Arizona Rattlers

About the Arizona Rattlers – History, Roster, Awards

This post explores everything about the Arizona Rattlers, an American professional indoor football team founded more than three decades ago.

Highlights:

  • Established in 1991 and owned by Ron Shurts
  • Headquartered in The Phoenix metropolitan area, Arizona, USA
  • Member of the Indoor Football League (IFL) Western Conference
  • Currently uses the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, as their home stadium

Let’s get down to business!

Who are the Arizona Rattlers?

The Arizona Rattlers is an American pro indoor football team whose headquarters is in the Phoenix metro area. They came into being as an expansion in the Arena Football League (AFL) in 1992. The team is presently a member of the Indoor Football League (IFL). Their official team colors are white, black, teal, and copper. They presently use the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale as their home field.

Arizona Rattlers logo
Arizona Rattlers logo

The Rattlers were initially the third-oldest active franchise in the league until they left in 2016 and joined the Indoor Football League (IFL) in 2017. They initially played their home games at the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix but now use the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale.

The team has participated in nine ArenaBowl Championship games and won ten division titles.

History

Jerry Colangelo, the owner of NBA’s Phoenix Suns basketball team, originally owned the Arizona Rattlers. The team’s name is the result of more than 250 people suggestions. Its initial owner wanted Frank Kush to be the team’s head coach but he refused the offer. Colangelo later hired Danny White, a former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, as the team’s head coach.

The team started playing games in 1992, winning their first game 56–31 at America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. They won their first championship playing against Orlando Predators In 1994. In December 1999, Colangelo sold the team to Gene Nudo and White & Will Meris.

Brett Bouchy acquired the Arizona Rattlers in 2008. He then hired Kevin Guy as the team’s new head coach starting from the 2008 season. Ron Shurts, the Rattlers’ current owner, became the team’s new majority owner on May 12, 2011. They won 16 games in the regular 2011 season, which was the league’s record for the highest number of wins in a single regular season.

The Arizona Rattlers won the Philadelphia Soul and earned the ArenaBowl XXV Championship in the 2012 season. It is their first championship in 15 years. The two teams played again the following year in the ArenaBowl XXVI Championship, winning 48–39 this time.

In 2014, the Rattlers became the first team in the Arena Football League to win three consecutive championships after a record of 14-game winning streaks. The team made it to the 2015 Conference Championships but lost 70–67 to the San Jose Sabercats. Unfortunately, they lost to the Philadelphia Soul in 2016.

The Arizona Rattlers- Management and Staff

Below are the Rattlers’ current management and coaching staff:

  • Ron Shurts – CEO/Majority Owner
  • Kevin Guy – Head Coach
  • Siaha Burley – Head Assistant Coach
  • Jeff Jarnigan – Defensive Line and Special Teams Coach
  • Kevin Ashak – Offensive Line Coach
  • Kevin Guy – Team President
  • Jeff Jarnigan – General Manager
  • Brandon Duenas – Media Relations Manager
  • David Koonce – Digital Media Manager
  • Ethan Elasser – Activation and Marketing Coordinator
  • Abby Bailliere – Activation and Merchandise Coordinator
  • Shelby Underwood – Sidewinders Dancers Director
  • Dante Moses – Equipment Manager

Players Roster

Arizona Rattlers team
Arizona Rattlers team

Here is a list of the Arizona Rattlers’ current roster based on their players’ positions:

Quarterbacks

  • Dalton Snead

Running Backs

  • Jo-el Shaw

Wide Receivers

  • Lyons Ahmad
  • DaQuan Dudley
  • #2 Jamal Miles
  • #4 Jerrime Neal
  • #9 Isiah Scott
  • #12 Kobe Smith
  • Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman

Offensive Linemen

  • Paul Braun
  • #79 Cole Carter
  • Marshall Poppenhusen

Defensive Linemen

  • #93 Ulric Jones
  • #99 Harold Love
  • #90 Seyvon Lowry
  • #94 Lamar Mady
  • #91 Justin Thomas

Linebackers

Rattlers’ Players Named to Various Teams

All-Arena Players

The players on the list below have been named to the All-Arena Teams:

  • Nick Davila (5), Sherdrick Bonner (5) – QB
  • Mykel Benson (1), Odie Armstrong (2) – FB
  • Bob McMillen (2) – FB/LB
  • Maurice Purify (1), Rod Windsor (6) – WR
  • Randy Gatewood (6), Cedric Tillman (1) – WR/DB
  • Hunkie Cooper (4) – WR/LB
  • Jordan Mudge (1), Billy Eisenhardt (1), Michael Huey (3), Kyle Young (2), Brennen Carvalho (1) – OL
  • Clifford Dukes (1), Damien Borel (1), Dimetrio Tyson (1), Mike McAdoo (1), Anttaj Hawthorne (2) – DL
  • Bryan Henderson (1), Doc Wise (1) – OL/DL
  • Tyre Glasper (3) – LB
  • Marquis Floyd (1), Virgil Gray (2), Jeremy Kellem (1), Arkeith Brown (2) – DB
  • Fabrizio Scaccia (1), Garrett Lindholm (1) – K
  • Chris Horn (1), Calvin Schexnayder (2), Hunkie Cooper (2) – OS
  • Cecil Doggette (1) – DS
  • Virgil Gray (1) – KR

