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Siani New Coach in Ohio Valley
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January 13, 2005 - Wheeling, WV-When Mark Bonar resigned his post as head coach of the Ohio Valley Greyhounds, team General Manager George Kellas said that it would take a great coach to replace Bonar.

After a long extensive coaching search Kellas believes he has the right person to fill the spot for the two-time NIFL champions as they begin their initial season with United Indoor Football. This morning at the team offices in downtown Wheeling the Greyhounds will announce their third head coach in five seasons. Tabbed for the job is former Oakland Raider and Baltimore Colt Mike Siani.

The former NFL standout and owner of a Super Bowl ring from Super Bowl XI joins the Greyhounds after spending the last two seasons coaching in the NIFL. Siani spent the 2004 season as the head coach of the expansion, and now defunct Atlantic City Card Sharks.

In his second season of coaching in the indoor game the Villanova graduate and former first round draft pick of the Raiders guided the Sharks to a playoff berth in what was a highly competitive Atlantic Conference and a (9-5) record. Perhaps Siani will be able to carry some of the momentum he had built toward the end of last season to Ohio Valley. Siani and his New Jersey-based squad captured their last six games of the season and won eight of their last nine games to earn the playoff spot.

In the previous season Siani helped to set up the Myrtle Beach Stingrays of the NIFL for their expansion season. Originally slated as the team's Director of Operations Siani left the front office and took the reigns of a struggling (2-5) expansion team with financial concerns and finished the season a respectable (6-8).

After all he has accomplished as a player and then his brief success as a head coach Siani inherits the winningest team in indoor football. The Ohio Valley Greyhounds and their fanbase have become very accustomed to winning. Since the team's transfer from the Indoor Football League and the Steel Valley Smash to the National Indoor Football League and the Ohio Valley Greyhounds the team has gone 56-9 and captured two Indoor Bowl Championships.

"What was most intriguing to me is the fact that this organization has the reputation of being the best in the league," commented Siani. "I mean just look at the success that they have had on the field in the last four or five seasons, coming here is a great opportunity."

A whole new world awaits the Hounds in the newly formed United Indoor Football. Gone are as Kellas has termed them in the past "weak sisters." The UIF appears to be loaded with the top talent from the NIFL and two of the winningest franchises from the Arena Football 2 League in Peoria and Tennessee Valley.

"When you take a look at the new UIF, and you see the Lexingtons and Fort Waynes of the world in my opinion it is the cream of the NIFL crop and two great teams from AF2," replied Siani. "It is going to be real competitive and I thin we will be up to the challenge."

Siani and Kellas along with the rest of the Ohio Valley staff must now begin the process of interviewing a coaching staff and locking up players to fill out the team's 2005 roster. Little has been said about the team's roster since their loss to eventual NIFL Champion Lexington in the second round of the 2004 playoffs. According to Siani he will look for a combination of returning veterans and rookies.

"I don't want to fool with things too much, they have great players here and I will look to add a few pieces here and there and add elements of my offense," added Siani.

The Greyhounds have set a date for their annual open tryout. Once again Ohio University Eastern's Ney Center will be the venue with this year's date being February 12. Ohio Valley kicks off their first season in the NIFL and fifth as an independently owned franchise in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Sunday March 20. The trip to Fort Wayne begins a four game road trip to start the season.

*This article courtesy of Gregg Montgomery, Times Leader

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