COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The Columbus Lions are welcoming two new coaches to the team this upcoming season.
Columbus native and Shaw High School alumni Damian Daniels is set to assume the role of Head Coach. He donned a Lions jersey himself from 2007 to 2011, then again from 2014 to 2016.
Daniels’ record includes five Defensive Player of the Year awards (2007, 2009-2012) and four league championships (2010, 2012, 2015, 2016). He’s also an all-time leader in arena football interceptions with a total of 117 under his belt.
Outside of the playing field, Daniels has an extensive coaching history for Chattahoochee Valley high schools including Brookstone, Central Talbotton, Hardaway, Spencer and Carver. He’s also served as a player/coach for the Lions from 2012 to 2016 and the High Country Grizzlies in 2017, before he returned to the Lions in 2022.
Daniels is one of two people to have his jersey retired.
Richard Maslia, majority owner of the Lions, shared his thoughts on the new addition.
“In the brief time I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Damian,” said Maslia. “His humility and leadership have left a lasting impression, and his exceptional arena football career speaks volumes.”
Lions fans can expect to see another addition to the coaching team this upcoming season as Bruce Figgins assumes the role of inaugural Assistant Head Coach.
Figgins, a former Tight End at the University of Georgia, transitioned to the NFL as an undrafted free agent. He represented Baltimore Ravens and the New Orleans Voodoo in the indoor game.
Figgins also has coaching experience under his belt as the former Middle School Head Coach and High School Assistant Coach at St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic school.
In 2023, Figgins even contributed to the Lions’ coaching staff under the guidance of Head Coach Chris McKinney.
Here’s what Kacee Smith, president of the Lions, had to say about the new Assistant Head Coach.
“Coach Figgins will provide an additional layer of insight and game knowledge that we believe will perfectly align with Coach Daniels’ vision for the team,” said Smith. “Securing both of their talents for the future underscores our commitment to the Lions’ continued success.”
General Manager Lee Snow added his thoughts on the duo.
“Both these individuals have seamlessly transitioned from remarkable football careers to becoming outstanding coaches, a feat that’s truly commendable,” Snow said. “We take pride in welcoming Coach Daniels and Coach Figgins back to the Lions family in their new roles, and we eagerly anticipate the dynamic contributions they’ll bring to Columbus this season.”
The first tryout is scheduled for Sept. 23.