All-IFL Players

The players listed below have been named to the All-IFL Teams:

  • Darrell Monroe (1) – RB
  • Drew Powell (2) – QB
  • Treyvon Williams (1) – LB
  • Braxton Haley (1), Jarrod Harrington (1), Jerrod Harrington (1) – WR
  • Kenny Thomas (1), Damian Love (1), Lamar Mady (3), Steven Gurrola (1)
  • Davontae Merriweather (1) – LB/DB
  • Tyrell Pearson (1), Dillon Winfrey (2), Davontae Merriweather (1), Allen Chapman (2) – DB
  • Chris McAllister (1), Lance McDowell (1), Nikolaus D’Avanzo (1)
  • Ernesto Lacayo (1), Jimmy Camacho (1), Sawyer Petre (1) – K

All-Ironman Players

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

  • Wendall Gaines (2), Stacy Evans (1)
  • Randy Gatewood (2) – WR/DB
  • Hunkie Cooper (3) – WR/LB

All-Rookie Players

Here’s a list of the Arizona Rattlers football players named to the All-Rookie Teams:

  • Chris Horn (WR/LB)
  • Tandon Harvey (WR)
  • Bryan Henderson, Wendall Gaines, Stacy Evans
  • Chad May (QB)

Retired Players

The following players have retired from playing for the Arizona Rattlers football team:

  • June 16, 2010 – Sherdrick Bonner #13 (Quarterback)
  • May 6, 2005 – Hunkie Cooper #14 (Wide Receiver/Linebacker)
  • May 9, 2008 – Randy Gatewood #17 (Wide Receiver/Defense Backer)

Awards and Achievements

Below are various awards that have been won by the Arizona Rattlers’ players since the team’s formation:

  • AFL MVP ‘1993’ – Hunkie Cooper (Wide Receiver/Linebacker)
  • AFL MVP ‘2011, 2014, 2016’ – Nick Davila (Quarterback)
  • AFL Offensive Player of the Year ‘1998’ – Calvin Schexnayder (OS/Specialist)
  • AFL Offensive Player of the Year ‘2014’ – Nick Davila (Quarterback)
  • AFL Ironman of the Year ‘1999, 2000’ – Hunkie Cooper (Wide Receiver/Linebacker)
  • AFL Ironman of the Year ‘2003, 2006’ – Randy Gatewood (Wide Receiver/Defense Backer)
  • AFL Rookie of the Year ‘2010’ – Rod Windsor (Wide Receiver)
  • ArenaBowl MVP VIII – Sherdrick Bonner (Quarterback)
  • ArenaBowl MVP XI – Donnie Davis (Quarterback)
  • ArenaBowl MVP XXV, XXVII – Nick Davila (Quarterback)
  • ArenaBowl MVP XXVI – Rod Windsor (Wide Receiver)
  • Offensive Lineman of the Year ‘2012’ – Kyle Young (Offensive Lineman)
  • Offensive Lineman of the Year ‘2013’ – Billy Eisenhardt (Offensive Lineman)
  • Offensive Lineman of the Year ‘2016’ – Jordan Mudge (Offensive Lineman)
  • Kicker Player of the Year ‘2013’ – Garrett Lindholm (Kicker)
  • Defensive Back of the Year ‘2014’ – Marquis Floyd (Defensive Backer)
  • Defensive Back of the Year ‘2015’ – Jeremy Kellem (Defensive Backer)
  • IFL Offensive Player of the Year ‘2018’ – Darrell Monroe (Running Back)
  • IFL Offensive Rookie of the Year ‘2018’ – Jeff Ziemba (Quarterback)
  • IFL MVP ‘2021’ – Drew Powell (Quarterback)

Season Records

The following are season-by-season wins and losses records of the Arizona Rattlers football team:

