Thunder Hire Head Coach Mike Hohensee


The Portland Thunder announced today that they have come to an agreement with Mike Hohensee to be the new head coach of the team. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

“We are proud to announce that Mike Hohensee is bringing his 28 years of Arena Football League (AFL) experience to Portland. As our head coach, Mike will add a new depth, direction and enthusiasm to our program. He has had success at all levels of the game, and that knowledge and experience will bring our young franchise to the next level,” Thunder President Brian Sandy said.

Mike Hohensee was a Quarterback under Mike Ditka's Chicago Bears
Mike Hohensee (left) was a quarterback with Mike Ditka’s Chicago Bears.

Hohensee threw the Arena Football League’s first touchdown pass in 1987 and hasn’t left the game since. After his career as a player, Hohensee transitioned into a coaching role where his excellence is evidenced by his 20-year longevity. Hohensee is the league’s third-winningest coach of all-time, posting a career 153-147 regular season record and has led teams to 13 playoff appearances, including an ArenaBowl title. He is also an inductee in the AFL’s Hall of Fame.

As a player, Hohensee was an All-America quarterback at Mt. San Antonio Junior College before transferring to the University of Minnesota. As a Golden Gopher, he earned nods as the team’s MVP and the University’s Athlete of the Year and was inducted into the Minnesota’s M Club Hall of Fame.

His professional career boasted stints in the NFL (Chicago Bears), Canadian Football League (CFL), United States Football League (USFL) and the AFL.

“I’m thankful and excited for the opportunity that Terry Emmert has given me to lead the Portland Thunder” said Hohensee. “I have spoken to the coaches and many of the players and they are eager to get started.  This is my 29th year in arena football. My success has come when I have been involved with a dynamic organization. We will continue to build our team with young talented athletes who possess the integrity and character the people of Portland can trust and admire.”

“The Portland Thunder are proud to have signed a well-respected and talented coach in Mike Hohensee. His experience, knowledge and passion for the game are a great fit for our organization, and I’m confident he will help us lead the team to new levels of success in 2015,” said Terry W. Emmert, owner of the Portland Thunder franchise.

Jake Donahue
Jake Donahue is more of a Ron Burgundy than he is a Ben Simmons. He does have a background in journalism, sports writing and marketing, though. And he owns the Donahue Media Group, a local web design and project management company, as well as a real estate marketing firm, Portland Picture. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, he grew up a Mariner fan before launching his own Little League coaching career.
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