CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa Chris Kokalis wanted a change.
Co-owner and general manager of the Cedar Rapids Titans, Kokalis figured the best place to start was at the top.
"We understand as an organization we have to win football games," Kokalis said about the Titans' 4-10 debut in the Indoor Football League. "We identified some areas we wished to improve upon."
In looking for a replacement for Kyle Moore-Brown, Kokalis was looking for someone with leadership qualities who has the ability to land players from across the country and coach with integrity, someone who is "committed to winning."
He thinks he got just that in Mark Stoute.
"I realized he shared all these same values," Kokalis said.
Stoute is an 18-year veteran of the Arena Football League who spent the last two seasons as assistant head coach of the Milwaukee Mustangs.
"This is a fantastic situation and a great opportunity for me as a coach," Stoute said, adding his many connections in pro football will bring top-notch talent to Cedar Rapids.
"We are going to make the offense and the defense fit the players we have," he said. "We will adapt ... We are not going to reinvent the wheel.
"We are going to build around what we do best."
The Titans open their second season Feb. 16 at home against the Chicago Slaughter.
Here is the Titans' official news release:
CEDAR RAPIDS – The Cedar Rapids Titans entering their 2nd season in the Indoor Football League introduced Mark Stoute as the team's head coach for the 2013 season. Stoute comes to the Titans after spending the past two seasons as the assistant head coach and director of player personnel for the Milwaukee Mustangs of the Arena Football League. Prior to his time with the Mustangs, Stoute spent two seasons with the Green Bay Blizzard, where he was the assistant head coach and director of player personnel. In both 2006 and 2008, he helped lead the Blizzard to a Division Championship and a trip to the ArenaCup in 2006. In 2007 he spent one season as the Laredo Lobos head coach before returning to Green Bay. Prior to his stint with Green Bay, he served as the fullback/linebackers coach and special team's coordinator for the Tampa Bay Storm of the AFL in 2005 and spent 2004 as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator for the Indiana Firebirds of the AFL.
He was named the head coach of the Manchester Wolves in 2003 where he took a team that won just three games the previous season and turned it into a postseason threat, sending the franchise to its first trip to the postseason after finishing 10-6. He was the director of football operations and player personnel for the New England Sea Wolves in 1999 and followed the franchise when it moved to Toronto and became the Phantoms. He was named the Phantoms' head coach and general manager in 2001 and led them to a 13-15 record over two seasons, including an Eastern Division Championship in 2001.
He began his coaching career in 1995 when he was offered a job with the Connecticut Coyotes as assistant defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach...earned his first coaching job in 1992 when he was hired to work with special teams for Southern Connecticut State University.
Offensive Coordinator Corey Bethany returns to the Titans coaching staff in 2013.. Bethany joined the team midway through the 2012 season. Prior to joining the Titans Bethany held the OC position with the Allen Wranglers and Nebraska Danger of the IFL.
Assistant coaches Eric George and Jeff Wrede will also rejoin the staff. The team plans to announce the Defensive Coordinator & Offensive/Defensive line coach later this month.
The Titans are coming off a 4-10 season in 2012. The 2013 regular season kicks off February 16th at 7:05pm when the Titans welcome conference rival Chicago Slaughter to Mediacom Field @ Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. Season tickets are now on sale and can be obtained by visiting the Titans website www.cedarrapidstitans.com or by calling 319-730-6301.
The Cedar Rapids Titans are a second-year franchise playing in the Indoor Football League. The Titans play in the IFL's United Conference along with Green Bay, Sioux Falls, Chicago, and Dallas, TX. For more information on the team, visit www.cedarrapidstitans.com.
The Indoor Football League (www.goifl.com) is a 10-team league based out of Richmond, Virginia with franchises in 14 states (including Alaska). The league holds a 14-game regular season schedule that runs February through June. The IFL's playoffs culminate in July with the IFL United Bowl.
The Eastern Iowa Sports Complex is a 150,000 square foot indoor/Outdoor multi purpose sports complex complete with a full size indoor soccer field, full size basketball gym, indoor batting cages, three outdoor athletic fields, and an 18 hole minature golf course. The facility is home to the Cedar Rapids Titans administrative offices, PE Sports Performance and Crossfit, the challenge.
The facility offers recreational youth programs, competitive adult sporting leagues, athletic tournaments, youth development programming, dance classes, community events and hourly field rentals for corporate and private events. A variety of youth athletic camps also take place throughout the year.