Kopac back as Raiders coach

2010-12-09T20:14:00Z 2011-04-20T20:55:10Z Kopac back as Raiders coachPETER JACKEL pjackel@journaltimes.com Journal Times
December 09, 2010 8:14 pm  • 

The doctor's back on call.

Jordan Kopac, whose association with the Racine Raiders dates to when he was a player in the early 1960s, was named late Wednesday night as the team's new head coach. The 72-year-old Kopac, who earned a doctorate degree from Bernelli University International Graduate School in 2007, also served as the Raiders' head coach in 2001 and from 2005-07.

"The doctor's back," Kopac said.

He replaces John Mamerow, who resigned Sept. 16 after going 25-13 in three seasons as the Raiders coach. Kopac was notified by Raiders president Bob Milkie that he was being appointed as head coach Wednesday night following a 90-minute interview with the Raiders' board of directors.

Milkie said there were two other applicants for the position. One was Keith Hac, whose now disbanded Kane County Eagles were a long-time force in the North American Football League and dominated their rivalry with the Raiders.

"I'm all excited about it now that Bob's at the reigns and he's operating it," said Kopac, who lives in Delavan, 50 miles from Racine. "I'm looking forward to putting the Raiders back on top."

Kopac led the Raiders to their most recent national championship (2001) in a one-year stint as coach. He returned in 2005 and coached the Raiders through the 2007 season, but left the organization on less than ideal terms.

"When I left, I don't think the old board and I were on the same page as far as what we wanted to accomplish and who we wanted to be," he said. "I think when that happens, I think it's best not to be a thorn in anybody's side but just to go on and do other things."

There has been a turnover of 15 board members since then, leaving just one who was associated with the team when Kopac left in 2005.

Kopac, who describes himself as someone who can't sit still, went on to coach the Milwaukee Wolfpack and served as owner and commissioner of the Ironman Football League, which he has since sold.

He will coach the Wolfpack in the United States Football Association championship game Jan. 16 at Orlando. The Wolfpack's operations will then merge with the Raiders, who will become Kopac's sole football-related interest.

Unlike Kopac's last tenure, there will be no blurring of the lines. Kopac has been entrusted with complete control of football operations and the Raiders' board of directors, overseen by Milkie, will handle all off the field affairs.

"He's going to strictly do the coaching and we're going to do the management end," Milkie said. "That's the deal."

Kopac's ultimate goal?

"Should I go out on a limb?" Kopac said. "The Raiders have seven national championships and my dream of dreams is to retire after they have 10."

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