Philadelphia Soul Press Release
PHILADELPHIA (August 20, 2015) – The Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League are pleased to announce two new exciting additions to their ownership group – Super Bowl Championship-winning and former Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach, Dick Vermeil, and current New Orleans Saints’ Offensive Lineman and Philadelphia native, Jahri Evans. The dynamic duo join the existing ownership group which consists of Ron Jaworski, Craig Spencer, Pete Ciarrocchi, Cosmo DeNicola, Marty Judge and New Orleans Saints’ Marques Colston.
“These are dynamic additions to an already impressive ownership group,” said Philadelphia Soul Co-Majority Owner and ESPN analyst, Ron Jaworski. “Dick Vermeil is a legendary name in Philadelphia and in professional football. Jahri clearly has a vision of ‘life after football’ and is serious about his involvement with the business side of sports. Both are champions at the highest levels and match our group’s core values and drive to be the best on and off the field.”
Vermeil coached with the Philadelphia Eagles (1976-82), St. Louis Rams (1997-99) and Kansas City Chiefs (2001-05). He is in the Sid Gillman coaching tree and has coached at every level; Vermeil owns the distinction of being named “Coach of the Year” on four levels: High School, Junior College, NCAA Division I and Professional Football. In all three of his stops as an NFL head coach, Vermeil has taken every team – Philadelphia, St. Louis and Kansas City, each of which had a losing record before he arrived – and brought them to the playoffs by his third season at the helm. Vermeil was also the coach that gave former NFL MVP, Super Bowl Champion and Arena Football Hall of Famer, Kurt Warner his shot in the NFL while with the St. Louis Rams.
“The last time I invested in the Arena Football League, it resulted in me finding a quarterback that led our team to a Super Bowl Championship,” said Dick Vermeil. “I love the Arena Football game, and I am excited to be working side by side with Ron Jaworski once again, along with my other new partners whom I have a tremendous amount of respect for.”
Evans, a Philadelphia native, played for Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and was awarded All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in each of his three seasons played. He was later on drafted in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints. In his rookie season, he was named to the Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie team in 2006 and in 2008 he was a part of the offensive line that allowed only 13 sacks – a Saints’ franchise record. Still currently with the Saints, Evans is a six-time Pro Bowl offensive guard and was a member of the 2010 Super Bowl champion Saints. Evans’ ties to Philadelphia run deep with his foundation, JEF, headquartered there. JEF focuses on helping student athletes further their education and athletic careers by improving and developing their athletic capabilities.
“The game of football has always been my passion. This is a great opportunity to be a part of a great team in the city where all my goals and aspirations began. I am incredibly excited to join the Soul as I plan for a new phase in my career in the city I love.”
The Philadelphia Soul will play in their third American Conference Championship in four years, this Sunday, August 23 at 5 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia. The Soul defeated the Jacksonville Sharks in 2012 and 2013 to make it to the ArenaBowl in each of those seasons.
“The Arena Football League is very proud to have Dick Vermeil and Jahri Evans join the ownership group of the Philadelphia Soul,” said AFL Commissioner Scott Butera. “These two football standouts will undoubtedly contribute to the growth and success of the Arena Football League and we are very much looking forward to their involvement in our game.”