Williamson County football fans will get a new team to cheer for next spring, one right in their own backyard.
The Music City Fire, part of the Elite Indoor Football League, will be setting up camp at the Williamson County AG Expo Park for their home games and plan to have a strong presence within the county.
The season gets started for the Fire in March 2020.
“We deliberately picked Williamson County because we wanted to be in a place where we could grow somewhere, knowing that we would be the community’s home,” team president Andre Bean said. “There’s so much to do in Nashville, and the market is saturated on many things to do.”
For those not familiar, Bean says indoor football is a bit different from outdoor, with smaller groups of players on the field (eight-man formations), more of a focus on scoring and the game moving at a faster pace.
“A lot of people like to say it’s an offense-driven league,” he added.
He says the team’s mission is to provide former college, pro, international and arena football players an opportunity to hone their craft and gather more game tape as they continue to pursue playing the sport professionally at various levels.
The coaching staff already has a local tie: Fairview High School football coach Chris Hughes will serve as the offensive coordinator for the Fire.
Hughes was formerly the OC for the former Nashville indoor team, the Venom. They won a championship in the Professional Indoor Football League while he was on their coaching staff.
The team’s defensive coordinator will be Pearl Cohn grad Jonah Samuels, who played college ball at Cumberland.
Former NFL player and Alabama Crimson Tide standout Ahmad Childress is the offensive and defensive line coach. He’s an arena football veteran and was one of the first people drafted in the NFL Europe league before it folded.
Former Father Ryan standout and UT Martin alum Cromwell Stewart will coach the defensive backs.
The team’s head coach and roster of players, some of whom have ties back to Williamson County, will be announced soon. Bean says the coach will be a name local sports fan recognize.
“I think people are going to be excited about who our head coach is, especially for [those in] the middle Tennessee area,” Bean said.
The team president said he wants the Fire to be more than a team that just so happens to play in Williamson, though. He spoke with various local officials to ensure they would be active participants within the county.
“This is a county-wide endeavor, and we want everyone to come out and be supportive of the Music City Fire while we’re playing [in the county],” Bean said. “The goal is mainly to ensure that we are providing a family-oriented atmosphere at our games, that we are providing these guys an opportunity to continue playing the game that they enjoy and love.
“My biggest goal is to make sure that [the Music City Fire has] a footprint in the community, within Williamson County. I don’t just want to play games out there. I want to be involved in different organizations, different events that take place within Williamson County.”