The Washington Valor announced today that Benji McDowell, who led the team to an ArenaBowl XXXI title, has been promoted to head coach. McDowell was named interim head coach on May 16 after the Valor started the season 0-4. Under McDowell’s leadership, Washington earned victories against Albany and Philadelphia and two wins against Baltimore, including a 14-point win in ArenaBowl XXXI.
“Benji has proven himself to be a championship-caliber coach and we are thrilled to have him leading our team,” said Roger Mody, Managing Partner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s Arena Football League teams. “Benji has found success at every level and we’re excited to have him on board as we continue to develop our team and grow the Arena Football League.”
“It is an absolute honor to be able to continue coaching this group of guys,” McDowell said. “We are all eager to build on last season’s championship. There are a lot of great things to come for the Washington Valor and the Arena Football League.”
2018 marked McDowell’s third season as an AFL coach and his second with the Valor. McDowell spent the 2016 season with the Tampa Bay Storm as defensive coordinator as well as line coach and special teams coordinator. McDowell spent the 2015 season with the University of Georgia as a defensive line intern. McDowell was also a member of the Alabama Hammers (PIFL) coaching staff during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, helping lead the team to the 2013 PIFL Championship. McDowell attended Lenoir Rhyne University in North Carolina graduating with multiple degrees in psychology, sociology, and community services. He earned All-American honors during his senior season, leaving the program as the school’s career leader in multiple statistical categories.