to be, but that is why we have three months to get ready.”“ Fowler said team officials planned to sign at least three players from Saturday’s tryouts. He said the team is planning another tryout soon. One of those players signed on Saturday was former Monroe High and Albany State University standout Chavius Jackson. The speedy defender played cornerback and safety last time on the Firebirds travel team. “I thought I had good chance, but I just came out here ready to work hard,” Jackson said. “It’s always about having fun when you’re doing something you love and when you have a passion for the game, it’s always fun. I coach it and now I’m going to start back playing it. It’s good to play football in my hometown.” The Firebirds will compete in the Southern Division of the American Indoor Football League. They will be one of four teams in Georgia, joining the Columbus Lions, Atlanta Vultures and the Savannah Steam. The nine-game schedule begins March 20 when they open the season at the Columbus Civic Center against the Lions. The Georgia Firebirds’ home opener is March 26 against the Vultures. The Firebirds will play six home games at the Albany Civic Center and Fowler believes fans will like what they see. “We’re going to push the envelope when it comes to the entertainment part,” Fowler said. “The product on the field, as far as players and the team as a whole, will be there. We will be competitive, we will compete and we will win, but the entertainment side is something the city has been looking for and we look to provide that.”
ALBANY — The Georgia Firebirds indoor football team announced Thursday that David J. Daniels, Jr. has been named the first head coach in team history. Firebirds managing owner Terrance Fowler said, “Following an extensive search, we are pleased today to announce that David (DJ) Daniels is our new head coach,” Firebirds managing owner Terrence Fowler said. “DJ brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the position that we feel will be a tremendous benefit to our players and the entire Firebirds organization. “He was very impressive during the interview process as were many of the candidates to which we spoke, and we feel DJ is the best fit for our team. We look forward to his leadership and expertise in directing our team to the playoffs and bringing a championship to Albany for our fans.” Daniels, 53, joins the Firebirds after spending last season as the head coach and general manager for the Windsor Waves indoor football team. The 2016 season will mark Daniels’ 15th season working with arena football. Prior to joining the Waves, Daniels coached on the Columbus Lions’ defensive staff. In 2005, he served as the Co-Founder and Director of Football Operations for the South Georgia Wildcats. Daniels was raised in Albany where he was a two-sport star (football and track & field) at Monroe and Westover High Schools. A graduate of Tennessee State University where he excelled in those same sports, Daniels went on to play for several indoor and outdoor football teams including the Charlotte Rage (AFL), the Orlando Predators (AFL), the Toronto Argonauts (CFL) and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL). He and his wife, Theresa Milledge Daniels, have three sons and four grandchildren. For the latest news and information, visit georgiafirebirds.com or facebook.com/gafirebirds and follow the team on Twitter.
The Georgia Firebirds have reached an agreement to play their games at the Albany Civic Center.
American Indoor Football (AIF) CEO/Owner John Morris is proud to announce that an ownership group, led by T.L. Fowler Sr, have come to an agreement to bring the Georgia Firebirds into the AIF for the 2016 Season. The AIF is a professional indoor football league with a national footprint. The AIF teams play in venues that seat anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 fans. The AIF season runs March through May of each year. “We proudly welcome the Georgia Firebirds to the AIF,” said AIF CEO/Owner John Morris. “This is a great development that will elevate the league to new heights in that region. We look forward to an intense brand of Indoor Football that will captivate the great city of Albany.” Morris goes on to say, “We will always look at what’s best for all of our member teams. The AIF is as strong as our teams can take us and this just made us a stronger league.” This addition by the AIF will be the forth team in the state of Georgia. The Firebirds will play their home games at Albany Civic Center, after reaching an agreement with The Albany City Commission. “Our organization is excited to be a part of the AIF family. Having the City of Albany, Ga. (My hometown), as the new home of the Firebirds is also a huge deal for us. The geographical make-up of the AIF makes for a very competitive season with the alignment of the southern division.” States Mr. Fowler, Principal Owner of the Firebirds, “We can’t wait to get this new chapter started for the 2016 season. Thank you John for your hard work to help make this happen.” The State of Georgia is one of the most vibrant and proud football communities in the country. The region has filled stadiums for countless games. Today, Albany is riding high, thanks to a private-public partnership that is redeveloping the downtown by playing up the area’s premier natural resource – the Flint River. The centerpiece of the redevelopment is the Flint RiverQuarium, a 175,000 gallon, 22-foot deep Blue Hole aquarium filled with the plants, fish and reptiles – including Albany’s celebrated river turtle – found in the Flint River’s ecosystem, and the Imagination Theater with its three-story IMAX screen and digital surround sound. Riverfront Park, with its expansive views of the river, Turtle Grove Play Park, water features and riverside trails, gives families the opportunity to play and learn together. The RiverFront Trail now travels north three miles to Cleve Cox Landing on Philema Road. Eventually the trail will connect to Chehaw – “Nature’s Playground” and south to Radium Springs Garden, one of Georgia’s Seven Natural Wonders. The Firebirds will afford the city another entertainment outlet for everyone to enjoy. Follow the AIF on Facebook or visit www.AIFProFootball.com for upcoming details of this announcement as well as all of the latest news.