Helsinki Roosters sign new head coach for 2017

Marquette Floyd named new head coach of Finland’s Helsinki Roosters

The defending Finnish champion Helsinki Roosters have appointed Marquette Floyd as team’s new head coach. Jarmo Lahti, the chairman of Helsinki Roosters, is confident that new head coach can carry on where 2016 head coach Juha Hakala left off. Hakala signed on to coach the Lazio Marines of Italy’s Italian Football League for 2017.

Lahti on signing Floyd;

“Marquette has a good knowledge of the Maple League. He knows our opponents and most of our own players and coaches. He has also a good knowledge of the game and I believe that he will bring a new perspective for training and personal development of players.”

Floyd has experience as a player in Finland’s top American football league and Lahti expects him to hit the ground running as coach. “There will not be any culture shock, which can sometimes be with someone coming to Finland first time,” said Lahti.

Here’s a brief Q &A with the new Rooster head coach via

People remember you from playing for Helsinki 69ers. Could you tell us more about your American football career as player and also as a coach?

Floyd: Starting with my football career, I played high school football in Tampa, Florida and went to Ranger Junior College in Ranger, Texas for two years. I finished my college career at Missouri Valley College, where I was two time All-American linebacker and two time conference champion 2006 and 2007. In stats I was sack leader in 2007, defensive MVP of team 2007 and defensive MVP in semi-final game 2007.

In Finland I played five seasons with Helsinki 69ers, and won the Division I (second league) championship with them in 2012. I was also the defensive coordinator, while playing, for 69ers in their first and third year in the Maple League, where we went to the semi-finals.

Who are your role model(s) as a coach and what is your coaching philosophy?

Floyd: As far as role models, Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, has always been someone I admired. As to the way he handles his players and the respect he gets from his team. And the way he carries himself on and off the field. Also locals in Finland, who have helped me along the way in Finnish football, are Jason Thomas and Robert Johnson. These two individuals had a major impact on the knowledge I have gain within Finnish football.

My major coaching philosophy is, I am a firm believer” If you have knowledge, pass it on to those who do not!” I really want to develop and bring out skills in players they didn’t know they possessed. My principles are always: preach team first, execute, and have fun. We are privileged to play this sport, so all that play should compete and have fun. Dedication is the key.

What made you choose Helsinki Roosters for 2017 season?

Floyd: What made me choose the Roosters was the fact that they have a great organization and culture for football. From the board to the coaches to the fans it’s everything an up and coming coach could ask for. The players have bought into what it takes to win. I just want to continue what Robert Johnson helped start years ago with this team and that’s to help each player understand the game of football and to play at their highest potential.

You are filling quite big shoes after Coach Hakala with five championships and when you look team roster and coaching staff you could say that Helsinki Roosters is in some kind of transition. Don’t you have any cold feet?

Floyd: Well I have watched what Coach Hakala has done over the years, and I am truly honored to be able to help carry on what he has accomplished. He has done some amazing things with this organization. Yes I do have big shoes to fill and I am up for the challenge.

I guess you could say it’s some kind of transition going on. A lot of younger players are coming up and some of the older players have left and some have stayed. So if you put the two together and with the right coaches, we can continue to do what this team has done as of recent years. As far as cold feet, no cold feet for me. I am up for the challenge. All I can do is give my all to this team and hope they receive what I am teaching.

What are your expectations and goals for the next season?

Floyd: My expectations for next season are to go game by game, to not think about the Maple Bowl or playoffs. Just take it game by game. But we will be one of the most aggressive teams. We will be in shape, and also we will be disciplined.

Any message to Roosters fans?

Floyd: I am honored to be a part of the Roosters family and I will do my best to keep this winning tradition alive. Come out and support and help us keep this Red Nation alive!


John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.