Texas A&M University-Commerce has announced the hiring of Lion Athletics Hall of Famer Clint Dolezel as the 21st head coach in the history of the Lion Football program on Wednesday morning.
One of only three documented three-sport athletes in school history, Dolezel enjoyed a 13-year professional career with the Arena Football League (AFL). He is the first professional quarterback to throw for over 900 yards. He is a top-five all-time best in career passing yards, touchdowns and completions in AFL history.
“Clint Dolezel is a great choice to lead our football program into the future,” A&M-Commerce President Dr. Mark Rudin said. “He is a strong advocate of our student-athletes, an innovator, a proven winner, and perhaps most importantly, a Lion.”
Dolezel will be officially introduced as the Lion football coach at a pair of events on Thursday, Dec. 8. Dolezel, Dr. Mark Rudin, and Interim Director of Athletics Eric Coleman will meet with Dallas-area media and constituents at the A&M-Commerce at Dallas site at 10 a.m. Commerce-area supporters can meet Coach Dolezel at 3 p.m. inside Rayburn Student Center on the Commerce campus.
Following his playing career, Dolezel began coaching. He served for 13 seasons as head coach in indoor professional football. Dolezel was a head coach for five different organizations within the indoor professional football ranks and led each of his teams to the postseason in his first season as head coach.
He is the third Lion alum to be named head football coach at A&M-Commerce and the first since Will Hill Acker, who coached the Lions from 1929-30.
“We are thrilled to get an alum and a Hall of Famer to lead our football program,” said Eric Coleman, Interim Director of Athletics. “Clint Dolezel is a proven winner at every level he has played and coached. He is passionate about the institution, and he is someone who will look out for the best interest of our student-athletes as we continue our transition into Division I.”
After beginning his college career at Cisco College, Dolezel came to then East Texas State University in 1992. He compiled over 3,000 passing yards and 22 touchdowns in his Lion football career. The Waco native was also a member of the golf and track and field teams at Commerce and was inducted into the Lion Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019.
“It is a dream come true, to come back and coach where I played,” said Dolezel. “I was one of the last line of players to play for East Texas State and a lot of great things have happened since then. What a beautiful place this has turned into, and I am really excited to be here. I am looking forward to digging deep, rolling our sleeves up and getting to work.”
Dolezel most recently served as head coach for the Frisco Fighters in Frisco, Texas, guiding them to the Indoor Football League Playoffs in 2021. As head coach of the AFL’s Philadelphia Soul from 2013-2019, Dolezel accumulated a regular season record of 76-32 (.703). In 2019, Dolezel led the Soul to the ArenaBowl, passing Jay Gruden for the seventh-most all-time coaching wins in AFL history. He guided the Soul to two AFL ArenaBowl Championships.
Dolezel joined the China Arena Football League as head coach of the Beijing Lions in 2016. The Lions went 6-0 in the inaugural season of the CAFL, winning the championship on a field goal on the last play of the game.
Dolezel was a Hall of Fame player in the AFL. He was also ranked eighth in AFL history by the Silver Anniversary Committee in 2012.
He began his coaching career with the AF2’s Florida Firecats as the team’s offensive coordinator in 2009. In 2010, he landed his first professional head coaching position with the San Angelo Stampede of the IFL and guided them to the second round of the playoffs. In 2011, Dolezel was tapped as head coach of the AFL’s Dallas Vigilantes and made the playoffs with an 11-7 regular season record in his rookie head coaching season in the AFL.
Dolezel earned a Bachelor of Science from East Texas State University and is married to Lion alum Kris Dolezel. The two met during their time in Commerce and have two children, a daughter, Molly (26) and a son, Trevor (23). The Dolezels also have two dogs, Taco and Dixie.