The Ancona Dolphins of the Italian first division have signed quarterback Josh Dean for the 2018 season.
The 6’2″, 215 lb, 26 year old from Dana Point, California and graduate of Willamette University, helped Switzerland’s Calanda Broncos reach two consecutive Swiss Bowls, winning the 2015 championship in Switzerland. In 2014, Dean spent the 2014 season with the Onsabrück Tigers in the German third division. Dean enjoyed a standout career playing for the Willamette University Bears, an NCAA Division III program in the Northwest Conference in Salem, Ore.. In 2013, Dean was named second team All-NWC for a second consecutive year and was named first team Capital One Academic All-District.
The Dolphins finished out of the playoffs in 2017 for the first time in three years with a 4-6 record.
Danny Mitchell, offensive coordinator for Sweden’s reigning champions, the Carlstad Crusaders in 2017, who has worked closely with the late Tom Martinez, Tom Brady’s mentor and quarterback coach, understands what Dean brings to the Dolphins:
“Josh is the best QB I have ever had the chance to coach. He is extremely athletic, intelligent, and most of all, a phenomenal leader. He possesses every trait any team would want in a coach and a player. Having coached at every level of football (Swedish Super Series, GFL, D1 FBS, D1FCS, D2, D3, NAIA, JC, and HS) I would say that without a doubt Josh will make a difference.”
American Football International: You are moving from Switzerland to Italy. What are you looking forward to?
Josh Dean: Experiencing a new culture and connecting with a new group of coaches and teammates. I also look forward to being in striking distance with the friends I’ve made in Switzerland!
AFI: How do you feel football has developed in Europe?
Dean: Tough to tell. I’ve just really enjoyed following the game in Europe. There are some great matchups that are streamed that get me fired up. And I think more parity is developing. One thing I do know is that interest from Americans to come play and coach overseas is not diminishing. The competition amongst imports for spots on a limited number of teams should help develop the game.
AFI: What do you feel you bring to the team?
Dean: Experience and a willingness to learn. I hope to bring what I’ve learned in my years playing and coaching in Europe and the States to Ancona, but I can’t wait to learn more from the coaching staff there. I am eager to connect with the team, my fellow imports, the city, and the culture.
AFI: You have been away from playing in Europe for a year. What foods have you missed?
Dean: Great question! It’s probably what I think about most often! Pizza, Kebab, Raclette, to name a few. The best lasagna I’ve ever had was at Pinocchio’s in Osnabrueck, Germany. The little chocolate milk cartons from Aldi Suisse are fantastic too.
Check out the highlights from the Calanda Broncos 2015 championship season in Switzerland
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