Dolezel to coach Vigilantes next year
DALLAS -- As expected, the Dallas Vigilantes on Saturday named former Dallas Desperados quarterback Clint Dolezel as their next coach.
"I want to make sure [this franchise] is at a professional level," Dolezel said. "Even though [the AFL] has been in change the last several years, it's still professional football and I think my coaching staff and I will definitely bring that to the table."
ESPNDallas.com first reported Friday that Dolezel would get the job.
Dolezel's No. 13 Desperados jersey was retired during halftime of Saturday's game against the Utah Blaze before the team made the announcement. Dolezel was greeted with a standing ovation from the crowd of 9,123, the largest of the year at American Airlines Center.
Dolezel will replace James Fuller, who has been the interim coach of the Vigilantes since Rich Ingold was fired six games into the team's inaugural season.
Fuller said he thought making announcement while he was still coach of the team, which fell to 2-12 with a 51-41 loss to Utah, was "not a respectable thing to do."
"You want to be respected for what you do," Fuller said. "Now I know the situation with [the team's] record, and the Vigilantes have to do what they have to do, but I just wish they would respect me a little bit more."
Owner Peter "Woody" Kern said the team was appreciative of Fuller's efforts.
"James Fuller got put in a bad situation midyear," Kern said. "He's done a fine job, but in my opinion, to move forward, I thought Clint was the right answer."
Kern said Dolezel will call plays for the offense and may even coach the defense in addition to making "90 to 95 percent" of the team's personnel decisions.
"I think Clint has got as good an offensive mind in this game as anybody has ever had," Kern said. "Quite honestly, the rest of the conversation was [that] we've got to play defense. I asked [Dolezel] who he wanted coaching the defense, and he said, 'I do.' That impressed me a lot."
Dolezel, who played for the Desperados from 2006-08, was the first quarterback in Arena League history with 900 touchdown passes. He retired after the league suspended operations in 2008 and spent this season coaching the San Angelo Stampede Express of the Indoor Football League.
Dolezel said there are several players on this year's team who will be invited back next year, but his first priority will be scouting for next year's squad.
Josh Davis is an ESPNDallas.com intern and a writer for TCU's student newspaper, the Daily Skiff.