Nordmen sign European Hall of Fame QB; Eyes set on 2021

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Over the weekend the Rovaniemi Nordmen finalized a 1+1 deal with European Hall-of-Fame Quarterback Stan Bedwell, who will also handle the role of head coach and offensive coordinator.

Bedwell is no stranger to American Football in Finland, as he has previously been with the Pori Bears, Kouvola Indians, Turku Trojans, and Hämeenlinna Huskies. In addition to his time in Finland, Bedwell has also played/coached for teams in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Spain, and Switzerland. He has coached college football in the United States for a total of seven seasons and is currently the offensive coordinator/quarterback coach at Manchester University in Indiana (NCAA D3). Some other interesting notches on Bedwell’s resume include going to India in 2011 & 2012 to work alongside former NFL coaches in putting together the Elite Football League of India.  In 2015, he was a speaker at the prestigious American Football Coaches Association Clinic in Louisville, Kentucky.  In 2020, he coached at the Dallas Renegades (XFL) training camp under legendary coach Bob Stoops. 

Bedwell (Right) with XFL Dallas Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops in December 2019.

Known for his high-flying passing attack, Bedwell has thrown for almost 37,000 yards and 438 touchdowns during his time in Europe.  He has an overall record of 134 wins & 38 losses with 5 championship wins and 3 silver medals.  He has led five teams in five different countries to Top 20 rankings in Europe, winning 11 League MVP awards along the way.  He has a European record of 11 passing touchdowns in a game and currently holds the prestigious CEFL (Central European Football League) record with 7 passing touchdowns in a game.  His teams have made the playoffs every single season and finished with the top offense in the league in 15 of his 18 seasons. 

Bedwell’s record as a head coach in the SAJL 1st Division is 19-0 in two seasons with 2 championships (33-3 overall in 1st division).  In 2016, he won the Spagettimalja with the Hämeenlinna Huskies and then led the Huskies to the Maple League playoffs with an 8-4 record in 2017, accounting for over 3,500 yards and 38 touchdowns on the season.   He was last seen on the field in 2019 when he led the Bucharest Rebels to a national championship win, once again earning MVP honors and setting every league passing record along the way.

Bedwell ranked 2nd in the Maple League in total offense in 2017 with the Hämeenlinna Huskies

The plan is for Stan to work remotely for the club until he arrives in Finland mid-April.  Until then, he will be coaching Manchester University in the 2021 NCAA Football spring season (all levels below NCAA D1 will be playing their season in the spring as the Fall 2020 season was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic).  When asked for a statement on his signing: 

I have always thought of Finland as my “2nd home” and I’m more than excited to come back! I’m thankful to the Nordmen for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their organization and to take on one of the greatest challenges I’ve had in my career. In most places I’ve been, the goal was to win a championship in year one. While that’s something we will work hard to do, what’s even more important will be building a solid foundation here that will make the sport sustainable long-term in a location that presents unique obstacles compared to other parts of the country. This not only starts with building a bigger men’s team roster, but also putting forth strong efforts in creating a solid junior program, women’s team, and hopefully a club with the local university. It will be an exciting project and a lot of fun for those involved. I can’t wait to arrive in Rovaniemi and get started!

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