TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Tucson Sugar Skulls are one win away from making history by going to the playoffs in their first season. A major reason is the Skulls coaching staff who decided to take on a new challenge instead of resting on their laurels.
The end of last season actually marked the beginning of the Tucson Sugar Skulls. The Iowa Barnstomers were celebrating their championship win. During the off-season the expansion Sugar Skulls hired head coach Marcus Coleman who was Iowa's defensive coordinator at the time. Coleman knew had had to bring assistant coaches Hurtis Chinn and Malcolm Nelson.
"It's been important to have those two," said Coleman. "Plus coach Chinn has head coaching experience in this league. Take coach Nelson who has coaching and administrative experience, personal experience. You get that much experience in a room together it's kind of hard to go wrong."
"you gotta find another challenge. I mean I could have stayed in Iowa but I think the fire wouldn't be the same, right? ," said Nelson. "And just to come here and start from scratch. New culture, new players we've got Coach Guy's support there's no way . "
Hurtis Chinn was even offered two different head coaching jobs in the IFL, but he turned them down to become the Sugar Skulls' offensive coordinator.
"That's the thing with taking a young team like this. You get the bumps, you get the bruises, but when you have coaches that believe in ourselves like we do and what we can put out there on the field in a product we could produce within a year we're like 'so what, it don't even matter," said Chinn.
As a first year expansion team the Sugar Skulls can make history by winning Saturday and earning a spot in the IFL playoffs.
"we started from the bottom now we're at this certain point right now," said Nelson. "let's just see if we can get over the top and be the first team in history to go to the playoffs."
"People are saying "oh it's the first year," said Chinn. "We're looking at each other like 'so what, we know what we're capable of. We know our skill set to be in this position. We'll take it."