  • 1993 – Won 56–49 in the AFL Quarterfinal, playing against the Charlotte Rage
  • 1994 – Won 52–24 in the AFL Quarterfinal, playing against the Charlotte Rage
  • 1994 – Won 40–33 in the AFL Semifinal, playing against the Albany (The Indiana Firebirds)
  • 1994 – Won 36–31 and earned the ArenaBowl VIII Championship, playing against the Orlando Predators
  • 1996 – Won 65–48 in the AFL Quarterfinal, playing against the Orlando Predators
  • 1997 – Won 46–29 in the AFL Quarterfinal, playing against the Milwaukee Mustangs
  • 1997 – Won 49–46 in the AFL Semifinal, playing against the Tampa Bay Storm
  • 1997 – Won 55–33 and the ArenaBowl XI Championship, playing against the Iowa (The New York Dragons)
  • 1998 – Won 50–36 in the AFL Quarterfinal, playing against the Houston ThunderBears
  • 1999 – Won 34–30 in the AFL Quarterfinal, playing against the Nashville Kats
  • 2000 – Won 41–34 and the Wild Card, playing against the Buffalo Destroyers
  • 2000 – Won 53–50 in the AFL Quarterfinal, playing against the Albany (The Indiana Firebirds)
  • 2001 – Won 52–44 and the Wild Card, playing against the Detroit Fury
  • 2002 – Won 61–59 in the AFL Quarterfinal, playing against the Carolina Cobras
  • 2002 – Won 46–35 in the AFL Semifinal, playing against the Chicago Rush
  • 2003 – Won 69–26 and the Wild Card, playing against the Las Vegas (The Cleveland Gladiators)
  • 2003 – Won 70–63 in the AFL Quarterfinal, playing against the Los Angeles Avengers
  • 2003 – Won 66–49 in the AFL Semifinal, playing against the San Jose SaberCats
  • 2004 – Won 59–42 in the AFL Quarterfinal, playing against the Los Angeles Avengers
  • 2004 – Won 45–41 in the AFL Semifinal, playing against the Colorado Crush
  • 2006 – Won 57–34 and the Wild Card, playing against the Utah Blaze
  • 2011 – Won 62–33 in the AFL Conference Semifinal, playing against the Spokane Shock
  • 2011 – Won 70–73 and the Conference Championship, playing against the Chicago Rush
  • 2012 – Won 51–48 in the AFL Conference Semifinal, playing against the San Jose SaberCats
  • 2012 – Won 75–69 and the Conference Championship, playing against the Utah Blaze
  • 2012 – Won 72–54 and the ArenaBowl XXV Championship, playing against the Philadelphia Soul
  • 2013 – Won 59–49 in the AFL Conference Semifinal, playing against the San Jose SaberCats
  • 2013 – Won 65–57 in the AFL Conference Championship, playing against the Spokane Steel
  • 2013 – Won 48–39 in the AFL ArenaBowl XXVI Championship, playing against the Philadelphia Soul
  • 2014 – Won 52–48 in the AFL Conference Semifinal, playing against the Portland Steel
  • 2014 – Won 72–56 in the AFL Conference Championship, playing against the San Jose SaberCats
  • 2014 – Won 72–32 and the ArenaBowl XXVII Championship, playing against the Cleveland Gladiators
  • 2015 – Won 72–41 in the AFL Conference Semifinal, playing against the Spokane Shock
  • 2016 – Won 84–40 in the AFL Conference Semifinals, playing against the Portland Steel
  • 2016 – Won 82–41 in the Conference Championship, playing against the Cleveland Gladiators
  • 2017 – Won 62–36 in the IFL Conference Championship, playing against the Nebraska Danger
  • 2017 – Won 50–41 and the United Bowl, playing against the Sioux Falls Storm
  • 2019 – Won 62–45 in the IFL Semifinal, playing against the Nebraska Danger
  • 2021 – Won 69–42 in the IFL first round, playing against the Sioux Falls Storm
  • 2021 – Won 58–55 in the Semifinal, playing against the Duke City Gladiators
  • 2022 – Won 53–14 in the IFL first round, playing against the Duke City Gladiators

Season-by-season losses

  • 1993 – Lost 34–38 to the Detroit Fury in the AFL Semifinal
  • 1995 – Lost 52–56 to the Iowa (The New York Dragons) in the AFL Quarterfinal
  • 1996 – Lost 54–55 to the Tampa Bay Storm in the AFL Semifinal
  • 1998 – Lost 33–38 to the Orlando Predators in the AFL Semifinal
  • 1999 – Lost 47–73 to the (Albany) Indiana Firebirds in the AFL Semifinal
  • 2000 – Lost 44–56 to the Orlando Predators in the AFL Semifinal
  • 2001 – Lost 49–68 to the San Jose SaberCats in the AFL Quarterfinal
  • 2002 – Lost 14–52 to the San Jose SaberCats and the AFL ArenaBowl XVI Championship
  • 2003 – Lost 29–43 to the Tampa Bay Storm in the AFL ArenaBowl XVII Championship
  • 2004 – Lost 62–69 to the San Jose SaberCats and the AFL ArenaBowl XVIII Championship
  • 2006 – Lost 48–62 to the San Jose SaberCats in the AFL Quarterfinal
  • 2008 – Lost 41–48 to the Grand Rapids Rampage and the AFL Wild Card
  • 2010 – Lost 49–57 to the Spokane Steel in the AFL Conference Semifinal
  • 2011 – Lost 70–73 to the Jacksonville Sharks and the ArenaBowl XXIV Championship
  • 2015 – Lost 67–70 to the San Jose SaberCats and the AFL Conference Championship
  • 2016 – Lost 42–56 to the Philadelphia Soul and the AFL ArenaBowl XXIX Championship
  • 2018 – Lost 68–69 to the Sioux Falls Storm in the IFL Semifinal
  • 2019 – Lost 53–56 to the Sioux Falls Storm and the IFL United Bowl
  • 2021 – Lost 34–37 to the Massachusetts Pirates and the IFL United Bowl
  • 2022 – Lost 51–52 to the Northern Arizona Wranglers in the IFL Second Round
  • 2023 – Lost 53–62 to the Northern Arizona Wranglers in the IFL First Round

Related: San Antonio Brahmas – Everything You Should Know.


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