Wranglers Setting Course In New Direction – New coaching staff sets tone for bright future

Courtesy Photo:  Head Coach Les Moss

The Northern Arizona Wranglers made it through their inaugural season with just one win to show for it, but recent changes have put the rest of the IFL on notice, as the Wranglers will be ready to make some noise on the field, when the season starts on March 18.

The team has found their new head coach in Les Moss, who brings over 30 years of coaching experience to the Wranglers. Most recently, Moss was the Head Coach of the Iowa Barnstormers in 2021, finishing the regular season with a 6-6 record.

Prior to 2021, Coach Moss was hired to be the Quarterbacks and Running Backs coach for the Arizona Rattlers 2020 season, this season was ultimately canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moss was the Assistant Head Coach & General Manager of the Albany Empire from 2018 to 2019. During the 2019 season, Coach Moss was named the AFL Assistant Coach of the Year and was an integral piece of the Arena Bowl Championship that was brought to Albany that season. Moss began his career in arena football in 1988, earning a coaching position as early as 1989. Les Moss had his longest tenure as the Jacksonville Sharks Head Coach & Director of Football Operations of the AFL from 2010-2016.

Moss put together a 77-54 record overall (7-4 during the playoffs) during that span. During his first year as the Sharks Head Coach, Moss received the 2010 AFL Coach of the Year and followed that up with an Arena Bowl Championship in 2011. The Sharks competed in the AFL playoffs in 6 out of 7 seasons under Moss. Coach Moss led the Sharks to two Arena Bowl appearances including the 2011 win, as well as two additional Conference Championship game appearances.

Moss said, “I am looking forward to this season and all the changes we are making to be a winning program here. Our coaching staff is looking at many players to bring in, and improve our ability to compete.” As for any players returning from last year, Moss added, “We will take a look to see who we want to be a part of this new team.”

Assistant Head Coach & Defensive Coordinator is Rob Keefe. Moss and Keefe have coached together for several years, including last season in the IFL with the Iowa Barnstormers. Prior to 2021, Keefe was the head coach of the Albany Empire with Moss as his assistant head coach. In 2018 & 2019, he led his team to a semifinal appearance and followed that with an Arena Bowl championship.

Rod Windsor is the new offensive coordinator. His name might sound familiar to Arizona Rattler fans, because the standout receiver was a big reason the Rattlers won the Arena Bowl in 2013 and 2014, and an IFL Bowl Champion in 2017. Coach Windsor spent the last two years with the Arizona Rattlers as their Wide Receivers coach. He joined the Rattlers in 2018 as the offensive coordinator, Windsor was a wide receiver for the Rattlers for seven seasons in the AFL. In 2010, Windsor won AFL Rookie of the Year during his first season in Arizona. He took the AFL by storm in his first season posting over 2300 yards receiving and 47 touchdowns.

Director of Player Personnel & Assistant is Dave Moran. Coach Moran was the special teams coordinator, and eventually took over as the defensive coordinator last year, improving the defense for the Wranglers in the second half of the season. He has the challenge and responsibility of putting together the team roster. Coach Moran graduated from Bradshaw Mountain High School in 1996 and would eventually become the head coach of his former high school from 2014-16, compiling a (23-11) record and making the state playoffs all three seasons.

The fourteen game schedule with include seven home games at the Findley Toyota Center in Prescott Valley. Further information can be obtained at nazwranglers.com

2022   NAZ  WRANGLERS  SCHEDULE

Date                               Opponent                              Location                           AZ Time

Fri. March 18            Vegas Night Hawks             Henderson, NV                    7:05pm

Sat. March 26           Spokane Shock                     Prescott Valley                    6:05pm

Sun. April 3                San Diego Strike Force       Prescott Valley                    3:05pm

Sat. April 16               Vegas Night Hawks             Prescott Valley                    6:05pm

Sat. April 23               Tucson Sugar Skulls            Tucson, AZ                            6:05pm

Sun. May 1                 Bay Area Panthers              San Jose, CA                         5:05pm

Sat. May 7                  San Diego Strike Force       San Diego, CA                      7:05pm

Sat. May 14                Tucson Sugar Skulls            Prescott Valley                    6:05pm

Sat. May 21                Bay Area Panthers              Prescott Valley                    6:05pm

Sat. May 28                Tucson Sugar Skulls            Tucson, AZ                           6:05pm

Sat. June 4                  Duke City Gladiators          Rio Rancho, NM                  5:05pm

Sat. June 11               Arizona Rattlers                   Prescott Valley                    6:05pm

Sat. June 25               Duke City Gladiators           Prescott Valley                    6:05pm

Sat. July 2                   Arizona Rattlers                   Phoenix, AZ                         6:05pm

Sat. July 9                   Bismarck Bucks                    Prescott Valley                   6:05pm

Sat. July 16                 Spokane Shock                     Spokane, WA                     7:05pm

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