Marcus Herford joins Italian champions the Milano Seamen

The defending Italian champions, the Milano Seamen, continue to bolster their coaching staff with the addition of Marcus Herford.

Herford, former head coach of the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes (2016-2017) will take over as offensive coordinator of the Seamen under head coach Michael Wood.

The 32 year old native of DeSoto, Texas led the Hurricanes to the German semifinals two years in a row and in 2017 produced the second best offense in Germany averaging 405.7 yards per game.

An outstanding receiver/kick returner at the University of Kansas, he was named a Preseason All America Return Specialist in 2008 and Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year in 2007.  In 2015, as offensive coordinator at Kentucky Wesleyan he coached Keenan Cole, currently wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Xavier Mitchell, now with the Seamen and who was one of the leading receivers in the German Football League in 2017.

American Football International caught up with Marcus to ask him about moving to Italy, coaching football in Europe and traveling.

AFI:  How did you end up signing with the Seamen?

Herford: It started with the QB Luke Zahradka   putting in a word to the Seamen’s organization about me. I actually recruited Luke before last season so we had a relationship already built. The organization and I had been in talks for a while and some circumstances put a halt on the deal happening. Then recently we reconnected and it was a good fit for my wife and I. So, I jumped on board.

AFI: You have coached in Germany for two years. How did you first find out about football in Europe?

Herford: My former teammate from the University of Kansas had been posting videos of him playing ball overseas back in 2013 and I reached out to him to see how to go about playing. At the time I was still interested in playing ball. I end up in France and Turkey that year playing ball and after I left I knew I would always want to come back at some point to coach.

AFI: What are your thoughts about the level of play in Europe?

Herford: I believe the level in play definitely varies based on what part of Europe you play or coach in. I will say that Germany so far has been the most competitive league I have been apart of. Now, I have heard nothing but great things about the Italian league as well and look forward to competing in their league.

AFI: How much do you know about football in Italy?

Herford: To be honest not a ton due to my focused attention on my task in the parts of Europe I have been. I do know that their import rule is a lot tighter than the GFL, which in turn makes it even more impressive what the Seamen organization has been able to do. Definitely looking forward to being a part of the league.

AFI: You will be coaching Xavier Mitchell again. How does that feel?

Herford: Man, it is absolutely a great feeling. X and I have been together since College in 2015. So, this makes our 4th straight season together. I know his strengths and he knows how I think so it will definitely help having a guy like X back in my corner. I told him after I took the job that I guess we just can’t shake each other!!! Definitely excited for this season with my guy X.

AFI: What do you think you bring to the Seamen?

Herford: Well, my philosophy is if a team has the type of pedigree the Seamen has its not about bringing anything different perse because winning 3 championships out 4 years your doing some things right. So, my job is to see what has been done, add some of what I do and merge the two to keep the winning ways happening.

AFI: How much of Europe have you managed to see while coaching in Germany?

Herford: To be honest man not as much as I would like. I have obviously been all around Germany due to traveling to games but outside of that I surprised my wife with a trip to London for our 6 year Anniversary last year. We have a pretty tight schedule in Milan but if I get a chance I hope to possibly visit at least one other country.

AFI: What are your expectations for 2018?

Herford: My expectations for 2018 is to Win, Win and Win!!! We’re fortunate to be apart of the EFL championship series, so naturally we want to put ourselves in position to end the 2018 with not 1 but 2 championships. It won’t be easy by any means but with the right preparation and laser focus we have the ability to have a special season.

In addition, I would like to thank the organization for having me apart of their awesome family. It has been nothing short of amazing in working with the upper management so far. Also, being able to coach perhaps one of the top European QBs is going to be absolutely a blast. Ready to get to Milan and get rolling!!! #AnchorGang

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