By Toph Kopchak
Head of AFL Coverage
In just about an hour, Ron James will be introduced as the Head Coach for the brand new Atlantic City franchise of the Arena Football League. James is the AFL journeyman if there ever was one. James becomes a new coach for a franchise for the 3rd time in just four seasons. This will be James 6th time being in charge of an AFL team. James ranks 14th all time in AFL history with 72 wins (counting playoffs) as a Head Coach. James has been named Coach of The Year twice, with his most recent effort with the Tampa Bay Storm earning it for him in 2017. The Storm went 10-4 making the playoffs, won their semifinal game, but came up short facing the Philadelphia Soul, losing 40-44.
James now returns to action with a team and league that in large part, are run by the man he was trying to beat in Arena Bowl XXX, (2017) AFL Chairman Ron Jaworski. It's really no secret the league was looking to add another team in the Soul's neck of the woods, and with the addition of the Albany Empire last season
and the new team in AC that goal has been reached, as the league now hopes to grow a little more out West next season, You can be sure QB Tommy Grady and WR Joe "Superman" Hills will be on Coach James' radar for players to sign. Both played for him, Hills in the 2017 Arena Bowl season and Grady from 2011-13 in Utah.
**Columbus: 11 AM ET Press Conference From Nationwide Arena**
Grady will also be a target for the Columbus (Destroyers, we think) new team, when they introduce Matt Sauk as their Head Coach tomorrow inside Nationwide Arena, Grady was coached by Ron James (Head Coach) and Sauk in 2011 when Sauk won the NFL Network Assistant Coach of the Year award his first season with the team. That season he even stepped in, acting as the head coach in two games. Sauk coached five AFL teams in toal, winning the Arena Bowl with the Spokane Shock, where quarterback Kyle Rowley set an Arena Bowl record 9 touchdowns with zero interceptions. Arizona's Nick Davila tied the TD mark in 2012 at ArenaBowl XXV, but it has yet to be broken.
Sauk attended Orange Coast College out of high school, he had two solid seasons and almost went to TCU to finish his football career, but not all of his grades carried over. He returned to Orange Coast for two weeks of fall classes. Right before the season started, Utah State gave him a call. Long story short he lead the Aggies to a share of the Big West Conference title in 1997 and guided them to the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl to face Cincinnati. During that regular season Sauk lead the Big West in most touchdowns responsible for and total plays while on the field. He also accounted for 2,898 total yards, good enough for 18th best in the nation.
Sauk also played in both the AFL and af2, (AFL minor leagues)
In 2001, he was named af2 Rookie of The Year. In 2005, he was named the af2 Offensive Player of the Year. Sauk was even horered with an induction into the af2 Hall of Fame in 2009.
Side Note: His last boss... Norm Macdonald, kinda.