In 2008 Dean Cokinos led the Tennessee Valley Vipers to the Arenafootabll2 Championship in a dramatic 56-55 OT win on the road. The game was voted the Top af2 game of all time. After a two year stint with the AFL’s Georgia Force Cokinos returned to Huntsville for the 2013 season and sparked one of the biggest turnarounds in indoor history guiding the Hammers to their first PIFL Championship on July 8th with a dominating 70-44 victory over the Richmond Raiders.
Coming into the 2013 season the young Alabama franchise had won a total of six games in two years with zero playoff appearances, something the Tennessee Valley was not accustomed to with their indoor football teams. The disastrous start led to the coaching change and hiring of Cokinos. In 2013 the new coach led the Hammers to the PIFL’s top scoring offense (57.4 points/game), scoring defense (41.3 points allowed/game), turnovers gained (31), most sacks (40), and fewest sacks allowed (11) ultimately finishing with the PIFL’s best regular-season record at 10-2 giving them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, hosting the first ever indoor Championship in the city Huntsville.
Cokinos was named the 2013 PIFL Coach of the Year as voted on by opposing teams head coaches and media representatives. The Hammers also placed a league-high nine overall All-PIFL selections including WR Mico McSwain, QB Russell Hill, OL Bruce McCaleb, OL Chucky Curry, DL Benji McDowell, LB Jake Trantin, WR/KR Charles McClain and OL Darius Turner. Both McSwain and Trantin also earned post-season honors as PIFL Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year respectively.
In Georgia, Cokinos led the Force to consecutive AFL play-off appearances in 2011 (Conference Finals) and 2012 (Quarterfinals).
In his first term in Huntsville, from 2008-2010, as Head Coach of the Vipers Cokinos posted 32 victories while capturing a League title, Conference title and a South Division title.
From 2005 to 2007 Cokinos served as an Assistant Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Director of Personnel for the Nashville Kats of the Arena Football League. Cokinos also had the additional duties of evaluating all professional arena/indoor league players nationwide for the NFL Tennessee Titans, owners of the Kats.
Cokinos also served as the Head Coach and Director of Football Operations for the af2's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers in 2003 and the IFL's San Angelo Stampede in 2004.
At the collegiate level, Cokinos was an assistant coach at U-Mass/Boston, Austin Peay State and West Alabama.
Cokinos also achieved International coaching experience working in the German Football League, which served as an NFL Europe developmental league, as Head Coach and General Manager for teams in Munich and Berlin.
Considered an expert in player evaluation, player development and player advancement, Cokinos has promoted multiple players to higher leagues as a Head Coach. In his combined seasons in Nashville, Georgia and Alabama, he has helped multiple former players signed to play in the NFL and in the CFL. In Europe, 11 National Players who were recruited and developed by Cokinos, went onto to play in NFL Europe with 2 of those players making NFL rosters.
During his tenure as an AFL Head Coach Cokinos served on the six man AFL Coaches Advisory Board and was proactive in league rules and policies.
Cokinos’ overall regular season record as a Head Coach is 155-85 and 11-11 in the post season. His teams have made thirteen play-off appearances as a Head Coach in four different leagues.
Cokinos and his wife Trina have two daughters, Isidora and Alexandria, and reside in Franklin, TN.