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The Inside Track | NEWSWIRE

Seeking Offense, Avengers Hire Hodgkiss as Coach

October 06, 2001|Valerie Gutierrez

It took only five minutes, said Avenger owner Casey Wasserman, to know Ed Hodgkiss was "the guy."

Undoubtedly, it will take more time than that for Hodgkiss, who was announced as the Avenger coach at a news conference Friday, to build a contender from a team that has not made the playoffs and is 8-20 over two seasons in the Arena Football League.

"To say the least, our offense hasn't been great for the last two years, and our football team hasn't performed the way we'd like it to," Wasserman said. "I demand a winner and L.A. demands a winner, and in hiring Ed Hodgkiss as coach, we're going to give L.A. fans a winner."

Hodgkiss, 30, who signed a three-year contract, is the team's third coach since it began play in 2000. He spent the past three seasons as the Indiana Firebird offensive coordinator. He succeeds interim Coach Robert Lyles.

"First, I want to have a team with good football character," said Hodgkiss. "We can't be making mental mistakes, busting plays."

The Avengers were the league's second-lowest scoring team in 2001.

Lyles, who replaced the fired Stan Brock, guided the Avengers to five victories in their final 11 games.

Lyles was among those interviewed for the job. The Avengers also were interested in former Nashville Katz Coach Pat Sperduto, but he decided to stay in Nashville to become the director of operations for the expansion team owner Bud Adams plans for the city.

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