Nashville Kats and Arena Football Returning to Music City

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The Nashville Kats are having some March Madness of their own as they head down the stretch in returning the Kats and the Arena Football League to Music City.

The Kats will play 10 regular-season games this season with five home games at the historic Municipal Auditorium in downtown Nashville. The season opener versus the Minnesota Myth is slated for Saturday, April 27, 2024. The Kats also play the Georgia Force on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 18 at the new F&M Bank Arena in downtown Clarksville. Tickets are available to purchase here: www.thenashvillekats.com/tickets.

The Nashville Kats ownership group includes Tamara Dadd Alan, Founding Partner & CEO; Nancy Eckert, Founding Partner and COO/General Counsel; former Tennessee Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher, Partner & President of Football Operations; and Greg Pogue, Partner & VP for Community Relations.

Below are several major milestones for the franchise along the way:

COKINOS NAMED HEAD COACH

To help lead the return of the Nashville Kats and the Arena Football League to Music City, the Kats tapped veteran coach Dean Cokinos as Head Coach and Vice President of Football Operations.

Making the announcement was Nashville Kats Partner and President of Football Operations Jeff Fisher, former head coach of the Tennessee Titans and St. Louis Rams.

“As we went through the process, it became clear quite early that Dean was the right person for the job,” Fisher said. “He has coached and worked in front offices on a variety of levels from college football to international football and, especially, a championship-winning pedigree in arena football. His experiences and knowledge will be invaluable.”

Cokinos was an assistant coach from 2005-07 for the prior Nashville Kats’ team under head coach Pat Sperduto. After moving on from the Kats, he later coached the Georgia Force, New Orleans VooDoo, Alabama Vipers and the Alabama Hammers. As a head coach, Cokinos boasts two League Championships, five Conference Championships, seven Semi-Final appearances and 13 playoff appearances.

“With Nashville being home and knowing how popular the Nashville Kats were and will be again, I am excited to be part of returning the Arena Football League to Nashville,” Cokinos said. “Obviously, getting to work with Jeff Fisher in launching the new Nashville Kats will be so much fun. I can’t wait to get started.”

ELI GOLD IS ‘VOICE OF THE KATS’

The Kats have tapped legendary broadcaster Eli Gold as “The Voice of the Nashville Kats” as he will broadcast all games both home and away this season. Gold was the Voice of Alabama Crimson Tide football for 35 years. He called seven national championship games, 11 Southeastern Conference championship games and 35 bowl games.

“I am so very excited about returning to the Arena Football League as the voice of the Nashville Kats,” Gold said. “I say returning, because I was the TV voice of the league back when the games were on NBC and TNN, and I came to love the product.”

Gold’s multiple hall-of-fame career also includes being a leading radio voice of NASCAR and extensive work previously with the former Nashville Kats and the Arena Football League on NBC and TNN national telecasts.

“It is an honor and privilege for the Kats to have the legendary Eli Gold be our voice and be part of our franchise in a variety of ways,” said Nashville Kats founding partner and CEO Tamara Dadd Alan, an Alabama graduate. “We are not only excited to hear him on the calls of our games, but also how he will become a leader in the community as part of our franchise outreach.”

Gold has been named Alabama Sportscaster of the Year four times by the National Sportscaster and Sportswriter Association. He has also been named Alabama Sportscaster of the Year by the Associated Press twice and Alabama Sportscaster of the Year by the United Press International.

FLAGSHIP STATION SECURED

The Kats have secured a flagship radio broadcast agreement with Cromwell Media in Nashville for all games this season to be carried on either 102.5 The Game or 93.3 Classic Hits.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the return of the AFL and the Nashville Kats franchise,” Cromwell Media Nashville general manager Shawn Fort said. “In addition to the great people involved like Jeff Fisher and Eli Gold, we are excited for the opportunity to continue to connect on a local level with football fans in Middle Tennessee.”

Cromwell Media is also broadcast partners with the Nashville Predators, Nashville Sounds, Vanderbilt athletics and MTSU athletics and is Middle Tennessee’s ESPN Radio affiliate.

WR IRVIN NAMED “AFL GAMEBREAKER”

Kats wide receiver Marquise Irvin has been named one of two Arena Football League players to receive the league’s inaugural “Gamebreaker” designation.

The honor goes to players who enter the league with a depth of quality experience and production on both the professional and collegiate levels and are projected to be possible stars in the new AFL.

The other inaugural AFL Gamebreaker nod went to Southwest Kansas Storm wide receiver Marcell Barbee.

A former multiple all-conference performer at Mercer and native of Huntsville, Ala., Irvin (6-3, 215) set the program record in receiving yards in a season as a junior to only break his own record the following season as a senior with 816 yards.

In 2023, Irvin signed with the Green Bay Blizzard of the Indoor Football League and was named second-team all-league and team offensive MVP with 71 catches for 886 yards and 16 touchdowns.

A FLURRY OF ANNOUNCEMENTS

* The Nashville Kats have partnered with Roy’s Meat Service in East Nashville as a preferred caterer. That includes catering all team meals during training camp and other special events, especially with game-day activations.

* Coach Dean Cokinos, Kats staffers and volunteer coaches held a rigorous tryout camp on Saturday, Feb. 24 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Lipscomb Academy. More than 100 Kats hopefuls participated.

* The Lady Kats Dancers team has been finalized after tryouts on Saturday, Feb. 17 and Sunday, Feb. 18 at Lipscomb Academy. Lavern Brown and Sissy Brown have been named executive directors. Lavern was cheerleader captain for the Nashville Kats and Tennessee Titans and former dance coach at Tennessee State. Sissy was an NFL and indoor league cheerleader for 12 years and is an on-air personality at WQQK 92.1 FM.

* The Kats have named former Titans wide receiver Chris Sanders and legendary Nashville high school basketball coach James “Doc” Shelton as Team Chaplains. Sanders was drafted by and played for Nashville Kats Partner/President of Football Operations and former Titans coach Jeff Fisher. He is a teacher and coach at Montgomery Bell Academy. Shelton departed his hall-of-fame coaching career at Martin Luther King Magnet School to become pastor at the Progressive Primitive Baptist Church in Murfreesboro.

* The Kats have tapped veteran public address announcer Chip Hoback to handle PA duties that he has done for four decades in Nashville and beyond. His indoor football PA experience includes previously with the Kats, Georgia Force, Tennessee Valley Vipers, Alabama Hammers,

* The Kats have named Ashley Danielle Allen as Community and Fan Engagement Liaison. She is Founder and Executive Director at ABC Sports Foundation.

Visit TheNashvilleKats.com for more information

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