Michael "Kool-Aid" Owens WV Wild Head Coach

Indoor football will return to Huntington for 2009, with a new team, new league, new head coach and a return to one of the true sports icons in the Tri-State. The West Virginia Wild will play in the Continental Indoor Football League, a collection of mostly Mid-West teams, two now in the Mountain State and one team in New Jersey. The season starts Feb. 27 at the Veteran's Memorial Field House.

The WV Wild has named former Marshall University standout, and indoor football veteran, Michael Owens as head coach for its inaugural season. Owens, who has been known as "Kool-Aid" since he played at Logan (W.Va.) High School and while a member of the Herd. "We're very pleased to have a person of Coach Owens' caliber lead our team in our first season," said the Wild's Office Manager and Interim General Manager Chad Jarrett. "Michael is a respected member of this community and has proven to be a great leader throughout his career not only at Marshall, but in the indoor game as well."

While at Marshall, Owens earned All Mid-American Conference honors as a defensive back. He was the defensive MVP in the Thundering Herd's 2000 Motor City Bowl win over Cincinnati, 25-14, recording a safety when he was the key player in a 4-4 alignment for the Herd at linebacker. Ownes was picked to the Sports Illustrated "All-Bowl Team" for 2000 and was a captain during his senior season in 2001, when Marshall capped off an 11-win season with the never to be forgotten 64-61 double-overtime win for the Herd against East Carolina in the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

His professional indoor experience extends from 2004 when Owens played for the Carolina Stingrays in the National Indoor Football League. In 2006-2007, he was a defensive anchor at linebacker for the original Huntington Heroes, who won ten games in back-to-back seasons under current Lexington Horseman (AF2) assistant coach, Gary McPeek in the American Indoor Football League (AIFL). Last year, the Heroes were in the American Indoor Football League (AIFA) and talked Owens out of retirement in mid-season, when financial problems created a great deal of turnover in a team that had opened 4-1, but won only one more game the rest of the season before folding.

"We know that Coach Owens will produce a product that we all can be proud of," added Jarrett. Owens has worked locally with troubled youth in the Huntington area for a number of years, and sang in the MU Chorus as an undergraduate.

The West Virginia Wild will kick off its inaugural season as members of the Continental Indoor Football League. They host the Marion (Ohio) Mayhem on February 27 at Field House. The schedule includes games with the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Freedom, the Milwaukee Bonecrushers, Chicago Slaughter, New Jersey (Morristown( Revolution, Wisconsin (Madison) Wolfpack, Rock River (Rockford, Ill.) Raptors, Flint (Mich.) Phantoms and the Wheeling (W.Va.) Wildcats, as an in-state rival match-up of the Wild versus the Wildcats. For all the latest on the Wild visit wvwildfootball.com. Season ticket prices are now available online, and season tickets will be made available on the WV Wild website (www.wvwildfootball.com) soon.

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