Mike Hohensee played quarterback at the University of Minnesota, before a pro career whch saw him play in several leagues. He even had a short stint with the Chicago Bears during the 1987 NFL strike.
Hohensee threw the first touchdown pass in the Arena Football League. He also was the first coach of the Chicago Rush, guiding the team to the Arena Bowl title in 2006. In all, he has coached eight AFL teams, the last being the Portland Thunder in 2015.
I had the pleasure of meeting Hohensee when he was coaching the Iowa Barnstormers. The Chicago Rush was no longer around and Iowa had a big tryout day in Chicago. My interview is at On the Beat with Coach Mike Hohensee.
It was a bittersweet day though. While I enjoyed meeting and talking to Coach Ho, I was sad that the Rush were no longer playing. I really enjoyed covering the Rush and watching the AFL games.
The Rush demise was well-documented. Three owners and lawsuits in a short span brought the end of the franchise. Chicago had to reapply for a team, but missed the deadline and then had to wait two seasons. I believe that period has elapsed though and I am hoping for a new Chicago AFL team. If I am dreaming really big, they could bring back Coach Ho, too!
Mike Hohensee and me in Arlington Heights, IL-October 2013.
I still remember Ho from that weird strike year.
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