Check finds Colts' Roach didn't coach in af2

Augusta Colts indoor football coach Cedric Roach did not coach for an arenafootball2 team as he claimed on his resume, The Augusta Chronicle has confirmed.

Roach's resume listed seven professional or semi-pro football teams he claimed to have coached during a period of 11 years. At least five of those years are inaccurate, multiple sources have confirmed.

Colts owner and general manager John Sisson, who introduced Roach as the team's head coach Nov. 11, said Roach will keep his job.

"I will stand by my previous statement that, 'I believe (Coach Roach) is the right man for this team at this time in our history,'" Sisson said in an e-mail Thursday afternoon.

The highest level of football Roach claimed to be a part of was the arenafootball2's Carolina Rhinos, where his resume said he served as a defensive coordinator and line coach from 2001-02. Multiple former coaches and players for the Rhinos confirmed this week that Roach was never on staff with the team.

Roach did not return multiple phone calls left Wednesday and Thursday seeking comment.

The Carolina Rhinos, whose existence lasted from 2000-2002 in Greenville, S.C., were led by Earnest Wilson for the first two seasons and Rod Miller in 2002. Both coaches said Roach was never on staff, though his resume claimed he, among other duties, "coordinated and installed the defense" and "created and implemented defensive playbook."

"I've never heard of him, and I was there every year the team existed," said Miller, now the football operations manager and an assistant coach with the Arena Football League's Grand Rapids Rampage. "He was never part of the Rhinos."

Roach's resume also claimed he worked with the Charleston Firecats from 1998-2000, but the team wasn't created until 1999, and he wasn't hired as the Firecats' head coach until 2001, according to a Charleston Post and Courier story written in June 2001.

The Colts voluntarily went dormant this season and plan to return to action in 2010.

Sisson explained his reasoning for keeping Roach in an e-mail:

"I am far more concerned with what Coach Roach has experienced (and learned) since the early days of his career, and I believe that he is well prepared to have great success at this level," he said.

Sisson's e-mail also included a revised list of teams Roach had worked for, including contact numbers to confirm his employment. The list had several changes to dates and teams from the original resume and did not include the Carolina Rhinos.

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The statement via e-mail from Augusta Colts owner and general manager John Sisson:

1) Coach Roach was highly recommended by a member of our 2008 Augusta Colts squad; who has played for him elsewhere. Numerous other (2008 / 2010) Colts players also know Coach Roach personally, respect him, and are (even now) working hard in order to move our team (and their careers) forward with Coach Roach. Note: I wonder if you have taken the time to interview some of these players about their impressions of our new coach?

2) Coach Roach was properly interviewed. His name was amongst many solid candidates; some with greater (AIFA, NIFA, A2) credentials. However, whereas his knowledge of the indoor game was most evident; his coaching philosophy was exactly what we were seeking; his contacts in the game are extensive; his communication skills are excellent; and his team preparation and work ethic are downright refreshing; his name moved to the top of our pile of resumes and he was offered the position. That said, I will stand by my previous statement that, 'I believe (Coach Roach) is the right man for this team at this time in our history.’

3) Regarding his references, until now, they all came back without a single blemish. Therefore I am not inclined to toss our coach under the proverbial bus due to our inability to reach someone who might have known Coach Roach, as an assistant coach, with a minor league team, which played up in Greenville, S.C., nearly a decade ago. No, I am far more concerned with what Coach Roach has experienced (and learned) since the early days of his career, and I believe that he is well prepared to have great success at this level.

Therefore, I am sticking by my coach with the understanding that – if any of us manage to survive this economic mess which is now impacting sports teams all across the country – Cedric Roach will be the head coach of the Augusta Colts on opening night in March 2010.

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