Former ‘Noles Find Life in the AAF

Brandon Halas, Correspondent (@BrandonHalasFS on Twitter)
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – As the 2018-2019 NFL season has come to its end, we’ve seen the rise of the Alliance of American Football.

The AAF is made up of eight teams across the United States, with a few rule changes compared to its NFL counterpart. One rule that drew myself in the most is the allocation of players to regions they gained their fame from. Tallahassee can find some familiar faces on the sideline of the two closest teams in the Atlanta Legends and Orlando Apollos.

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Through the first two weeks, Orlando is tied at the top of the standings with the Birmingham Iron and Arizona Hotshots with a 2-0 record. Northup has been in the starting defensive lineup for the Apollos both games with eight total tackles. Bracy-Williams has returned punts for Orlando, but had a disappointing outing in week one with a dropped punt. While not in the starting lineup, Newberry is in the rotation on defense with a single tackle in the first two games. The Apollos look to continue their winning ways Saturday against the Memphis Express at 8 p.m. on NFL Network.

Atlanta has struggled, losing its first two games by a combined 46 points. Haskins has yet to get in but looks to hear his number called next Sunday as the Legends host the Birmingham Iron at 4 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network.

Interview: Getting To Know TCC Interim Head Coach Zach Settembre

Brandon Halas, Correspondent (@BrandonHalasFS on Twitter) TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net)– Since the departure of the Tallahassee Community College Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Mark White, Rob Chaney has announced that Assistant Coach Zach Settembre would be promoted to Interim Head Coach.

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We met up with Coach Settembre to learn and find out more about his past.

Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Settembre, 28, was born into coaching.

“My Dad introduced me to coaching with his seventh and eighth grade teams. When I was in kindergarten, first grade, second grade, I was sitting on the middle school bench where my Dad was coaching.”

Settembre would go on to coach that same middle school team throughout all his years at St. Xavier High School.

After graduating from high school, Settembre would attend Syracuse University. While taking classes, he became a student manager for the men’s basketball team.

“ The experience was unbelievable, I learned a lot about the business side of college basketball and the makes of a high major operation. Most of all, I built relationships.”

Settembre went on to meet future head coaches there in Mike Hopkins (University of Washington) and Rob Murphy (University of Eastern Michigan). Another big mentor to Settembre was assistant Jerry McNamara who still works as an assistant on Syracuse today.

“Those three taught me how to win. They knew how to recruit that the highest level and it gave me a great taste of college basketball performed at the highest level.”

After his time at Syracuse, Settembre returned to the Louisville area. He coached at several schools before becoming the assistant at Collegiate for Shannon Weaver. Shannon Weaver was an assistant for nine years at Auburn University as an assistant for nearly a decade with Cliff Ellis.

“Coach Weaver that guy has been so incredibly influential in in my development as a coach. He’s taught me so much in terms of how to think like a like a head coach, how to be organized.”

After his first season, he was promoted to Head Coach. Settembre led Collegiate to the All “A” state tournament in his first season as head coach, receiving Regional Coach of the Year honors.

“Having the opportunity to be a head coach at the high school level, winning 23 games and being able to take my team to a Tournament game for the second time in school history, we did things. That the school gave me a great opportunity to be a head coach.”

Settembre announced his resignation for a new job as an assistant at Tallahassee Community College.

In his first season with the team, the Eagles started off started the season 17-2. Bad news came with the new year, Mark White stepped down for personal reasons after a loss to Chipola. Settembre was announced to finish the season as the Interim Head Coach as of result.

“ Coach White did unbelievable job here. I learned a lot from him. He was really good at instilling a culture of togetherness. That’s something I learned from him and still use with the guys today.”

Since then, the Eagles are 2-2. In midst of a tight conference race, Coach Settembre has great trust in his players abilities.

“ We want the guys to have confidence, that’s been their message. The light is green until you prove otherwise, that you can’t be trusted to make the right decision. I want the guys to play with tremendous confidence. I have, you know, nothing but faith in them.”

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The Eagles look to an important part of their schedule in Panhandle Conference play.

“The panhandle is one of the toughest conferences in America, every single panhandle game is huge for us.”

Coach Settembre and the TCC Eagles (19-4) (3-3) continue their season against Pensacola State College (13-10) (1-5) on February 2nd at 5:30 at the Bill Hebrock Eagledome  on TCC Campus.