Arizona Rattlers Article

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Arizona Rattlers
Current season
Established 1992
Play in Talking Stick Resort Arena
in Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona Rattlers helmet
Arizona Rattlers logo
League/conference affiliations
Arena Football League ( 19922016)
  • American Conference (1992–2008)
  • National Conference (2010–2016)

Indoor Football League ( 2017–present)

  • Intense Conference (2017)
Team colorsBlack, copper, teal, white
MascotFang and Stryker
Owner(s)Ron Shurts
PresidentChris Presson
General manager Kevin Guy
Head coach Kevin Guy
Team history
  • Arizona Rattlers (1992–present)
League championships (6)
Conference championships (6)
Division championships (10)
Playoff appearances (23)
Home arena(s)

The Arizona Rattlers are a professional indoor American football team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are currently members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Rattlers were founded in 1992 as an expansion team in the Arena Football League and were the third oldest active franchise in the AFL until their departure in 2016. They play their home games at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Rattlers are led by head coach Kevin Guy. Since the team's establishment in 1992, the Rattlers have won ten division titles and have played in nine ArenaBowl Championship games, winning championships in 1994, 1997, 2012, 2013, 2014. The Rattlers also won the 2017 United Bowl in their first season in the IFL.


Founding and White era (1991–2004)

In 1987, it was speculated that the Phoenix, Arizona, area would be a target for the newly formed Arena Football League (AFL). [1]

On September 11, 1991, it was announced that Jerry Colangelo had been awarded an expansion franchise in the AFL in Phoenix. [2] Colangelo, owner of the NBA's Phoenix Suns, first approached Frank Kush to coach his team, but Kush declined the invitation. [3] In October 1991, the team announced that former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Danny White would be the franchise's first head coach. [4] In December 1991, the team announced that they would be named the Arizona Rattlers after more than 250 people suggested that the team's nickname should be the Rattlers, while 55% of their responders picked "Arizona" over "Phoenix". [5]

In 1992, the Rattlers began with their first two games on the road, and won their home debut in front of a sell-out crowd of 15,505 at America West Arena by a score of 56–31 over the Sacramento Attack. [6]

In 1994, the Rattlers captured their first ArenaBowl championship, with a 36–31 victory over the Orlando Predators. [7]

In December 1999, Gene Nudo, White and Will Meris pursued the purchase of the Rattlers from Colangelo. [8]

Kevin Guy coaching era (2008–present)

Rattlers helmet from 2013 to 2015

In 2008, it was announced that Brett Bouchy would become the new owner of the Arizona Rattlers. After the Rattlers had a 4–12 record in 2007, Brett Bouchy hired Kevin Guy as the new Arizona Rattlers head coach in the 2008 season and the Rattlers improved to an 8–8 record and cliched playoff berth for the first time since 2006, but lost in the first round. In August 2009, numerous media outlets began reporting that the AFL was folding permanently and would file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The league released a statement on August 4 to the effect that while the league was not folding, it was suspending league operations indefinitely. Despite this, several of the league's creditors filed papers to force a Chapter 7 liquidation if the league did not do so voluntarily. This request was granted on August 7, though converted to a Chapter 11 reorganization on August 26. However Brett Bouchy and a group of investors planned to launch a new league called Arena Football 1 and helped the Arizona Rattlers and the Orlando Predators to become two of the four teams to survive and return in 2010 with Arena Football 1. In early 2010, it was announced that Arena Football 1 was granted the trademarks to the AFL brand and was renamed the Arena Football League. In 2011, after Brett Bouchy was able keep both the Arizona Rattlers and the Orlando Predators alive, he was forced to let go of ownership to one of the teams and that became the Arizona Rattlers.

On May 12, 2011, Ron Shurts became the new majority owner of the Rattlers franchise. [9]

In 2011, the Rattlers won 16 games in the regular season, a league-record for wins in a single regular season. In the playoffs, by winning the National Conference championship, they clinched a berth in ArenaBowl XXIV. They lost the game to the Jacksonville Sharks when Jacksonville quarterback Aaron Garcia threw a game-winning touchdown pass on the game's final play. The Rattlers redeemed themselves the following season, winning ArenaBowl XXV over the Philadelphia Soul to win their first title in 15 years. [10]

In 2013, the Rattlers and Soul met again in ArenaBowl XXVI, with the Rattlers winning yet again, 48-39. This made them the first team since 1995 to win back-to-back championships, and the first team in history to beat the same team for both titles. [11] [12]

In 2014, the Rattlers went 15–3 in the regular season after a 14-game winning streak to start the season, and defeated the Cleveland Gladiators in ArenaBowl XXVII by a score of 72–32, becoming the first team in AFL history to win three consecutive AFL championships since the Detroit Drive of 1988–1990, as well as establishing the largest margin of victory (40 points) in an ArenaBowl. [13]

Alternate Helmet from 2014 to present

In 2015, the Rattlers went 14-4 in the regular season and made it to the Conference Championships but lost to the San Jose Sabercats 70-67, a team which had twice beaten them in the regular season. This ended their streak of consecutive ArenaBowl appearances at four.

