Just one day away from ArenaBowl 32, Philadelphia Soul head coach Clint Dolezel has been named AFL Coach of the Year. Winning the award this year makes Dolezel the second three-time winner in AFL history. In winning the Moss-Marcum Head Coach of the Year award, Dolezel joins fellow AFL Hall of Famer Perry Moss, who also won the AFL Coach of the Year award three times. When a coach faces adversity and turns all probability around to make the ArenaBowl, that is a testament of grit. Philadelphia’s foundation is based on grit, which is why Dolezel’s 2019 season should be rewarded the way it was.
Speaking with Clint Dolezel and his player after every home game this season, we felt the highs and lows from the locker room. Like a true veteran, Dolezel’s demeanor has been very even-keeled. He has contributed to the Soul’s success, even more so than the players on the field. After the win against the Washington Valor in the second game of the AFL playoffs, Dan Raudabaugh mentioned how important Dolezel has been to the Philadelphia Soul in reaching the ArenaBowl:
“Coach and I have been to five out of the last eight of them. We like having that experience. We got some mud on the tires, it’s a good thing. We’ll be able to use that and teach the rookies.”
Without that kind of leadership that trickles down from Clint Dolezel to Dan Raudabaugh, it’s hard to believe that the Philadelphia Soul goes to five of the last eight ArenaBowl championship games. Dolezel not only was able to coach Raudabaugh to another ArenaBowl appearance, but he was a star quarterback himself. Compile his playing career and his coaching career thus far, we have a bonafide Hall of Famer coaching the Soul. He has coached his way to an 86-37 record with Philadelphia along with two ArenaBowl championships in back to back seasons. Anyone knows in the sport of football how tough it is to win the championship in back to back seasons.
Injuries this season did slow the Philadelphia Soul down, but the decisions that Clint Dolezel made with his roster resulted in an ArenaBowl 32 appearance. When Aaron Wascha went down with an injury, Dolezel called on BJ Bunn to contribute. Darius Reynolds played on both sides of the ball! These changes to personnel were confirmed by Dolezel and in 2019, he and his team will face the Albany Empire on August 11th, 2019 in ArenaBowl 32. We’re only a couple of days away from Dolezel’s opportunity for a third championship with the Soul as head coach.