After engineering an impressive midseason turnaround on defense, Rob Keefe will return as Defensive Coordinator of the Utah Blaze. The franchise announced today that Keefe has agreed to a new contract, ensuring that the entire 2012 Blaze coaching staff will return to the team for the 2013 season.
Keefe played an integral role in our National Conference Championship
run last season,” said Head Coach Ron James. “His unwavering energy and
enthusiasm instilled a newfound sense of confidence in our defense. I’m
excited to officially have our 2012 coaching staff back intact. I have
no doubt that we have the right group in place to take this franchise to
the next level in 2013.”
extremely grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to be a part of
the 2013 Utah Blaze,” said Keefe. “Our expectations are to win a
championship and we’re going to work tireless towards that goal every
by his energy, excitement, and overall passion for the game, Keefe is
well known for his hands-on approach to coaching. After allowing an
average of 64 points during its first 10 games, Utah hired Keefe midway
through the 2012 season. Keefe commenced an immaculate turnaround on the
defensive side of the ball, as the Blaze allowed just over 51 points
per contest over its final eight games. In the opening round of the 2012
postseason, the change in culture was loudly put on display as the
Blaze defense surrendered a mere 34 points in a victory over the
top-seeded San Antonio Talons.
began his coaching career in 2009, joining the af2’s Spokane Shock as
the secondary coach. He was promoted to Head Coach when the organization
joined the Arena Football League in 2010 and became the youngest coach
in AFL history to win a championship, as the Shock defeated the Tampa
Bay Storm in ArenaBowl XXIII.
a player, Keefe entered Arena Football in 2004 with the Columbus
WarDogs of the af2. He joined the Spokane Shock for the club’s inaugural
season in 2006 and ended his two-year tenure with the franchise as the
team’s career leader in tackles (168) and interceptions (19), twice
earning all-af2 accolades as a defensive back. Keefe entered the AFL in
2008 and won an ArenaBowl title as a member of the Philadelphia Soul.
is one of few people in Arena Football history to capture championship
titles as both a player and coach in the AFL and af2.