Soul Feature Story: Putting The “Sting” Back In Soul Defense
Philadelphia Soul press release,
PHILADELPHIA (August 6, 2015) — The Philadelphia Soul have had no shortage of success this season. The team currently holds a 14-3 record and managed to already clinch the top seed in American Conference playoffs with one game left in the regular season.
A large factor in this success has been Soul Assistant Coach and Defensive Coordinator, Derek Stingley. Stingley joins the Soul for his first season, after coaching the former AFL team, the Pittsburgh Power in 2014. With Stingley’s help, the Soul currently ranks No. 1 in total defense (248.7 yards per game), No. 3 in scoring defense (46.5 points per game) and No. 3 in interceptions (24).
For Stingley, football has always been a part of his life. His father, Darryl, was a wide receiver for the NFL’s New England Patriots from 1973-77. Darryl Stingley was the 19th pick in the first round of the 1973 NFL Draft. Stingley’s father was a huge influence in his life and taught him to “work for what he wants,” a concept that he lives by and tries to instill into both his players and children.
Stingley, a Chicago native, attended Purdue University. He later transferred to Triton College where he played baseball. Stingley was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1993 and played for three seasons before deciding to play professional football.
Stingley spent his first season with the PIFL’s Louisiana Bayou Thunder in 1995. The defensive specialist was then signed by the AFL’s Albany Firebirds and played with the team for four seasons (1997-00), recording 272.5 total tackles, 14 interceptions and 62 pass break-ups. After spending time with the NY Jets practice squad in 1999, Stingley continued his career in the AFL with the Chicago Rush (2001), Arizona Rattlers (2002), Carolina Cobras (2003) and Dallas Desperados (2004).
Stingley was hired in 2005 as the defensive coordinator of the af2’s Macon Knights. He was eventually promoted to head coach and led the team from a losing 2-4 record to 8-8 and a playoff appearance. From there he went to coach the New Orleans VooDoo as a defensive coordinator in 2008 and the head coach in 2010. He was assigned as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Power in 2012.
The improvements to the Soul defense have been monumental and Stingley has been a large contributor to its success. Soul DB James Romain leads his teammates in interceptions (10) and is currently ranked third in the league. DB LaRico Stevenson leads the team in tackles (85.0) this season, which is a huge jump from his season high of 73.0 total tackles at the end of the 2013 season.
“He is a great coach – he corrects my mistakes and always puts me in the best position to make plays,” said Romain. “He’s the kind of coach that really believes in the system and the players that are working for him.”
“This game is built for the offense to win,” Stingley said. “There needs to be an understanding that sometimes plays just happen and when they do, you just need to shake it off and move on to the next play. The key is to slow the opponent down and make plays in order to help your offense.”
Stingley currently resides in Baton Rouge, LA with his wife, Natasha and their four children- Isis, Nahjha, Derek Jr. and Sanaa.
The Philadelphia Soul travel to Cleveland to take on the Gladiators one last time in the regular season, on Saturday, August 8. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.