In 2016, the Rattlers went 13-3 in the regular season, then blew out the Portland Steel and the Cleveland Gladiators en route to their fifth ArenaBowl appearance in six years, only to lose to the Philadelphia Soul.

Move from the AFL to the IFL

On October 17, 2016, the Rattlers announced they had left the AFL and joined the Indoor Football League for the 2017 season. [14] Owner Ron Shurts said that it was possible that the AFL would have to go on hiatus in 2017, and wasn't sure the fans would return in 2018 if that happened. The move made Phoenix by far the largest market in the IFL. [15] They made their IFL debut on February 17, 2017, at the defending six-time IFL Champions Sioux Falls Storm, but lost 40–29.

On June 24, 2017, the Rattlers faced the Nebraska Danger in the Intense Conference Championship and won 62–36. They defeated the reigning champion Sioux Falls Storm 50–41 in the 2017 United Bowl on July 8, 2017.

On April 29, 2018, the Rattlers defeated the Cedar Rapids Titans 84–83 and earned their 300th win in franchise history.

Notable players

Current roster

Arizona Rattlers roster
  •  1 Verlon Reed
  • 13 Jeff Ziemba

Running backs

  • 32 Dylan Peebles
  • 28 Shadrach Thornton

Wide receivers

  •  5 Anthony Amos
  • 17 Dezmon Epps
  • 16 Jarrod Harrington
  • 12 Anthony Jones Jr.
  •  2 Jamal Miles
  • 15 Dillion Winfrey
Offensive linemen
  • 50 Chris Boles
  • 56 Steven Gurrola
  • 94 Lamar Mady
  • 64 Vernon Sainvil

Defensive linemen

  • 30 Justin Shirk

Defensive backs

  • 11 Arkeith Brown
  • -- Yogi Hale
  •  4 Nathan Lindsey
  •  8 Davontae Merriweather
  • 24 Keith Trumps


  • 22 Sawyer Petre
Reserve list
  •  3 Allen Chapman DB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • -- Fahraad Johnson OL (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 45 Ryan Langford LB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • -- Lene Maiava OL (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 14 Darrell Monroe RB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 49 Edward Mosley DL (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • -- Mark Munson WR (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • Rookies in italics
  • Roster updated May 17, 2018
  • 25 Active, 7 Inactive
More rosters

Retired uniform numbers

Arizona Rattlers retired numbers
Player Position Seasons Date Retired Ref.
13 Sherdrick Bonner QB 1993–2007 June 16, 2010 [16]
14 Hunkie Cooper WR/ LB 1993–2005 May 6, 2005 [17]
17 Randy Gatewood WR/ DB 1996–2007 May 9, 2008 [18]

Arena Football League Hall of Famers

Arizona Rattlers Hall of Famers
No. Name Year Inducted Position(s) Years w/ Rattlers
13 Sherdrick Bonner 2012 QB 1993–2007
14 Hunkie Cooper 2011 WR/ LB 1993–2005
17 Randy Gatewood 2012 WR/ DB 1996–2007
44 Bob McMillen 2013 FB/ LB 1995–2000
-- Gene Nudo 2011 Executive/ Head Coach 1993–2007
-- Danny White 2002 Head Coach 1994–2002

Individual awards

All-Arena players

The following Rattlers players have been named to All-Arena Teams:

All-IFL players

The following Rattlers players have been named to All-IFL Teams:

All-Ironman players

The following Rattlers players have been named to All-Ironman Teams:

All-Rookie players

The following Rattlers players have been named to All-Rookie Teams:

Notable coaches

Head coaches

Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 2017 Indoor Football League season.

Name Term Regular Season Playoffs Awards
W L Win% W L
Danny White 19922004 121 55 .688 20 10 1993 Coach of the Year
Todd Shell 2005 7 9 .438 0 0
Gene Nudo 20062007 12 20 .375 1 1
Kevin Guy 2008–present 117 41 .753 16 5 2011, 2016 Coach of the Year


Arizona Rattlers staff
Front office
  • CEO / majority owner – Ron Shurts
  • President - Chris Presson
  • General manager - Kevin Guy
  • Assistant general manager - Jeff Jarnigan
  • Director of business operartions – Ashley Stovall
  • Operations assistant – Karra Labombarde
  • Director of team operations – J. T. Thompson
  • Media / community relations – Peter Garbow
  • Sidewinders Dancers Director – Angie Baker


Team ownership

The Arizona Rattlers introduced Ron Shurts as the team’s new majority owner on May 12, 2011. [9]

"I have been an Arizona Rattlers season ticket holder since day one and attended the first Arizona Rattlers game at America West Arena. I believe in the team and the Arena Football League," said Shurts. "I want to bring the passion and excitement for Rattlers football back to US Airways Center and the Valley."

