ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany NAL announce that three-time Arena Football League Champion and Albany Empire head coach, Rob Keefe, has been named as the team’s head coach effective immediately. Per League and team rules, terms are not disclosed.
Keefe was part of the AFL Philadelphia Soul 2008 championship team as a defensive back. At the age of 29, he became the youngest head coach in AFL history to win an Arena Football League Championship, when he led the Spokane Shock to an ArenaBowl victory in their first year in the AFL. In 2019 he led the Albany Empire to their first ArenaBowl title. He is the only person in Arena Football history to win an Arena Cup (AF2) and ArenaBowl (AFL) title as both a player and a coach.
Posting a career 83-40 record as a head coach in the AFL, Keefe most recently led the Albany Empire as head coach from 2018-2019. In his stint in Albany, Rob won ArenaBowl 32. He is in the Top 6 for a win percentage of all time as a Head Coach in the AFL at .674 and is tied for 4th for ArenaBowl Championships in the AFL as a Head Coach with 2.
“The Times Union Center is excited to welcome Rob back,” said General Manager Bob Belber. “Coach Keefe is a stand-up guy both on and off the field, and we can’t wait to see his energy back on the field.”
“I am very excited to return to Albany,” said Head Coach Rob Keefe. “I am looking forward to renewing our great team and continuing the wonderful relationships with our fans and sponsors in the community. There is a lot of work to do and I am most certainly up for the challenge. My passion and heart will be on full display as we strive to win both on and off the field for the Capital Region.”
“Rob Keefe is a first-rate coach who has proven himself time and time again, including when he led the Albany Empire during an unmatched regular season and their AFL Arena Bowl Championship last year. He clearly has also won the hearts of Capital Region fans, which was demonstrated by crowd of more than 12,000 people that showed up to the Times Union Center that night,” said County Executive McCoy. “I’m confident that by bringing back Coach Keefe, we will be able to replicate that kind of enthusiasm in downtown Albany next year and maybe even bring us another championship.”
Fans can secure their season tickets for the new Albany arena football team now with a $50 deposit per seat by calling 518-487-2085 or by going to timesunioncenter-albany.com/nal. Albany Empire season ticket holders will have first right of refusal to purchase their Empire seats for the 2021 NAL season. A team representative will contact those that have submitted a deposit in the upcoming weeks to select your specific seats, which will be done in order in which deposits were received.