The Salt Lake Screaming Eagles announced Monday that Arena Football League Veteran and former 2011/2012 Assistant Coach of the Year Matthew Sauk has been named head football coach, effective immediately.
Sauk brings nearly a decade of indoor football coaching experience and well-earned reputation as a motivator and teacher of the game, which is the cornerstone of his coaching philosophy. He was the Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator of the Utah Blaze from 2010-2013 before he was hired to be the first-ever head coach of the Arena Football League’s Portland Thunder, leading the 35-man expansion team to the playoffs in its inaugural season. In addition, Sauk was instrumental in developing the offensive game plan that orchestrated the Spokane Shock to victory in Arena Bowl XXIII as an Assistant Coach/Offensive Coordinator.
“As a coach, winning is a priority. At the same time, I want to assure the fans that the decisions we make moving forward with this football organization will be made in partnership with the Screaming Eagles Virtual Front Office and the global network of fans. Together we will continue to write a new chapter in professional sports history,” said Sauk. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead the Screaming Eagles at this critical time in the franchise’s history. I am eager to work with this talented group of coaches and players as I have tremendous respect for the team, FANchise ownership group and the Indoor Football League’s heritage.”
In eight seasons on the sidelines,, Sauk brings a deep knowledge of indoor football experience to the Screaming Eagles, with a rèsumé that includes serving as Assistant Coach/Offensive Coordinator for the Spokane Shock (2009-2010), Utah Blaze (2010-2013), Los Angeles KISS (2014-2015) and Orlando Predators (2015-2016) and as Head Coach for the Portland Thunder (2013-2014).
Prior to his coaching career, Sauk played eight seasons in the Arena Football League and their AF2 -developmental league. In 2001, he was named the AF2 Rookie of the Year while playing quarterback for the Tennessee Valley Vipers. In 2005, he was named the AF2 Offensive Player of the Year while playing for the Louisville Fire. Sauk efforts were rewarded by peers and Arena Football League when he was inducted into the AF2 Hall of Fame in 2009.
“We feel that Matt Sauk is the right leader at this pivotal time to move the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles football organization forward,” said Thom Carter, President of the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles. “He has had an exceptional career as player and we are very excited have his experience and understanding of coaching expansion teams in their inaugural season.
Sauk is very familiar with the Utah football community as a scholarship student-athlete and starting quarterback Utah State Aggies from 1996-1998. He started for two years, earning 2nd Team All-Big West Conference in 1997, while leading the Aggies to the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl. He ended his two-year career with more than 5,000 passing yards and 24 touchdowns.