Marianne Pahkala becomes the first female coach in the Vienna Vikings’ history.
The Austrian team Vienna Vikings, playing in the ELF league, celebrated International Women’s Day on Wednesday by announcing the signing of the league’s first female coach. Marianne Pahkala will coach the running backs for the Vikings in the 2023 season.
Marianne Pahkala, a 27-year-old from Seinäjoki Finland, will now serve as the running backs coach for the Vienna Vikings, who are defending their ELF championship in the 2023 season. During the offseason, Pahkala will also operate as the team’s strength and conditioning coach.
According to Vikings press release, Pahkala expressed her excitement about her new role:
-I am thrilled to work under head coach Chris Calaycay and with the talented players of the Vienna Vikings. I aim to utilize the knowledge and experience I gained in the American college football system and our goal is to defend our championship in the 2023 season.
Pahkala previously worked as the event manager for the Finnish American Football Federation during the 2022 Women’s World Championships held in Vantaa, Finland, where she was responsible for operational activities. After the temporary role, Pahkala moved to the United States to work at Georgia University. She has also worked in coaching positions at the University of Nebraska and Rice University, as well as intern roles with NFL teams such as the Detroit Lions, Washington Commanders, and Kansas City Chiefs.
The Vienna Vikings, who are the reigning champions of the ELF League, have also signed a talented Finnish running back Karri Pajarinen, who has had success in the German GLF League, to their roster for the upcoming season. The team also features the reigning MVP of last season’s championship game, wide receiver Kimi Linnainmaa.
Photo: Jari Turunen