Lions football coach named world team coordinator

The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) has identified three coordinators who will work alongside IFAF World Team head coach Greg Marshall when junior players from around the world take on Team USA in USA Football’s International Bowl in Texas.

The state capital of Austin will host the third annual game – formerly known as USA vs. The World – on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012.  The coordinators represent three countries – Canada, Japan and Mexico – from among the 62 countries on six continents governed by IFAF that play some form of American Football.

“This is a special event,” said Marshall. “I have been fortunate to be part of this game in the first two years and have seen great growth in the IFAF World Team program. Our three coordinators will ensure our players are able to play in a competitive atmosphere against the top players from the United States.”

 Warren CraneyA veteran of the 2010 and 2011 IFAF World Team staff, York’s own Warren Craney (right) will again serve as defensive coordinator.  The Montreal native is the head coach of the York University Lions, having joined the coaching staff in 2010 from Concordia University.

“I am very honoured to be coaching the World Team for a third consecutive year and to work with some of the best coaches in international football,” said Craney.  “This event is an experience of a lifetime for coaches and players, and knowing how well it is organized, coupled with Texas hospitality, I look forward to seeing how 2012 turns out.

“I expect the 2012 game to be the best ever and our goal is to select the best team possible and not only compete like we have in 2010 and 2011, but bring home a victory for IFAF.  I will be working hard with the defensive staff on adding some new wrinkles to our scheme and we can’t wait for practice to start.”

Edgar Zapata, the offensive coordinator of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) Tigres and the Mexican senior national team, will also assume that role with the IFAF World Team.  Last year Zapata coached the team’s quarterbacks and has an extensive youth and junior coaching background.  He served as offensive coordinator with ITESM CEM in his native Mexico and has coached quarterbacks with UDLA-Puebla in Mexico.

The IFAF World Team Special Teams Coordinator will be Shinzo Yamada, who coached with the Japanese national team that claimed the bronze medal at the 2011 IFAF Senior World Championship in July.  Yamada has served as head coach of Japan’s junior national team program, played in NFL Europe for Amsterdam and also spent time in training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  The 2001 Tokyo X-Bowl MVP is one of the most accomplished football players in Japanese history.