ELF: Leipzig Kings sign veteran John Booker as run game/OL coach

The Leipzig Kings of the European League of Football (ELF) have signed John Booker as their run game coordinator/offensive line coach for the 2022 season.

The 36-year-old Booker, a native of Hayward, California, has just come off a season as head coach with the Wasa Royals in Finland’s Maple League. The year prior, he led the Bialystok Lowlanders to the Polish Football League title game.

Although Booker may seem to have coached in as many countries in three years as some coach in their lifetime, this is just the latest in a slew of highly successful positions for the big man.

Booker came out of San Jose State (NCAA DI, FBS) an All-Conference offensive lineman after four years of bullying defenders on the West Coast. He was picked up first by the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers before quickly moving on to a four-year career in the Arena League, winning two championships along the way.

The Californian then decided to ply his trade overseas; his first stop was Turkey with the Istanbul Rams. Booker immediately realized that he wanted to make a life for himself traveling to globe playing and coaching.

Booker moved from Turkey to Slovakia and then to Brazil as a player. It was after his stint with Ufersa Petroleiros in Brazil that the coach’s whistle came calling.

In 2016, Booker stepped into his first head coaching role with the Trnava Bulldogs in Slovakia, the team he had previously played for. Booker took the Bulldogs to their first ever winning record and began to show the international community what he was capable of as a coach.

His Slovakian success led to a slew of positions across the globe; from Brazil to back-to-back Gridiron Queensland championships with the Brisbane Rhinosbefore moving to the more premier international leagues in Poland and Finland.

Booker has lost no more than a handful of games in his six-year coaching career and taken multiple teams in numerous continents to national championships, often winning them in the process, making him one of the most sought-after coaches in Europe.

He will now be joining head coach Fred Armstrong at the one-year-old Leipzig Kings. The Kings had an up and down season in 2021 but finished by winning four of their last five games and will no doubt be looking to do more than just reach the playoffs in 2022.



Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.