Four championship seasons in his eight years of coaching and has an impressive record of 82 wins with only 27 losses. Prior to becoming the head coach of the Cincinnati Commandos in 2010, Coach Back spent six seasons playing indoor football in the NIFL, CIFL, AF2 and the IFL. In 2006, Back led the NIFL in all-purpose yards while being named the league's player of the week on three separate occasions.
"I am excited and anxious to be here in Wichita Falls and back coaching in the IFL. What has already been established and then redefined by Drew and his staff made this a no brainer decision for me and my family." said Coach Back, "My number one goal is to put a team on the field that the city will be proud of not only to win games but as role models for the kids and first class citizens to the city."
"Ernie Cooke has been a guy I wanted on the staff from the moment I met him. His passion, commitment and knowledge of football was crystal clear after about five minutes into our conversation. We talked X's and O's, Offense and Defense and he flat out knows the game."
"I consider myself a young coach still and having 2 more young creative minds to bounce ideas off of and to help motivate these young men has me overly excited to kick this thing back off come February."
Ernie Cooke, Defensive Coordinator, 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 2 seasons with the Wichita Falls Nighthawks Outdoor Football Team. The first season he was Co-Offensive Coordinator/Running Back Coach, and the second year he was Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator. He joined the Wichita Falls Nighthawks Indoor Team as Running Back Coach/Special Teams in the inaugural season.
He currently resides with his wife, Traci Cooke and their children. Coach Cooke is grateful for the opportunity to coach a wonderful organization such as the Wichita Falls Nighthawks. He states that this is a tremendous organization from top to bottom that possesses a talented and dedicated staff. He is honored to be a part of this team.
Rudy Hawkins returns for the 2017 season and is in his third season with the Nighthawks. With 17 years of football coaching experience, Hawkins has spent the last 12 years with City View High School as the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach.
Coach Schmidt returns for the 2017 season after finishing last season with the Nighthawks. With over twenty years of football coaching experience, Schmidt has spent the last nine seasons in indoor football as a head coach, director of football operations, as well as a coordinators on both sides of the ball.
In 2016 Coach Schmidt served as offensive coordinator for the Tri Cities Fever. In 2015 He was the defensive coordinator for the Iowa Barnstormers where his defense was ranked in the top half of the IFL in most major categories.
"Coach Schmidt brings a knowledge on both sides of the ball to the Nighthawks, that's a valuable trait to have as a coach and exactly what we need here when it comes to game planning and adjustments. We are excited for a full year with Schmidt on the staff."