On Friday, Champions Indoor Football league announced that Todd Walkenhorst has been promoted to league Commissioner. Previous Commissioner, Ricky Bertz, will continue with the league office in an advisory position.
“We are excited that Todd has agreed to take on this role with our league,” Bertz said. “Todd has been working alongside me for the last couple of years on league business. He has a wealth of experience in professional sports and in business. This was a great fit for the league and the timing was right to make this transition.”
Walkenhorst has been involved with indoor football since 2011, primarily with the Omaha Beef organization and the CIF. He brings experience to the position, including time with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1998 and with the Seattle Seahawks in 1999-2004. Walkenhorst also has a vast business background, including startup software companies, and currently operates a consulting company and investment real estate business.
“This has been a transition that we have discussed for a while,” Walkenhorst said. “I am grateful to the league and the owners who have worked with me to make this timing work for everybody involved. I know that Ricky was ready to put more time into the Omaha franchise, and this is a year that really needed his extra focus. It is obviously a challenging time for all businesses and people. I am looking forward to working with our teams, players, and fans to move forward through this season and beyond.”
In addition, the CIF also announced that Richard Tieman has formally joined the league as Director of Media & Marketing. Richard, who is also the Media Specialist for the Omaha Beef as of December, brings over 5 years of experience and knowledge of media and the world of indoor football. Richard created The FAN Show in 2015 and began his journey in indoor football when he covered the rebranded Spokane Empire (Spokane Shock), during their inaugural season in 2016. The team went dormant after 2 seasons, but Richard continued to cover indoor football by traveling to different games in leagues all across the country. His love of the sport grew as did his popularity among the fans. Richard also graduated from the new Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting at Full Sail University in June of 2020, earning several awards including Salutatorian.
“There’s just something about indoor football,” Tieman said. The fans, the players, the intimacy of it all. I love it and I love what I’ve been able to do over the last 5 years. When Ricky called me to see about working together, he said he had been a fan of my work for a while, and that’s one of the greatest compliments you can receive in this industry. It’s an honor to be a part of a league in this role, and an indescribable feeling when your hard work is recognized. I’m just thankful for the opportunity!”
“In the short time that I have known Richard, he has demonstrated a passion for this business and a professionalism that I respect,” Walkenhorst said. “He has done some great work already, showcasing and promoting our league. I think fans are going to love a lot of the things that he is working on to create more information and entertainment for our fans”.