ELF: Hamburg Sea Devils add Kirk Heidelberg as offensive coordinator

The Hamburg Sea Devils of the European League of Football have signed veteran coach Kirk Heidelberg to be the team’s offensive coordinator.

Heidelberg is thrilled to be heading to a city that means so much to him:

“Hamburg is a special place for me. It was the first location where I was allowed to train in Europe back then. I have very good contacts here. Football is a sport that’s all about trust, which is why I like this city so much. We will put together an excellent team with which I have one goal: To get better! Together we will develop a simple system to make it easy for our guys and hard for the opponent. We know what it’s all about in the end!”

The 64-year-old native of Toledo, Ohio is a true veteran and pioneer of football in Europe and to the back-and-forth travel associated with being an “international” coach. Last season, Heidelberg led the Cologne Centurions to the postseason with a 5-5 regular-season record. Heidelberg’s return to Cologne came 21 years after he had led the Cologne Crocodiles to their only German Football League championship in 2000.

Now the nostalgia continues as he returns to Hamburg where he coached his first international season back in 1998. Heidelberg coached the Hamburg Blue Devils to the German Bowl title in his second stint with the team in 2003. General Manager is thrilled to have the championship experienced coach back in Hamburg:

“”Heidelberg and Hamburg is like Bayern and Heynckes. It just fits, is promising and doesn’t require a lot of negotiations. He simply loves the city, knows many of our players and also coaches from his time here. With him and Kendral Ellison, we have two first-class coordinators on board,”

Since 2003, the football lifer has crisscrossed the Atlantic, alternating between the GFL and high school football in Ohio (Waite High School) and Illinois ( Rockford Christian High School) as well as Team USA’s Under 19 team with stops in Saarbrücken (Saarland Hurricanes), Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf Panther), Cologne again (Crocodiles), and Hamburg (Hamburg Huskies). He has been a guest coach for the Toronto Argonauts (2012) and spent some time in Sweden in 2015 helping the Carlstad Crusaders win the Swedish and European titles that year.

Before arriving in Europe, he had built an impressive coaching resume, having served as an assistant coach at Tennessee State University, Lehigh University, and the University of Kansas.

There’s no question, that there is something about Germany, apart from his wife of course, that keeps him coming back:

“I really enjoy coaching and living in Germany, especially in this area. There are many things that remind me of where I grew up in Ohio. And the quality of football is very good. I am excited to be a part of the new league and being able to be a head coach in Cologne is extra special.”

Heidelberg joins a Sea Devils team looking to get back to the championship after falling just short of the league inaugural title last season. Hamburg has already announced the return of defensive coordinator Kendral Ellison, along with linebacker Miguel Book. Offensively, German passer Salieu Ceesay (Azusa Pacific NCAA D2) will be looking to get the ball to former Atlanta Falcons receiver Lamar Jordan II, last year’s league-leading receiver Jéan Constant, and British running back Glenn Tonga. However, the Sea Devils head coach for the 2022 season remains a mystery.

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