Graphic: Igor Lazarevic
The European Coaches Convention arrives this weekend, November 6-7 at Berlin, germany, and one of the main speakers will be the winner of many championship titles, Berlin Adler offensive coordinator Lee Rowland
68 year old man Rowland is one of the most successful coaches of Europe over the past four decades, most recently by helping the Berlin Adler go back to German Football League upper division. The Adler remained undefeated in the GFL2 regular season, racking up 409 points in nine games and grabbing two relegation round wins to advance to the GFL for 2022. As a team with head coach Shuan Fatah, Rowland has built an impressive coaching record over the past 12 years.
Rowland has arrived Berlin with Fatah and the Adler in 2009 as offensive coordinator and helped the team capture the German championship following that of 2010 with a second consecutive appearance in the German bowl to accompany the victory Eurobowl that same year. He joined the Austrian Swarco Raiders, along with Fatah, in 2011 and had an immediate impact as the team won the first of five Austrian titles between 2011 and 2019 with Rowland leading the offense. The team also reached the Eurobowl three more times, winning twice (2011, 2013). Swarco has won the Central European Football League tournament three times with Rowland as the offensive coordinator while also winning the European team competition, the ECTC title.
His coaching career began in 1983 at Britain and in 1993 took over as offensive coordinator with the London Olympians. The team won the Eurobowl in 1993 and 1994 while capturing English crown three times. To relocate Germany in 1996 he coached the The hawks of Hanau (1996-98), Aschaffenburg stallions (1999) and Rüsselsheim Razorbacks (2003, defensive coordinator). In 2005, he became head coach of the GFL2 equip it Diamonds from Darmstadt, by helping them progress towards GFL in 2006 and reach the quarter-finals that year. Rowland also resulted on the British National team, Cologne Centurion in NFL Europe and to Webber International University in Florida.
With such a background in football, we asked him about his coaching philosophy and why he spoke at this event.
AFI: What are the keys to building a winning team?
Rowland: I think it might be better to recite our mantra with the Adler: How we win
We will be confident physically and mentally
Gang mentality, we take care of each other
Unconscious skill, our Valhalla
Our religion, always competing to be the best
4e Quarter last game, still believe that we will win
How can teams best develop young talent?
Coach the coaches
Competent coaches at the youth level.
Ensure that the same terminology is used throughout the program
AFI: Why did you choose to participate in the convention?
Rowland: Bart is a friend of mine and I always appreciate the chance to give back to the game.
AFI: What is one thing you would say to young coaches?
Rowland: If you want to make a career out of it, you have to have a program where you can learn and understand the game. Coaching in Europe and making a career here is difficult because there are not a lot of full time coaching opportunities. The US is where the jobs are, but you have to start from the bottom as a GA and work your way up, it’s not for everyone and maybe the most important thing is to find a partner who will understand you and support you.
AFi: What does coaching mean to you?
Rowland: It’s not a job when you get up in the morning and can go do something you really love every day. Being around the players and in some cases being able to help them reach the highest level of the game is very rewarding and motivates me to continue coaching this great game.
You can listen to Lee Rowland speak at the European Coaches Convention on Saturday November 6 at 3 p.m. (3:50 p.m.) CET.
For more information on the European Coaching Convention, click here.
You can also check out the ECC’s Facebook page.