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TUCSON, ARIZONA –The Tucson Sugar Skulls have named three new assistant coaches for the 2020 season, including a coach familiar to local football fans.

Brandon Sanders, known for his role on the Arizona Wildcats’ famed “Desert Swarm” defense of the mid 1990s, has been hired as the defensive backs coach on the staff of first-year head coach Dixie Wooten.

Sanders most recently was the head coach and athletic director at Pueblo High School in Tucson where he turned around a Warriors football program that had not had a winning season in more than a decade. Pueblo was 41-22 in Sanders’ six seasons as head coach and made the state playoffs three times. In addition to his time at Pueblo, Sanders was an assistant coach at Catalina Foothills High School and Pima Community College. This past season he was named the Vern Friedli Southern Arizona Coach of the Year by All Sports Tucson. He also was named Athletic Director of the Year in 2016.

“Brandon Sanders is a huge pickup for our coaching staff,” Wooten said. “With his Tucson background at Arizona, his NFL background, and his strong coaching ability, we will have a great secondary.”

Sanders played a key role at safety on the Wildcats’ “Desert Swarm” defense from 1992 to 1995 and was one of the UA players on the cover of Sports Illustrated when the Wildcats were ranked No. 1 by the magazine headed into the 1994 season. Sanders played three years in the NFL with the New York Giants. He also played in the original XFL and NFL Europe.

Chuck Miller has been named assistant head coach and offensive line coach. He is entering his fifth year coaching in professional indoor football and will be in his 13th season coaching at various levels, mostly in the Chicago area. He was on Wooten’s staff as defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at the Iowa Barnstormers last season when the team posted a 12-2 regular season record and made it to the IFL conference championship game. He previously spent two years coaching the offensive line at the Green Bay Blizzard and coached one year with the Chicago Eagles of the Champions Indoor Football league.

Xzavie Jackson has been named defensive line coach and special teams coordinator. Jackson is the career IFL sacks leader with 81½. After playing at the University of Missouri, Jackson spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals. He played for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League in 2008. Jackson spent most of his IFL career playing for the Nebraska Danger.

Jackson joined the coaching staff at Nebraska in 2017 where he coached the defensive line for three years. He played and coached with the Danger in 2018. His first name is pronounced

The Sugar Skulls also announced that they have retained Glenn Howell as their strength and conditioning coach.

Howell has 24 years of experience as a sports strength and conditioning specialist and owns his own business, Howell Athletics, specializing in the field in Tucson. He was a two-year starter at tight end for the Arizona Wildcats in the mid-1980s and was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection in 1985.

“To win championships in the IFL, your coaching staff is a major key,” Wooten said. “With these men, the Sugar Skulls are closer to winning a championship.

“Having Chuck on staff with me another year is huge. He brings hard work and understanding to the team. Xzavie Jackson is the IFL sack leader, and now he can teach our D-line everything he knows.”

The Sugar Skulls open their second season on the road at Cedar Rapids on March 19 then open their seven-game home schedule on March 29 when the Duke City Gladiators visit. Season tickets and a new, four-game Blitz Pack can be purchased now. Information is available at www.tucsonsugarskulls.com or by calling (520) 573-3000.


TUCSON, ARIZONA – The Tucson Sugar Skulls are offering a four-game “blitz pack” for their second season to give fans an option to reserve seats for the four selected games at prices reduced from single-game prices.

The Sugar Skulls also are opening single-game ticket sales to the March 29 home opener through Christmas Eve. Tickets can be purchased only at the Sugar Skulls kiosk in the center court at Park Place mall from Dec. 12 to Dec. 24. The kiosk will open at 5 p.m. on weekdays and noon on weekends. Available seats will be limited to certain sections at Tucson Arena. After December 24, single-game tickets will not be available again until February 1.

The four games that are part of the Sugar Skulls Blitz Pack are the March 29 home opener against the Duke City Gladiators, April 11 when the Skulls take on the San Diego Strike Force, the May 9 game against in-state rival Arizona Rattlers, and the May 24 game against the Spokane Shock. The May 24 game will be Military Appreciation Day at the Tucson Arena.

The Sugar Skulls are coming off a season in which they became the first franchise to make the Indoor Football League playoffs in their first season. The team has signed two-time IFL Coach of the Year and 2018 IFL Champion Dixie Wooten to lead the Sugar Skulls into their second season. Tucson returns All-IFL running back Mike Jones and has signed 2019 IFL MVP quarterback Daquan Neal.

“As exciting as it was to make the playoffs in our first season, we’re aiming higher in 2020,” said Sugar Skulls President Jay Gonzales. “With a championship coach on board in Dixie Wooten, we have high expectations this season. We want to give our fans as many options as possible to be part of it.”

Blitz Pack ticket prices range from $44 in the corners to $392 for first- or second-row seats. Those prices include the Tucson Convention Center facility fee. Blitz Packs can be purchased by going to the Sugar Skulls website www.tucsonsugarskulls.com, completing the Blitz Pack order form, and submitting it by email or bringing it to the Sugar Skulls office at Kino Memorial Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way. Blitz Packs can be purchased with a two-payment installment plan.

Pricing for full season tickets, the four-game Blitz Pack and single games is below:  You can also download the form here!

Seating Section


Season Ticket


Blitz Pack



TCC Facility Fee
Per Ticket Per Game


Sections 208-211, 215-218





Upper End Zone

Sections 212-214





Upper Sideline Corner
Sections 201 & 225





Lower End Zone

Sections 107, 112-114, 119





Lower Sideline Corner
Sections 101 & 125





Upper Sidelines

Sections 202-207, 219-224





Lower Sidelines

Sections 102-106, 120-124





1st & 2nd Row

Sections 101-106, 120-125





TUCSON, ARIZONA – Chris Martin, a first-team All-IFL player who led the league in sacks last season, is one of three players added to the Tucson Sugar Skulls 2020 roster.

