Courtesy: Washington Valor Media Relations
McDowell heads staff of eight that boasts extensive coaching and playing experience
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington Valor Head Coach Benji McDowell announced today the team’s finalized coaching and football operations staff for the 2019 season, which includes Cortez Stubbs (Assistant Head Coach, Defensive Backs), Jeremy Grier (Assistant Coach, Wide Receivers), Kevin Huff (Assistant Coach, Quarterbacks), Dionte Savage (Assistant Coach, Offensive Line), John Peavy(Football Operations and Player Development Manager), Anthony Lott (Personnel Coordinator) and Shawn Cronin (Football Operations and Equipment Coordinator).
“We have put together a staff comprised of guys, not only with coaching experience, but with recent experience playing in the Arena Football League,” McDowell said. “It’s a balanced group that will relate well to our players on and off the field. We are really glad to have this group together heading into the 2019 season.”
McDowell enters his third season with the Valor and his first full season as head coach. After serving as defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, McDowell was named interim head coach on May 16, 2018, after Washington started the season 0-4. Under McDowell’s direction, the Valor registered wins against Albany, Baltimore and Philadelphia in the second half of the season en route to an ArenaBowl XXXI championship over the Brigade. Washington allowed just 46.7 points per game over the final four games of the season, including the postseason, the best mark in the league by nearly five points per game.
Stubbs begins his second season on the Valor coaching staff after a six-year indoor football playing career, which included stints with the PIFL’s Columbus Lions (2012) and Alabama Hammers (2013), where he won a championship, and the AFL’s Orlando Predators (2013-14), New Orleans Voodoo (2015) and Tampa Bay Storm (2016-17). Stubbs was born in Birmingham, Alabama and attended Concordia College in Selma, Alabama.
Grier begins his second season with the Valor and fourth of his coaching career. Prior to his time in Washington, Grier was on staff with the AFL’s New Orleans Voodoo (2015) and the Professional Indoor Football League’s Alabama Hammers (2014). Grier’s playing career spanned 10 seasons and included stops in the PIFL, af2 and AFL. Grier is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Huff enters his first season with the Valor and the 10th season of his coaching career, which has included stops at the high school, college and professional level. Huff was a two-time Division II All-American at Tuskegee University and was named Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year. Huff graduated from Tuskegee with a degree in History. His six-year indoor football career includes stops with the Tampa Bay Storm, Columbus Lions and Alabama Hammers.
Savage begins his first season of coaching after three years playing in the AFL, most recently with Washington from 2017-18. Savage was named Second Team All-Arena in 2017 and won ArenaBowl XXXI with the Valor in 2018. Savage’s playing career also included training camp appearances with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins in 2015. Savage played at the University of Oklahoma from 2013-14 and was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and Second-Team Academic All-Big 12 in 2014.
Peavy, a native of Storrs, Connecticut, begins his first season as Football Operations and Player Development Manager after two years as Football Operations Coordinator for the Valor. Peavy manages transactions, personnel logistics, player travel and other day-to-day needs for the team.
Lott brings over six years of scouting and consulting experience as he begins his first season in Washington. Prior to joining the Valor, Lott worked as a scout for the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders (2016-19), a consultant for former CFL coach Chris Jones (2012-16) and a consultant with the AFL’s Tampa Bay Storm for scouting and defensive backs.
Cronin enters his fourth season working in the AFL, having worked most recently with the Philadelphia Soul in 2018 after spending 2017 with the Valor. Cronin was born and raised in Medfield, Massachusetts and attended Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. Cronin manages team equipment and day-to-day team operations at Athletic Performance Inc., the team’s practice facility.