For the first time in seven years, the Wyoming Cavalry will have a new coach patrolling the sidelines when the 2013 Indoor Football League season opens.
Ryan Lingenfelder, the defensive coordinator for the IFL’s Tri-Cities Fever the past three years, was named Wednesday to replace longtime Cavs coach Dan Maciejczak.
“I’m extremely excited for this challenge,” Lingenfelder said. “I’m looking forward to meeting the great fans in Casper and getting the best players available to play for the Cavalry.”
Wyoming finished 4-10 last season, its first losing season since 2004. Three of those losses were to Tri-Cities, including a 30-26 victory at the Casper Events Center in which the Cavs scored six first-half points against Lingenfelder’s defense.
“Obviously, we took notice of the Tri-Cities defense in that game,” Cavalry General Manager Mike Layton said. “It will be different to not have [Maciejczak] on the sidelines, but we’re excited to be moving in a new direction.”
Maciejczak, who coached the Cavs to four championship-game appearances and a 60-27 overall record in his six years with the franchise, stepped down to spend time with his family and to concentrate on his full-time job -- coaching the Douglas High School football team in Rapid City, S.D.
“I was ready to move on,” Maciejczak said. “I was blessed to have the opportunity to be successful [in Casper] and to coach some great guys, but last year put a lot of wear and tear on me.
“It’s time for me to focus on something different.”
Like most indoor football leagues, the IFL is known mostly for its offense. And even though Lingenfelder made his mark in the league with defense, he said the Cavs will be balanced on both sides of the ball.
After all, Lingenfelder was a four-year starting center at Northern Arizona University and went on to play on the offensive line in the Arena Football League before suffering a knee injury. He also served as the offensive line and tight ends coach at the University of Idaho earlier in his career.
“I’m an offensive guy,” he said. “Even when I coached defense, I approached it from an offensive standpoint. I know what an offense can do to hurt a defense, so we’ll be ready on offense.
“Besides, football is football.”