The International Federation of American Football has identified three coordinators who will work alongside IFAF World Team head coach Greg Marshall when junior players from around the world take on Team USA in USA Football’s International Bowl in Texas.

The state capital of Austin will host the third annual game – formerly known as USA vs. The World – on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. The coordinators represent three countries – Canada, Japan and Mexico – from among the 62 countries on six continents governed by IFAF that play some form of American Football.

"This is a special event," said Coach Marshall. "I have been fortunate to be part of this game in the first two years and have seen great growth in the IFAF World Team program. Our three coordinators will ensure our players are able to play in a competitive atmosphere against the top players from the United States."

A veteran of the 2010 and 2011 IFAF World Team staff, Waren Craney will again serve as defensive coordinator.  The Montreal native is the head coach of York University having joined the Lions in 2010 from Concordia University, where he spent seven seasons as the defensive coordinator. Craney orchestrated the Canada junior national team defense as his nation won a silver medal at the 2009 IFAF Junior World Championship.

"I am very honored to be coaching the World Team for a third consecutive year and work with some of the best coaches in international football," said Craney. "This event is an experience of a lifetime for coaches and players and knowing how well it is organized, coupled with Texas hospitality, I look forward to seeing how 2012 turns out.

I expect the 2012 game to be the best ever and our goal is to select the best team possible and not only compete like we have in 2010 and 2011, but bring home a victory for IFAF. I will be working hard with the defensive staff on adding some new wrinkles to our scheme and we can’t wait for practice to start."

Edgar Zapata, the offensive coordinator of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) Tigres and the Mexican senior national team, will also assume that role with the IFAF World Team. Last year Zapata coached the team’s quarterbacks and has an extensive youth and junior coaching background. He served as offensive coordinator with ITESM CEM in his native Mexico and has coached quarterbacks with UDLA-Puebla in Mexico.

"It is a great honor to be selected as a World Team Coach," said Zapata. "I strongly believe that we have very good coaches and players in Mexico. I thank the Mexican federation FMFA, my team PUMAS, and the confidence of IFAF and Coach Marshall for supporting me in this great event.

Last year’s game was an eye opener for me. I realized that we, as a country, could take a more active role in helping to develop international experiences for our players and coaches and I hope to do that."

The IFAF World Team Special Teams Coordinator will be Shinzo Yamada, who coached with Japanese national team that claimed the bronze medal at the 2011 IFAF Senior World Championship in July. Yamada has served as head coach of Japan’s junior national team program and played in NFL Europe for Amsterdam and also spent time in training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 2001 Tokyo X-Bowl MVP is one of the most accomplished football players in Japanese history.

"It is an honor for me to be selected as a coordinator and at the same time very excited to be part of the world team," said Yamada. "Going into this event I think the key factor is to give the players the best opportunity on special teams so it will be very important to know the players‘ potential."

IFAF President Tommy Wiking said: "The key to the quality of American football improving internationally lies in the quality of coaching. We have selected coordinators who are entrenched in key roles within their native countries and will benefit the development of junior players on the IFAF World Team while also helping the team to be competitive."

In addition to the IFAF World Team competing at the 2012 USA Football’s International Bowl, an IFAF World Development Team will practice with the World Team and showcase their talents to the coaching staff for future consideration. The IFAF World Team will leave a number of final roster spots available for Development Team athletes.

For the second consecutive year, the IFAF World Team will be lead by Head Coach Greg Marshall, who is the head coach of the University of Western Ontario Mustangs and was a Grey Cup winning running back and coach in the CFL. Most recently, he was Offensive Coordinator for Canada’s national team that took silver at the 2011 IFAF Senior World Championship in Austria.

He said of his three coordinators:

"Edgar Zapata is a great coach. He coaches at a high level in Mexico and I had the opportunity to work with him last year as well. I am very confident in his ability, especially after seeing him run Team Mexico offense at the IFAF Senior World Championship.

I have known Warren Craney for many years. I have always been an offensive oriented coach and to know I can leave him to the defense is great. I have one hundred percent confidence in his ability and he is a great ambassador to the sport of football.

Shinzo Yamada will be a great addition to the World team. We (Canada) played against Japan at the IFAF Senior World Championship and I was extremely impressed with the way the team was coached especially in special teams and their attention to detail."

The NCAA recognizes USA Football’s International Bowl as a national team competition, meaning that the game is not an all-star game. Playing for the United States in the International Bowl is exempt from high school seniors‘ two all-star game appearances.  

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