By Tony Adams
The Champions Indoor Football League introduced the Centex Cavalry as their 13th franchise back on Aug. 11, bringing arena football back to the Central Texas area.
The momentum of the franchise brought about two major announcements last Thursday afternoon: the naming rights to the field and the introduction of their new head coach and defensive coordinator.
The Bell County Expo Center and Bush’s Chicken agreed on a two-year field naming agreement, which includes field logos and mentions on all media exposure.
Cavalry owner Randy Sanders introduced Michael Finney as their new head coach and Taijuan Ziegler as the new defensive coordinator.
Finney is no stranger to Central Texas football. He graduated from Lampasas in 2002 and was a student coach under Pete Fredenburg at UMHB and Jack Welch at Copperas Cove. After coaching stops at Vermillion Community College (Ely, Minn.), Lon Morris (Jacksonville, TX) and MacMurray College (Jacksonville, Ill.), he served as special teams coordinator and assistant coach for the D3 National Bowl Game in Philadelphia.
He brings plenty of arena football experience to the Cavalry. He has coached offense, defense and special teams as an assistant for the CenTex Barracudas, Austin Turf Cats and Dallas Vigilantes.
Finney, a member of the American Football Coaches Association, was the offensive coordinator this past spring for the Lampasas Lightning semi-pro football team, winning the season championship.
“I love the game of football,” Finney said. “It is not just about me: It’s about the love of football in the community. It is a great opportunity for a lot of guys around here.”
Kaijuan Zeigler was hired to coordinate the Centex defense.
“There is unbelievable excitement here,” Zeigler said. “Being a local guy from Copperas Cove High School, going out and playing college football and then coming back to play arena football with the Barracudas in 2008 and 2009, this team is something I believe this community has needed for a long time.”