The Salina Liberty have made an investment in the future of indoor football in Salina with a contract extension for Head Coach Heron O’Neal. The Liberty Coach originally signed a 3-year deal and has one year left on that contract. This extension will keep O’Neal with the Liberty two additional season and through the 2022 season.
O’Neal and his staff have been instrumental in turning around a franchise that struggled to win in its first two seasons. Salina went 2-10 in 2016 and followed that up with a 1-11 season in 2017. The change was immediate when O’Neal took over on June 21st, 2017. In his first year, O’Neal led the Liberty to a 10-4 record and finished the regular season as the top team in the CIF Northern Division. Salina would end the 2018 season with a 45-39 playoff loss to Sioux City on June 23rd, 2018.
In 2019 Salina is once again one of the top teams in Champions Indoor Football. The Liberty finished the regular season with an 8-4 record and went undefeated versus team in the CIF Northern Division.
“We are so excited and happy to get a commitment from Coach O’Neal,” commented Francis Flax, General Manager of the Liberty. “To have one of the best coaches in Indoor Football want to coach here in Salina speaks volumes.”
O’Neal started his professional indoor coaching career in 2005, winning championships in 2005, 2009 and 2011. He spent the previous season with the Dodge City Law as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator. O’Neal graduated from Western Michigan University before spending two seasons in the National Football League. Following stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Chicago Bears, he took a coaching position with the Billing Outlaws in 2005. He coached for the Outlaws until 2010. From 2011 to 2016, O’Neal was coaching for the Colorado Crush, where he was voted “Coach of the Year” in 2014.
“I am very happy to commit another two years here for the Salina Liberty,” states Heron O’Neal. “I am very thankful that they (Salina Liberty) will have me as well. I’ve seen major progress this year in the future of this organization moving forward.”
The Liberty will play for the Northern Conference Championship on Saturday, June 29th at Tony’s Pizza Events Center against their rivals the Omaha Beef. Game time is slated for a 6:35 kick-off. The Beef also closed out the regular season for an 8-4 record but were swept by the Liberty during the season.
“We need the citizens of Salina to come out and show their support of Coach O’Neal, the Salina Liberty players, and the staff and management of the program,” said Flax. “After all, this is your team.”
Tickets for Saturday’s game start at $9 for adults and $5 for kids ages 2-12, and are available at the TPEC Box Office, by phone at 888-826-SHOW or online at tonyspizzaeventscenter.com