The Wichita B-52s start their home season schedule facing Tulsa on November 8th @ Hartman Arena. The Wichita B-52s will compete against highly competitive teams this year in the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL); including the 2013-14 MISL champions the Missouri Comets, 2013-14 PASL champions the Chicago Mustangs, MISL teams St. Louis Ambush & Milwaukee Wave and rival team Tulsa Revolution. The 26 year old President/Owner, Joey Pindell, understands what that means for his team and the future of the Wichita B-52s.
After a long offseason and playing catch-up after the quick start-up of the 2013-14, the Wichita B-52s have taken the steps to sign a new head coach. The Wichita B-52s are proud to announce that Jeff Kraft will be the new head coach for the Wichita B-52s. Effective immediately, Larry Inlow will no longer be the head coach for the Wichita B-52s as they move into the 2014-15 Major Arena Soccer League season.
“Playing competitive teams will leave us with no choice but to do the best to get players and coaches here to take us to the next level. I have and will always look for ways for our team and organization to become the best as we grow. With that said, I understand that life changes and we move on. I have sacrificed a lot to come to Wichita and I believe in the Wichita B52s. I am looking to surround myself with those that believe in us as well and want to be here; friends, players, employees, and partners. I am here to spread orange across the community and create that relationship through a sport and game that I love. I look forward to what Jeff will bring to the team and his willingness to continue to grow our organization to be the best on and off the field. He has the history of making it to the playoffs/championships and that is where the B-52s need to be,” said President/Owner Joey Pindell.
The signing of veteran coach Jeff Kraft to a multi-year deal could make Kraft Head Coach through the 2017 season. Jeff is bringing 20 plus years of professional indoor soccer experience as a player and coach. Kraft has earned several honors throughout his coaching career, including the National Indoor Soccer League (NISL) Coach of the Year in 2009, the American Indoor Soccer League (AISL) Coach of the Year in 2008, and the AISL Runner Up Coach of the Year in 2007.
Kraft launched his indoor soccer career as a player in 1986 with the Kansas City Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL). Upon the conclusion of the 1986-87 MISL season, Kraft left Kansas City to join the Hershey Impact of the AISA. Kraft spent three seasons with the impact as a defender, totaling 31 goals and eight assists in 74 games and led the team in game-winning goals with six.
Kraft was named Assistant Coach on July 6, 2004 for the Chicago Storm's 2004-2005 MISL inaugural season. After one season, Kraft went on to become the head coach of the Rockford Thunder of the American Indoor Soccer League (AISL) during the 2005-2006 campaign. Although a provisional member of the AISL, Kraft's squad beat the defending champion Cincinnati Excite 9-8 in overtime to set the path for the next four seasons to come in Rockford.
Kraft posted a 39-28 overall record with the Thunder organization, which eventually changed its name to the Rampage. Over a span of four years, Kraft's teams made appearances in three championship games. On March 15, 2008 the Rockford Rampage defeated the Massachusetts Twisters for the AISL Championship, winning 18-5 in Rockford after a near perfect season with a record of 14 wins and one loss.
“I am very excited for this next chapter in my life. I feel honored to be a part of what they started in Wichita”, said Kraft, “I believe team effort and hard work will be the key to our success to becoming a yearly playoff team.”
The Wichita B-52s are scheduled to have try-outs on September 6th & 7th at Sportszone located at 9020 W. Harry Street. New head coach, Jeff Kraft, will be in attendance as he looks for local talented players to add to the Wichita B-52s professional team and the Wichita B-52s premier team (development). Try-outs will start 8:00 a.m. sharp Saturday morning with final round/cuts Sunday morning.
“I hope we have an excellent turnout for this year’s tryouts. It is always exciting when you can find a diamond in the rough and give those players the chance that they have been waiting for to play under the lights and in front of their home crowd.” – Kraft