ELF: Vienna Vikings HC Chris Calaycay returns to defend ELF title

As the flurry of signings in the European League of Football continue this off-season, the Vienna Vikings made an unsurprising but substantial announcement officially bringing back long-time head coach Chris Calaycay to defend the team’s first ELF title.

Vienna’s coach is thrilled to be back at the helm after winning the title last season: 

“What a first season in the European League of Football! And what an inaugural season for our Vikings franchise in the best league in Europe! I’m extremely proud that we could bring home the European League of Football championship title to Vienna and to all of our incredible fans. I am excited that we announce my re-signing with the Vikings today.”

The 46 year old first came to Vienna back in 1999 following a strong career at Willamette University. Calaycay joined the Vikings as an import quarterback and led them to three straight Austrian Bowl titles. He then returned to the States briefly coaching for his alma mater and UC Berkley before returning to Vienna as a defensive coordinator in 2004.

Coach Calaycay hoisting the ELF trophy – Photo: Sara Phillip

Since then, Vienna has remained his home as he quickly moved up to head coach in 2007 and orchestrated eight Austrian Bowls including a three-peat from 2012-2014, and five Eurobowl titles for the powerhouse Vikings. In tota,l Calaycay has reached the Austrian Bowl 18 times as a player and coach, taking home the title 11 times.

This year, however, was different, but also the same, as Calaycay led the Vikings into a new era by joining the European League of Football. The championship experience paid off in the new league as Calaycay coached and recruited while leading Vienna to its first European League of Football title, hoisting the trophy in Klagenfurt Austria.

Fans are ecstatic to have Calaycay back as they look to defend their title in 2023. The off-season so far has been interesting as quarterback Jackson Erdmann and tight end Adria Botella Moreno have announced they will not return. Expect coach Calaycay and the Vikings to be out of the recruiting trail building up their roster for 2023. Following the ELF championship, the Vikings had over 600 applications for new players, giving Calaycay and his staff a long list of talent to choose from.

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football