BAFA Announces Appointments to National Team Roles

Anderson, Callan and Wasmuth Head Up the Challenge to Restore the Lions’ Roar

The British American Football Association (BAFA) is delighted to announce a new team to head up the Great Britain Lions Contact (kitted) Teams. Damian Anderson has been selected to be Head Coach of the Junior (16-19 years) Team. Mike Callan has been appointed to be Head Coach of the Adult (18+ years) Team. Nick Wasmuth has been appointed to act as General Manager to both Contact Teams as they seek to strengthen the links within the BAFA National Programme.

Coach Damian Anderson has made the step up from Junior Team Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator, where he worked alongside previous Head Coach Steve Rains. His football pedigree is second to none, and he has a proven track record with multiple championships as both a coach and a player. He was a stand-out Linebacker that was an integral part of the London Olympians’ “Decade of Dominance” (1996-2005), coached by former Great Britain Lions Adult Contact Head Coach Riq Ayub. As a player Anderson progressed from being a Great Britain Junior player to becoming Captain of the 2005 Britbowl National Champion Olympians. By this time he had also represented the Great Britain Lions, being named as Captain during the 2004 Group B European Championship winning Lions’ campaign, demonstrating the considerable leadership skills he possesses. After the culmination of his playing career, Coach Anderson has tasted further success. He has worked as a positional coach, and co-ordinator with the London Olympians and Greenwich Mariners respectively, even becoming a general assistant (GA) on the Great Britain Lions Adult Team. More recently Coach Anderson moved across the capital to become Defensive Coordinator at the London Blitz, helping them to back-to-back-to-back Britbowl National Championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He also ran the Defense for the Blitz’s 2011 EFAF Cup winning campaign, and his hard-hitting versatile defence certain add evidence to the commonly-used Football phrase “Defense Wins Championships”. Professionally, Coach Anderson works with in project management, and it is clear he utilises these considerable skills in the preparation, execution and evaluation of his football coaching roles.

Upon accepting the position as to lead Great Britain Junior Lions, Coach Anderson commented “It’s a great honour to be asked to lead the National Junior Team, and with games coming up in 2012, I’m excited and looking forward to the challenge.”

Coach Mike Callan has also progressed from another position within the BAFA National Programme to become Head Coach of the Adult Team. He was the Wide Receivers’ Coach on the Junior Team in 2009-10, and his professionalism and expertise as a teacher has been evident in all his football experiences. Since graduating from the University of East Anglia with a Masters Degree in Education, Coach Callan took up the reins at Greenwich University leading them to an undefeated season in 2009-10 and the Challenge Trophy Championship in only his second year in charge. He has also experience considerable success with the London Blitz, where he worked as a positional coach, Special Teams Coordinator, and Assistant Head Coach on the triple Britbowl-winning and EFAF Cup –winning Blitz team. His excitement at being involved with the game is always on show when he is on the sideline, but behind the extremely enthusiastic motivator is a man with a plan – a plan to both develop the BAFA National Programme and to progress coaching and playing standards within Great Britain. Both Coach Callan and Coach Anderson are frequent speakers at regional coaching conventions, where they have shared their extensive football knowledge.

Upon accepting the position as to lead Great Britain Adult Lions, Coach Callan commented “It’s a great honour to be named the Head Coach for the National Adult Team. This is a great opportunity to build on what we have and develop the future of the entire programme. I am excited to get to work building a staff and working with the players to build towards our European qualifier in 2013.”

Nick Wasmuth has been appointed to act as General Manager for all aspects of the Great Britain Lions Contact Teams. He has been involved in British American Football for over two decades, and is at the cutting-edge of developments which have raised the standards of football. He was a player for the Great Britain Junior Lions and also on the “three-peat” University Champions, the Hertfordshire Hurricanes. More recently, Wasmuth has been a key figure in the birth of several University-based programmes, assisting in the establishment and management of the Greenwich Mariners, London South Bank Spartans and King’s College London Regents in the British Universities’ American Football League. Each of these teams has seen considerable off-the-field developments due to his organisation and canvassing. Wasmuth is also involved in the management of the Dynamic Sports Academy, an organisation which has had considerable success in developing well-rounded young American Football players, many of whom progress onto university education in both the UK and USA. Wasmuth will bring his considerable experience working in corporate finance to help prepare a budget for the Great Britain Lions as they move towards European Championships over the next few years. He will also use his considerable management skills to put together a back-room staff to support the on-field activities of the Great Britain Lions, and considers this to be an exciting challenge to the role.

Upon accepting the position to head up the Great Britain Lions Management Team, Wasmuth commented “It is with great excitement I accept the responsibility of being General Manager for the National Programme for the British American Football Association. This needs to be the flagship for our sport, which is growing rapidly in light of the NFL’s commitment to the UK and tireless work by many individuals at the grass roots level. We will endeavour to create a programme that is successful on and off the field, and both represent and support the British American Football community.”

BAFA Director Jon Wyse commented “We are delighted with the appointments, and the Anderson-Callan-Wasmuth combination lends itself to an extremely coherent programme approach to Contact Football at the National Team level. All three individuals stood out during the selection and interview process, and the BAFA Board of Directors is confident that the best candidates have been appointed.”

Anderson, Callan and Wasmuth are now consulting with the BAFA National Programme Committee - which is comprised of Gary Marshall (BAFA Chairman), Russ Hewitt (Director of the Coaches’ Association), Matthew Davies (BAFA National Leagues), and Jon Wyse (BAFCA Director of Coach Education) – to put together a staff to coach and manage the Contact Teams. This process (including job descriptions and responsibilities) is scheduled to be announced by the end of this week.
Jon Wyse further comments “Additionally, we are very pleased with the process followed to make these appointments. A number of other very strong candidates were interviewed, and we are seeking to utilise their skills to help develop the programme, and to make the Great Britain Lions GREAT again!”