Tag Archives: ttm autographs

Coauette, Greg

Cards: ProSet WLAF 1991, Ultimate WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent:  4/20    Received :  5/11     (21 days)

After being converted from outside linebacker to cornerback by USC, Greg Coauette would  be a free agent signee with the Los Angeles Rams in 1989. After not making the squad,  Greg would be drafted by the Sacramento Surge of the WLAF during the 5th round of the league’s positional draft in 1991.

He’d lead the Surge secondary that season, grabbing first team All- WLAF honors at strong safety- despite only playing in 8 games, losing the final two contests to a groin injury. Coauette would have a banner season in 1991, notching 4 sacks, 3 interceptions and 40 tackles for the squad paired up with Tom Gerhart. After the season he’d hang up his cleats and retire.

With such a unique last name, the internet made it exceedingly easy to track down Greg to get his autograph on these two cards. I was happy that he responded in less than 30 days where he thanked me for the extra cards for him to keep that reminded him of his time in the league.

He currently lives in the Rancho Murieta area in California, and is a Sargent of the Sacramento Sheriff’s department.  Greg also enjoys coaching the defense on the police force’s charity football versus firefighters event every year (PIG Bowl/ Guns Versus Hoses).

ProSet found a pretty nice shot of Greg stalking the secondary for its card. It’s interesting to note that many of their cards focus on the eye level of the players and attempted to ignore the vacant stands. Greg’s Ultimate WLAF card is not so complimentary with him just sort of walking to probably fetch a Gatorade during a commercial timeout on the field. I like the general design though of the Ultimate card (minus the folding paper edges) and it feels acceptable to break a design tenant by utilizing vertical type in this fashion.

G/Gs 10/8     Tac   40    Sac  4.0    Fum 0     Int  3     Yds 24   Avg 8.0   Td  o

Mitchell, Brian

Cards: ProSet 1990, ProSet 1991, GameDay 1992
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o home
Sent:  4/25    Received: 5/5  (10 days)

Brian Mitchell was a quarterback originally at Southwest Louisiana. An amazing athlete, he owned virtually all the quarterback records when he left the college and was the first NCAA player to throw for over 5,000 yards and rush for over 3,000 in their career. After graduating from college, he was drafted in the 5th round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. The Redskins were deep at quarterback so the team decided they’d throw him back there as a return specialist, runningback, and as emergency quarterback. Brian would rack up the return yardage playing for the Redskins through 1999. An electric returner, Mitchell led the league in punt return yards with 600 in 1991,  and was a ProBowl selection in 1995 for the team. In 10 seasons with the Redskins Brian left holding virtually all the Redskins special teams records, racking up over 16,000 yards from scrimmage and 7 punt returns for touchdowns.  After leaving the team, he’d play for the Eagles from 2000-2002 and continued his assault on the record books, setting a league record at the time with 206 kick return yards in a single game.  Brian would play one final season for the New York Giants in 2003, before retiring as a member of the Redskins.

When I initially started this project, Brian was one of the players that I really wanted to honor. Incredibly upon retirement, Mitchell was ranked 2nd all time in yards from scrimmage, had 4 seasons of over 2000 yards, and holds the NFL records for kick returns (607), combined return yards (19013), punt return yards (4999), career kickoff return yards (14014), career fair catches (231), fair catches in a season (33), and punt returns (463). Still most people are unaware of the legacy Mitchell left upon the game and he probably won’t see the Hall of Fame, because of the lack of respect for special teamers. In the meantime, he was inducted into the Redskins Hall of Honor in 2009, works on his foundation (Brian Mitchell Foundation), and has been involved in broadcasting. I was pleased to get Brian’s autograph in 10 days flat from his home in Louisiana.

Great cards of Brian here. ProSet really did their homework and had a card of him before the end of his rookie season in their 1990 update set which was far and ahead of anything anybody produced by at least a year.  Oddly he’d appear in both of Pro Set’s 1990 and 1991 update as the last card in each set. (Sure there were additional inserts after him, but he was the last actual player card.) Mitchell was pretty decent in the first Tecmo Super Bowl, but by Final Edition, he was a dangerous threat in the game. Much like Mel Gray, Brian was a threat to return the kickoff every time he touched the ball and the secret to utilizing him correctly was basically to put him in the starting lineup.

G/Gs 223/16      Rush 388     Yds  1967      Avg  5.1     Td  12     Lg 85t   |
Rec  255      Yds  2336       Avg 9.2      Td  4       Lg 69  |
Kr  607   Yds   14014    Avg  23.1     Td   4       Lg   101t  |
Pr  463     Yds   4999     Avg  10.8     Td   9       Lg  84t

Koonce, George

Card: Ultimate WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent: 4/14 Received: 4/22 (8 days)
Failure: 4/27/2010 TTM 2010, C/o University of Milwaukee

George Koonce went undrafted out of college from the University of East Carolina in 1992 after an amazing career at the Junior College level.  He signed with Jerry Glanville‘s Falcons, but was waived during the preseason.

Undeterred Koonce was selected by the Ohio Glory of the World League of American Football in 1992.  He started at linebacker making 2.5 sacks for the team during the season. Afterwards Koonce would immediately sign with the Green Bay Packers where he’d play all 3 positions at linebacker in the team’s 4-3 alignment over the next 8 seasons. Although injured for the team’s Super Bowl appearance, Koonce was a solid pickup by the Packers and was competent in coverage, making a career high 3 interceptions for 84 yards and a touchdown in 1996. After the 1999 season, Koonce  would sign with the Seattle Seahawks in 2000, where he made 1 pick for 27 yards and a touchdown to cap off his career.  At the conclusion of George’s NFL career he managed to rack up 720 tackles, 9 sacks, 5 picks, and 2 TDs in 118 starts. Pretty darn good for a World League of American Football player!

Since retirement George has been inducted into the ECU Pirates Hall of Fame and earned his master’s degree in Sports Management. He also has a foundation for underprivileged children and has served in the front office of the Packers, Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

I had previously attempted to contact him for his autograph through the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee but he had already left the college and it is assumed that those cards are lost. I saw that he had signed a few cards recently through the mail and through Sportscollectors.net so I gave his home address a shot. He responded in 8 days.

Koonce is a WLAF success story, (much like Tracey Simien, Doug Pedersen or Chris Mohr,) George was one of the original players who had a long and tenured career in the NFL that directly benefited from his involvement with the World League.  This Ultimate 1992 card is technically (for all points and purposes) his rookie card and his card photo was taken at the Riders/ Glory preseason game in 1992. Not one of my favorite cards. I mean couldn’t they have gotten him in a 2 point stance or cropped this photo differently.

G/Gs N/a   Tac N/a   Sac 2.5   Fum 0   Int  0   Yds  0    Avg -.-   Td 0  Lg -.-