BYU linebacker gets top Arena Football honor

<b>NEW YORK (June 4, 2003)</b> -- New York Dragons head coach <b>Todd Shell</b>, a former BYU standout linebacker, was selected as the 2003 Coach of the Year of the Arena Football League. Voted by all 16 head coaches, this marks the first time Shell has earned this honor.

Shell became the Dragons head coach prior to Week 5 after the team began the season 0-4 under previous head coach John Gregory. Despite losing his first two contests at the New York helm, Shell turned an 0-6 start into an 8-8 regular-season finish, claiming the Eastern Division title and a 48-45 playoff victory over Chicago in the Wild Card Round. The Dragons were defeated in the Quarterfinal Round by the two-time ArenaBowl champion Orlando Predators. Under his direction, the Dragons won 9 of their last 12 games.

This is the second time in Shell's career he has led a team to a division title in his first year at the helm. The first head coach in the San Jose SaberCats team history, Shell led his 1995 squad to an 8-4 record and a Western Division Championship, making them the first expansion franchise in AFL history to win a division title. After four seasons at the helm in San Jose, Shell, 40, compiled a record of 29-25, earning a playoff berth in three of four seasons. With a career 38-30 record (.559), Shell's coaching wins ranks seventh among current AFL coaches and 11th all-time.

Shell was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the first-round of the 1984 NFL draft (BYU) and earned two Super Bowl titles (1984 and 1988) with the team. Shell played five seasons in San Francisco before his retirement. Shell also worked as the color commentator for the AFL's Arizona Rattlers, where he served as defensive coordinator from 1992-1994.

Other coaches receiving votes included: Detroit's AL LUGINBILL, Indiana's MIKE DAILEY, Los Angeles' ED HODGKISS, Orlando's FRAN PAPASEDERO, San Jose's DARREN ARBET and Tampa Bay's TIM MARCUM.

The following is the complete list of recipients of the AFL Coach of the Year award:

ALL-TIME COACH OF THE YEAR WINNERS Season Coach, Team 2003 TODD SHELL, New York Dragons 2002 Darren Arbet, San Jose SaberCats 2001 Michael Trigg, Grand Rapids Rampage 2000 Darren Arbet, San Jose SaberCats 1999 Mike Dailey, Albany Firebirds 1998 Tim Marcum, Tampa Bay Storm 1997 Eddie Khayat, Nashville Kats 1996 John Gregory, Iowa 1995 John Gregory, Iowa ** 1994 Perry Moss, Orlando 1993 Danny White, Arizona 1992 Perry Moss, Orlando 1991 Fran Curci, Tampa Bay ** 1990 Ernie Stautner, Dallas ** 1989 Vito "Babe" Parilli, Denver Dynamite 1988 Perry Moss, Chicago Bruisers ** 1987 Tim Marcum, Denver Dynamite **

** AFL first-year head coach

Often recognized as one of the nation's most affordable and fan-friendly sports leagues, the Arena Football League is in its playoff drive to ArenaBowl XVII. The Semifinal round begins June 7 with all games, including ArenaBowl XVII on June 22, being televised by NBC.

Article submitted by BYU Media Relations

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