Bob McMillen was named Tuesday as coach of the Los Angeles KISS, an Arena Football League expansion team that will begin play at Honda Center in Anaheim in April, in a press conference at the House of Blues in West Hollywood.
McMillen, 42, coached the league's Chicago Rush the past three seasons. He was named coach of the year for the recently completed 2013 season for guiding the Rush to a 10-8 record and the Central Division championship despite the league taking control of the team after its owner bounced a check needed to secure the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. for two games.
McMillen played running back and linebacker in the AFL from 1995-2007 was elected to its Hall of Fame earlier this year.
"He's a winner," Brett Bouchy, the managing member of the KISS four- man ownership group that also includes Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the rock band KISS, said at a news conference at the House of Blues.
"When you talk to other coaches and players about him they say he's a very upstanding guy. He does it the right way and that's what you want when you start a new franchise."
Bouchy said he, Simmons, Stanley and the other member of the ownership group, Doc McGhee, the band's manager, met last month and agreed that McMillen was the best candidate.
"He's young, has great relationships with Arena Football League players," Bouchy said.
McMillen said he met with the team's owners at the ArenaBowl, the league's championship game, last month in Orlando, Fla. "for a good six hours" and reached an agreement to become the team's coach.
"They're going to let me handle the football side," McMillen said. "My job is to put a winning product on the field."
McMillen described his offensive philosophy as " taking care of the football" and "being efficient." Defensively, he hopes his players will create turnovers in a sport where the offense generally scores touchdowns on most of its possessions.
McMillen said he hopes to hire his three assistant coaches in the next two weeks.
The KISS also announced the hiring of former Los Angeles Dodgers Director of Business Development Schuyler Houersten as team president, Scott Bailey as director of player personnel and Ally Bass as executive assistant.
The KISS has three players on its roster: quarterback J.J. Raterink, receiver Chase Deadder and linebacker Antwan Marsh. It plans to complete its roster by signing players who have played one-to-four years in the NFL and have the skills to be successful in the AFL, where most players play both offense and defense and there are fewer substitutions because the rosters are limited to 20 players, according Bouchy.
The team also plans to conduct an open tryout in late October or early November at a site to be determined, Bouchy said.
-City News Service