The Coventry Jets Academy have revealed their new Manager in the shape of David Keys. The 50 year old Quantity Surveyor from Bristol takes over the role vacated by David Cowen at the end of 2011. Cowen built the Academy from scratch, overseeing the creation of both the Under 16 (Youth team) and Under 19 (Junior team), and until now was the only person to fill the role.
Keys knows he has big shoes to fill “I’m honoured to be asked to take over from Dave Cowen as Manager of the Academy. Dave has worked incredibly hard in developing the Academy and, by working alongside our top class coaching staff, I’m hoping that we can continue his excellent work.” Cowen steps aside to spend more time with his young family and to concentrate on his playing career.
General Manager Adam Biggs also paid tribute to Cowen’s work “Dave put an awful lot of work into building and sustaining our Academy. Many people had tried to build Youth or Junior programmes over the club’s first six years but all had failed. Dave managed to build both simultaneously through pouring all of his spare time into them. The Jets will always be indebted to Dave and we’ll benefit from his work for decades to come.”
Now living and working in Leamington Spa, Keys has a long history of involvement in American Football. His playing career began as a tight end with the Fulham Cardinals where his performances caught the eye of Britball legend and former Great Britain Head Coach Lance Cone. Keys also played tackle and defensive end throughout a career that also saw spells with the Huskies, SC Royals, Leicester Panthers and Stratford Tempests.
A former team mate of Jets’ legends Pete Cowler, Paul Newey, Mark Cohen and Andrew Gambrill, it was with Stratford that Keys began his coaching career. Most recently Keys has worked alongside Gambrill with Coventry’s burgeoning Flag Academy winning multiple National Titles. Keys has also helped coach the Youth kitted team, which featured his son Josh, for the past two seasons.
“On the back of the commitment by the NFL to expand the fan base within this country by playing regular season games here, we are hoping that this will encourage interest in this sport” stated Keys upon his appointment, continuing “we’re actively seeking new recruits into our Academy, both contact and the non contact alternative, so if anybody fancies playing this fantastic and most rewarding of team sports you will be most welcome to try out.” For details on how to become a part of the Coventry Jets visit their new website www.covjets.com.