Martin, a 6’5, 265-pound defensive lineman, recorded 8½ sacks to lead the IFL last season. He had a total of 44 tackles, 35 solo, in the 11 games he played for the Nebraska Danger. His 16½ tackles for loss also led the league. He played his college football at the University of Florida.

Also joining the Sugar Skulls roster are:

Marquise Irvin, 6’3, 216 pounds, wide receiver, Mercer University. Irvin played at Mercer from 2015 to 2018 where he played in all 11 games as a true freshman. He ranked fifth on his team in receptions (15) and receiving yards (209). In 2016, he set program records with 65 receptions, 766 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns. He led his team in all the same categories in 2017, and in 2018, broke his own school record with 814 receiving yards.

Randall Jackson-Clemons, 6’4, 301 pounds, offensive line, Georgetown College. Jackson-Clemons played all four years at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky, where he played both guard and tackle as well as playing on the defensive side of the ball at defensive end. He played in all 16 games in the Iowa Barnstormers’ 2018 IFL championship season.

The current 2020 roster is below:

Name                                      Pos           Ht        Wt       College

Brandon Bailey                       DB             6’1       185      Savannah State

Ryan Balentine                        WR            6'1       180      Southern Mississippi

Linwood Banks                       DL             6’1       290      Grambling State

Adolphus Barnes                    OL             6'4       285      Eastern Illinois

Kordell Brewster                     OL             6'2       270      UL-Lafayette

Cory Butler                              DB/WR      5'9       180      Utah

Cam Gaddis                            DB             6'1       195      Pima Community College

Jajuan Harley                          DB             6'2       215      Middle Tennessee State

Jeremiah Harris                      WR            5'8       155      Webber International

Marquise Irvin                         WR            6’3       216      Mercer University

Randall Jackson-Clemons     OL             6’4       301      Georgetown College

Mike Jones                              RB             5'11     210      Bethune-Cookman

Lawrence Keys                       OL             6'2       300      UNC-Pembroke

TreQuan King                         RB             5'11     190      Texas Tech

DJ Loving                                OL             6’3       306      Grand View University

Kyle Martin                              DB             5’9       190      Arkansas State

Tevin Madison                        DB             5’10     180      Texas Tech

Chris Martin                            DL             6’5       265      Florida

Johnny McCrary                     QB             6'4       210      Vanderbilt

Reggie McGee                       DL             6’1       240      Ball State

Warren Messer                       LB              5-11     227      Elon University

Robert Metz                            DL             6'4       240      Dixie State

Michael Minter Jr.                   DB             6,0       175      Middle Tennessee State

Daquan Neal                           QB             6'2       215      Elizabeth City State

Koree Reed                             WR            6'0       185      Hartwick College

Jeremy Schonbrunner            OL             6’3       310      Temple University

Kent Shelby                            WR            6'2       210      McNeese State

Ryan Wood                             DB             6’1       200      Chadron State

Khalil Young                            DL             6’5       240      Mississippi Valley State

The Sugar Skulls will play seven regular-season home games at the Tucson Arena with the home opener on March 29 versus the Duke City Gladiators. The regular season will go through June 27. The IFL playoffs will begin in early July.

Season tickets for the 2020 season are currently on sale to the general public with reduced prices from the 2019 season in several sections of the arena. Season ticket information is on the Sugar Skulls website at www.tucsonsugarskulls.com. Information also is available by calling the team office at (520) 573-3000. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

TUCSON, ARIZONA – The Tucson Sugar Skulls will open their second season on the road on Thursday, March 19, then play the first of seven regular-season home games on Sunday, March 29, when they take on the Duke City Gladiators, one of four new teams in the Indoor Football League.

The 2020 IFL schedule announced today gives the Sugar Skulls seven different opponents in their seven home games, including visits from three of the four new teams in the league. The other new teams visiting Tucson Arena will be the Spokane Shock on Sunday, March 24, and the Oakland Panthers in the season finale on Saturday, June 27.

Tucson will host the Arizona Rattlers on Saturday, May 9. The San Diego Strike Force will visit on Saturday, April 11. The Green Bay Blizzard and Bismarck Bucks round out the home schedule with games on Saturday, May 2, and Saturday, June 13, respectively. Saturday games will kick off at 6 p.m. Sunday games will start at 3 p.m.

The IFL announced yesterday that a fourth new team, from Frisco, Texas, has joined the league. The team, which is yet to be named, gives the IFL 13 teams for the 2020 season.

“Our fans can expect a lot of excitement every game with theme nights and door giveaways and activities that will be announced in the near future,” said Team President Jay Gonzales. “We want our fans to know that when they come to a Sugar Skulls game, they are coming to an event that offers fun and excitement beyond the great product we’re putting on the field.”

In addition to the season opener at the Cedar Rapids River Kings, the Sugar Skulls will travel to play the Rattlers and Strike Force twice and will play return games at Duke City and Spokane.

Season tickets for the 2020 season are currently on sale to the general public with reduced prices from the 2019 season in several sections of the arena. Season ticket information is on the Sugar Skulls website at www.tucsonsugarskulls.com. Information also is available by calling the team office at (520) 573-3000. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Single game tickets will go on sale after the first of the year.

Here is the complete 2020 schedule.

2020 Schedule FINAL

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