Veteran Jim Criner leading Team Nordic in International Bowl IX

When Team Nordic U19s takes the field against the Team USA Under-19 Select Team this Friday at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas in International Bowl IX they will be led by a true veteran of international and college football in Jim Criner.

If ever there was a coach who needed no introduction it might well be Criner with a background in football that could no doubt fill a book. And at 77, he is as energetic and enthusiastic as ever.

For the past several years, Criner has been traversing the globe, bringing his football knowledge and experience all the way from Vienna, Austria to Beijing, China. His American Football Coaching and Teaching Academy  (AFCTA) has been conducting coaching clinics, along with player camps for the past five years in Europe and China.

Criner’s college coaching career spanned four decades. Starting as an assistant at Utah in 1967 he moved up head coach at Boise State University from 1976 to 1982 and at Iowa State University from 1983 to 1986, compiling a career college football head coaching record of 76–46–3 (.620). Criner was also the head coach of the NFL Europe’s Scottish Claymores from 1995 to 2000, and the XFL’s Las Vegas Outlaws in 2001. He coached the Amiens Spartiates in the French top division in 2012.

His 1980 Boise State team won the NCAA Division I-AA Championship and his Scottish Claymores squad won World Bowl IV in 1996. Criner later spent five years as a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL under head coach Dick Vermeil, whom he assisted at UCLA in the mid-1970s.

Team Nordic is historic. It is the first international team featuring players from Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. The team will see its first action Jan. 10 in a scrimmage against Team USA at  Maverick Stadium at the University of Texas at Arlington.


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