Brazil: Marcus Herford new head coach of Galo FA

Brazilian semifinalists, Galo FA, have announced that they have promoted offensive coordinator Marcus Herford to the position of head coach for the 2020 season.

As offensive coordinator for the Galo, based in Belo Horizonte, Herford led an offense that averaged 31 points a game in nine games including the playoffs.

Prior to arriving in Brazil in July, Herford had coached the offense for the Milano Seamen for the past two years and was the architect behind the highest-scoring team in Italy.  The Seamen have won the last three Italian titles and four of the last five. Prior to arriving in Italy, he served as head coach of the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes (2016-2017). The 34-year-old native of DeSoto, Texas led the Hurricanes to the German semifinals two years in a row and in 2017 produced the second-best offense in Germany averaging 405.7 yards per game.

An outstanding receiver/kick returner at the University of Kansas, he was named a Preseason All America Return Specialist in 2008 and Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year in 2007.  In 2015, as offensive coordinator at Kentucky Wesleyan he coached Keenan Cole, currently a wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Xavier Mitchell, now with the Seamen and who was one of the leading receivers in the German Football League in 2017.

American Football International asked Herford about staying in Brazil to coach despite offers to return to Europe and the pressures of taking over a winning club.

AFI: Why did you decide to stay in Brazil to coach?

Herford: It actually was pretty simple. The new GM approached me as his 1st choice for the position and that alone felt right to take the opportunity. I also love the morals that our team lives by.

AFI: How do you feel about taking over as head coach of the most successful football teams in Brazil over the past few years after being OC? How much pressure do you feel?

Herford: I am absolutely stoked for this opportunity to coach for such a great organization. I honestly feel no pressure because I make sure I am doing my part to hire the best staff in Brazil and beyond and put together a roster that has tremendous depth. No need to feel pressure when your doing what your suppose to do.

AFI: You did not reach the final for the first time in three years. What happened and how can you fix that?

Herford: Bottom line, Joao Pessao was the better team that game. They capitalized on every single mistake we made and we knew coming in we could not allow that. We fix this by recruiting hard and putting together not only the most talented team but the most mentally tough team to push past tough stretches in games.

AFI: After coaching in Europe for four seasons, what are the differences in Brazil?

Herford: The biggest difference is the level of play merely based on finances and the growth of the sport in general. Also, Brazil has a point system that does not allow teams to truly get the maximum capability to create even more competitive teams across the league.

AFI: On a personal note, what types of food have you enjoyed in these various countries?

Herford: Being that I Love good food, I will pick my top item from each country I have played or coached in. France – Was a sandwich they had with lamb meat. Turkey was a curry chicken and rice dish I loved. Germany was John’s Burgers who may have had one of the best burgers I had in my life. Italy was Spontini who has some of the best deep dish wood fire-grilled pizza. Brazil is anything you put on your plate haha. They have amazing food.

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