Vikings sign Marianne Pahkala as first female coach in franchise history

The Vienna Vikings chose International Women's Day to announce their first ever female coach!

March 8, 2023
Tim Hanswillemenke
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Vikings sign Marianne Pahkala as first female coach in franchise history
New Vikings RB Coach Marianne Pahkala on the sideline during a game. © Spring League

The Vienna Vikings picked a special day for a special announcement. On International Women’s Day, the Austrian franchise announced the hiring of Marianne Pahkala as their new running backs coach and in-season strength and conditioning coach.

The 26-year-old Finnish formerly coached for the University of Nebraska, Rice University, and the University of Georgia. Pahkala can even look back on experiences in the NFL as she worked in the youth football departments of the Detroit Lions, Washington Commanders, and Kansas City Chiefs over the past years.

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“I’m really excited to be working under [head] coach [Chris] Calaycay and coach Shannon with the level of talent we have on the roster at the Vienna Vikings,” the Finnish coach commented, via the team. “Having learned from great collegiate programs in the past, I’m looking to translate those standards of excellence into my work in Vienna and repeat the championship in 2023!”

HC Calaycay: “The Vikings […] have always been about opportunity”  

Vikings head coach Chris Calaycay also expressed his excitement for the hiring of Pahkala, as the team announced. “Coach Pahkala will be joining the Vienna franchise as the first female assistant coach,” the long-time Viking commented. “The Vikings, and football in general, have always been about opportunity. Marianne [Pahkala] has had the opportunity as a national coach, European coach, as a coach in the NCAA Division I, and the NFL. Now, she will be joining the European League of Football as part of our championship coaching staff.”


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