Coach Ernie Cooke is returning as the Nighthawks' defensive coordinator during the 2017 season.
Coach Cooke's defensive scheme helped the Nighthawks record the second-most sacks as a team (34), most fumble recoveries as a team (18), and second-most total tackles as a team during last year's Indoor Football League season.
Coach Cooke is a graduate of Burkburnett High School and attended West Texas A&M where he was a running back on the football team. He later went on to play for the Wichita Falls Drillers semi-pro team. He coached two seasons with the Wichita Falls Nighthawks Outdoor Football Team. The first season he was Co-Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs Coach, and the second year he was Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator. He joined the Wichita Falls Nighthawks Indoor Team as Running Backs Coach/Special Teams Coach in the inaugural season.
Coach Rudy Hawkins will be returning for his third season as the Offensive Assistant with the Wichita Falls Nighthawks during the 2017 season.
Hawkins has 17 years of football coaching experience, spending the last 12 years as the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach for City View High School.
Hawkins and 2016 IFL Coach of the Year Billy Back will bring their knowledge and experience of the game with them as the Nighthawks set out to finish what they started last year.
NIGHTHAWKS HOST PRESEASON GAME:
The Wichita Falls Nighthawks will open up the 2017 season by hosting a preseason game against the Cap City Bulls on February 11 at Kay Yeager Coliseum.
The Cap City Bulls are a professional indoor football team based in Austin, Texas and are members of the Supreme Indoor Football League (SIF). They are led by Head Coach Roger Viser and Offensive Coordinator Derrick Wallace.
Key defensive players for the Bulls include: Nickolas Sykes (DL), Ryan Peterson (LB), Corey Perez (DB), and Eric Tennison (DB). Key offensive players include: Julian Silguero (OL), Keith Clay (RB), Kelly Hancock (QB), and Lee Carothers (WR).