BOARDMAN - The Mahoning Valley Thunder would like to announce that Chris MacKeown has been named Head Coach, replacing Interim Coach Brennen Booth effective immediately. Led by Coach MacKeown, Mahoning Valley will host Kentucky this Saturday night at the Covelli Centre. Kickoff is slated for 7:05 p.m.
Booth began the season as Mahoning Valley’s Defensive Coordinator and was promoted to Interim Head Coach when Mike Hold was relieved of his Head Coaching duties on April 28th. With the hiring of MacKeown, Booth will move back to Defensive Coordinator, a job he has held all season.
MacKeown (pronounced Mack-cue-win), joins Mahoning Valley after a number of years coaching in both the Arena Football League (AFL) and the arenafootball2 League (af2). In 10 seasons coaching at the professional level MacKeown’s teams have made the playoffs seven times, conference finals four times, and the championship game once. Chris’ most recent coaching assignment came in 2008 when he was named the Offensive Coordinator for the AFL’s Colorado Crush.
Prior to joining the Crush, MacKeown coached the af2’s Amarillo Dusters for one season (2007), guiding the team to their best record in franchise history and an appearance in the conference championship. Before his stint with Amarillo, Coach MacKeown spent the 2001 through 2007 seasons coaching in both the AFL and af2 in a variety of roles including Head Coach, Special Teams Coordinator, Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Assistant.
Chris’ arena coaching experience began in 2001 as an assistant with the AFL’s Indiana Firebirds where he remained through the 2002 season. In 2003, MacKeown was named Head Coach of the af2’s expansion Cincinnati Swarm where six of his players moved onto the NFL and another 11 players signed either AFL or CFL contracts.
The 2004 and 2005 seasons were spent with the af2’s Louisville Fire as the Offensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach. MacKeown’s Fire teams ranked first in the league in total offense during each season of Chris’ tenure. The 2006 season took the Dayton, OH native closer to home as he joined the Columbus Destroyers (AFL) staff as Special Teams Coordinator/Offensive Assistant. That year, the Destroyers posted their best record in franchise history.
Following his time in Columbus, MacKeown moved onto the AFL’s Austin Wranglers to become Special Teams/Receivers Coach. Under the direction of MacKeown, Wranglers’ Kicker Mark Lewis was named the AFL’s Kicker of the Year.
Aside from the arena game, MacKeown has also coached in the IFL (Indoor Football League) as well as at the college (Wilmington) and high school (Kettering-Fairmont, Huber Heights-Wayne) levels. MacKeown graduated from the University of Toledo (’91) before earning his Masters at the University of Dayton (’01).