Poland’s Wroclaw Panthers re-sign former NCAA Coach of the Year, Rick Rhoades

The Wroclaw Panthers, reigning and back-to-back Polish champions, have re-signed coach Rick Rhoades for the 2018 season.

Rhoades, whose record of success in Europe is almost second to none, will serve as quarterbacks and linebackers coach and basically help wherever else the club and head coach Nick Johansen needs him.

Nick Johansen:

“Coach Rhoades helps our program on every facet from advising organizationally to implementing game plans to coaching youth quarterbacks. Having an advisor/coach/mentor for an organization trying to improve each year, we feel very lucky in having him and his wife Ames return for the 2018 season.”

The former head coach of Austria’s Graz Giants who led them to their only Austrian title in 2008, and coach of the Austrian national team, has been coaching championship-winning teams since first arriving in Europe a decade ago. For the past two seasons, Rhoades has been aiding Johansen lead the Panthers to their back-to-back crowns. But everywhere he has been involved, teams win championships.

He moved from Austria to Sweden and the Carlstad Crusaders in 2012 and was a key to the Crusaders winning their third straight title at the time. Then, the La Courneuve Flash gained the benefit of his coaching expertise, capturing the French title in 2013 with Rhoades on the sideline.

After taking a year away from Europe in 2014, Rhoades returned to help out his old friend and coaching compatriot (Austrian national team) Nick Johansen with the Panthers in Poland. The pair has since won two titles in Poland.

Rick Rhoades was inducted into the Troy State Hall of Fame in 2014

Looking back at his sparkling college career however, this is all not so surprising.

He coached high school football in Alabama before becoming head coach at Troy State, (NCAA II) in Alabama where the team won two national championships (1984 and 1987) and Rhoades was named National Coach of the Year.

He then moved on to Southern Illinois before becoming the offensive coordinator at the University of Kentucky for three years. He was at Nicholls State ( head coach 1993-94) and Pelham H.S. (head coach 1996-2000), as well as Stephen F. Austin University (linebackers coach 1996) and spent a season in the professional XFL with the Birmingham Bulls.

He took the job as head coach of Delta State University from 2002 to 2006 where he guided the team to number three overall in the U.S. in Division II football.

In fact, as a head coach or assistant, Rhoades has been part of a state championship team as a high school coach, six final four teams, an SEC championship team and two national championship teams not to mention four national championships in Europe.

“This club and Nick [Johansen] have been very good to me. It has been a pleasure working here. We have a great quarterback in Tim Morovick and with the people in the organization the situation could not be better. I believe that as important as winning is, learning is equally important. Thanks to Nick and the rest of the club, that is the atmosphere I find here.”




American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!