Croatia’s Zagreb Patriots have a new coach but his sideline presence might not be very imposing. The sports world has seen some pretty wicked technological improvements over the last decade but this move by American football coach John Trana might be the most odd.

Trana is returning to his old team this week, the Zagreb Patriots of the Alpe Adria Football League, but isn’t actually returning yet. The former United States high school football coach in Idaho and Colorado has been coaching overseas for a few years, leading the Patriots to the 2012 title before briefly coaching the Limhamn Griffins (Sweden) and will help the Patriots prepare for the playoffs, starting Saturday against the Belgrade Blue Dragons. Because Trana is still in the U.S., he will be a virtual coach.

I am putting together a game plan for the game this weekend but I will not be able to physically get to the first game. I think the Virtual Head Coach could be the next evolution of coaching in Europe. Breaking down film and developing a game plan is very time consuming which many European coaches just don’t have.

Trana will watch the game on his computer, delivering calls and making personnel moves. He plans to arrive in Croatia in the coming weeks, with hopes of being there for a potential championship game at the end of June.


[American Football International]