"Downtown Phoenix continues to grow and the Rattlers will be an integral part of the affordable, family-fun entertainment that the Suns and the Mercury are providing the local community," Shurts added.




The Very first broadcaster of the Rattlers was KUTP UPN-45. They would televise home & away games, whichever games were not picked up by ESPN, to include playoff games.


KASW-TV WB6 WB61 took over broadcasting the Rattlers.


Starting in the 2004 season, the Arizona Rattlers partnered with Fox Sports Arizona. That 1st season, they televised 4 games. When the 2005 season came, the Arena football league announced a partnership with Fox Sports Regional to televise games regionally. In addition, the Arizona Rattlers announced they would also produce games with Fox Sports Arizona separate from the League contract.


After the cancellation of the 2009 season and return of the Arena Football League. The Arizona Rattlers announced a new broadcast deal with KAZT-TV AZTV 7 to broadcast up to eight games of the 2010 season. The partnership ended after one season after KAZT would not renew their broadcast partnership with the Rattlers in the 2011 season.


After major changes of ownership throughout the 2011 season the Arizona Rattlers announced a new broadcast deal in mid season to return to Fox Sports Arizona with some games carried on Fox Sports Arizona Plus.


As the 2012 season approached the Arizona Rattlers would again announced that they would be moving their broadcasts to a new home this time to Cox7 Arizona with longtime Arizona sports caster Kevin Ray and Dale Hellestrae calling the game in the booth with Chris Harris on the sidelines and Lindsay Smith on Social Media. Cox7 was known as the Rattlers best broadcaster by televising all nine of their home games including selected away games that were simulcasted to other teams broadcasts. Cox7 also did Pregame Shows with the Rattlers before every home game showing documentaries and Talking LIVE before the game. The Partnership became a major success for Cox7 the Arizona Rattlers later extended their contract with Cox7 through the 2014 season when the announcement was made in November 2012.


After the major success with Cox7 Arizona, the Rattlers would not renew with the station after their contract expired in the 2014 season and announced they would move their broadcasts back to Fox Sports Arizona with broadcasting up to only three home games and one playoff game on Fox Sports Arizona Plus. However, the Rattlers still carried over the same broadcast team from Cox7 Arizona with Kevin Ray, Dale Hellestrae, and Chris Harris calling the game. The Rattlers were also seen on National broadcasts on ESPN2 and CBS Sports Network until 2016 when they left the AFL.


All Indoor Football League games are streamed live on YouTube


  1. ^ "Phoenix may get indoor team". Mohave Daily Miner. July 24, 1987. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  2. ^ "Arena expansion planned". The Daily Gazette. October 2, 1991. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  3. ^ "Kush says no to new Phoenix team". The News. September 13, 1991. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  4. ^ "Ex-Cowboy White new Arena coach". Spokane Chronicle. October 11, 1991. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  5. ^ "Arena football team settles on 'Rattlers'". The Prescott Courier. December 8, 1991. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  6. ^ Mel Relsner (June 17, 1992). "51-36? Doesn't seem like 'real' football". Kingman Daily Miner. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  7. ^ Tim Hipps (September 3, 1994). "Rattlers bite Predators at ArenaBowl". The News-Journal. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  8. ^ "Danny White interested in purchasing Arizona Rattlers". The Daily Courier. December 17, 1999. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Williams, Cory. "Arena Football: Arizona Rattlers Find New Majority Owner, Ron Shurts". SB Nation Arizona. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  10. ^ "Game Statistics". Arena Football League. August 10, 2012. Archived from the original on August 13, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  11. ^ "Arizona Rattlers Repeat as ArenaBowl Champions". Arena Football League. August 17, 2013. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  12. ^ Joe Williams (August 17, 2013). "ArenaBowl XXVI: Rattlers win 2nd Arena Football League title in row". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "IFL Announces Addition of Arizona Rattlers". IFL. October 17, 2016.
  15. ^ Richard Obert (October 17, 2016). "Rattlers leaving Arena Football League for Indoor Football League". The Arizona Republic.
  16. ^ "Arizona Rattlers To Retire Shedrick Bonner's Jersey". Stryker-Indigo. June 12, 2010. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  17. ^ Darren Urban (May 6, 2005). "Rattlers to honor former star at halftime ceremony". East Valley Tribune. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  18. ^ "Rattlers To Retire Randy Gatewood's Number 17". OurSports Central. April 29, 2008. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Arizona Rattlers notes: Nick Davila back to AFL to play, Steve Axman joins staff". AZ Central. January 24, 2018.

External links