LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A part of sports history for Arkansans in the 2000s is set to make a return to Little Rock in 2023.
The Arkansas Twisters football team is set to make its return in April.
The team will look a lot different than it did 20 years ago. The team has a new logo and will be a part of the United Football League.
The 14-team league will play 8-man football outside, instead of in an arena.
The question of where the new home of the Twisters will be is still left unanswered. Joe McClendon, commissioner of the UFL says he is in the final stages of getting a stadium secured.
“I’ll have an announcement next week. After we do that announcement, we’ll set up the first press conference,” McClendon said.
In 2019, McClendon tried to launch the rebirth of the Twisters, but plans fell through.
He said more needed to be done involving player safety, such as getting out of the arena. He said he wanted to play on a grass surface instead of Astroturf because turf isn’t always “good for the long-term health of those players.”
COVID-19 had its impact as well, but they say they’ve weathered that twister.
According to McClendon and Head Coach Jamie Washington, kickoff is April 1st.
Washington is a Brinkley, Arkansas native with 30 years of coaching experience at the high school and semi-pro levels. He has a defensive background, leading the Arkansas Sabers to a conference championship in 2013. Before the Sabers, he was the defensive coordinator of the Arkansas Rhinos, helping them reach the second round of the playoffs.
Now he looks to bring success to the Arkansas Twisters as the head coach. Winning is the only thing on his mind.
“We want to win the whole thing with the people here in Arkansas,” Washington said.
The coaching staff is all set and Coach Washington is looking for 24 guys who love the game and are ready to play.
Washington said he’s recruiting from colleges and other leagues all over with the hope of becoming the “organization that funnels people into the NFL.”
“I want it to be to the point where we are successful enough that we’re not even having to get on the phone and ask anybody to come play for the Twisters, they’re asking us,” Washington said.
Tryouts for the Arkansas Twisters are being held at Crump Park in Little Rock on Saturday, Feb. 18.
36 players will be picked to go into a training camp in March and 21 active and three practice players will be chosen.
“I feel like the best players are right here in the state of Arkansas,” Washington said.
For more information on the Arkansas Twisters and their schedule visit ArkansasTwisters.net.