Arizona Rattlers
Founded 1992
Leagues Original AFL (1992–2009)
New AFL (2010–present)
History Arizona Rattlers
Arena US Airways Center
Based in Phoenix, Arizona
Colors Black, Teal, Copper


Division Titles 5: (AFL: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004)
Championships 2 (AFL: 1994, 1997)
Head coach Kevin Guy
President Danny White
Official Dance Team Sidewinders, Venom Vixens
Mascot Fang

The Arizona Rattlers is a member of the new Arena Football League, based in Phoenix, Arizona, that began play as a 1992 expansion team in the original Arena Football League before it went bankrupt. They were most recently coached by Kevin Guy before the league indefinitely ceased operations in 2009.

History[edit | edit source]

The team began play in 1992. They play their home games in the US Airways Center, which they share with the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association. The Rattlers are one of the AFL's leading franchises and are currently one of the Arena Football teams with the longest tenure in one city, surpassed only by two other long running teams, the Tampa Bay Storm and the Orlando Predators. Their unique, copper-colored helmets and rattlesnake logo make their merchandise some of the AFL's most popular. They were coached by former Dallas Cowboys and Arizona State University star Danny White, which lent considerable credibility to the team over the years. The Rattlers currently compete in the Western Division of the American Conference.

The Rattlers were ArenaBowl champions in 1994 and 1997. They also have the distinction of being the only club to lose three consecutive ArenaBowls, in 2002, 2003 and 2004. The Rattlers released Coach White after losing the championship to their rivals, the San Jose SaberCats, in 2004. On August 5, 2004, the Rattlers introduced former San Jose SaberCats and New York Dragons coach Todd Shell as the second head coach in franchise history. Shell later resigned on September 1, 2005 following his arrest for possession of cocaine. General Manager Gene Nudo was named his replacement on September 15. Head Athletic Trainer Matt Anderson, currently in his 16th season with the team, is the only original Rattler employee still working for the franchise since it was founded.

On June 19, 2007 the Rattlers announced that Gene Nudo would not be returning as the head coach for the 2008 season, but will still be in an administrative position. Kevin Guy became the new head coach. In September 2007, long-time Quarterback Sherdrick Bonner decided to leave Arizona for the quarterback position in Chicago that was vacated by the release of Matt D'Orazio. Jeff Smoker became the new quarterback. On October 31, 2007, the Rattlers make a risky financial move by famously guaranteeing to season ticket holders that the Rattlers would make the playoffs or they would get their money back. On May 31, they made good on their $2.2 million guarantee with a win over the Orlando Predators.

The Arizona Rattlers practice at Gene Autry Park in Mesa, Arizona. They practice week days except the days before games.

Rattlers' Highlights[edit | edit source]

  • On Sunday, August 4, 2002, in Round 2 of the AFL Playoffs, the Rattlers hosted the Carolina Cobras for the right to go to the semifinals. Having just overcoming a 19-point deficit, Arizona led late 54-52. However, Carolina retook the lead with Quarterback John Fitzgerald completing a 16-yard TD pass to WR/LB Cory Fleming with only 9 seconds left. On one final play, Quarterback Sherdrick Bonner would throw the game-winning 32-yard TD pass off the net and into the hands of WR/DB Chris Horn. The win advanced the Rattlers to the semifinals, where they would eventually advance to ArenaBowl XVI. On the AFL's 20 Greatest Highlights Countdown, this is at #4.[1]

Season-by-season[edit | edit source]

Coaches[edit | edit source]

Head coach Tenure Regular season
record (W-L)
Post season
record (W-L)
Most recent coaching staff Notes
Danny White 19942004 121-55[3] 20-10[3] Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback.
1993 AFL Coach of the Year.
Todd Shell 2005 7-9[4] 0-0
Gene Nudo 20062007 11-20[5] 1-1[5]
Kevin Guy 2008 8-8[6] 0-1[6] OC: Danny White[7]
DC: Vacant
OL coach: Kani Kauahi
ST Coordinator / DL coach: Bryce Saia

Roster[edit | edit source]

Arizona Rattlers rosterview · talk · edit


Wide Receivers

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs


Injured Reserve

League Suspension

Rookies in italics
Roster updated March 31, 2011
24 Active, 3 Inactive

More rosters

Notable players[edit | edit source]

Retired numbers[edit | edit source]

  • #14 Hunkie Cooper WR/LB - May 6, 2005
  • #17 Randy Gatewood WR/DB - May 9, 2008
  • #13 Sherdrick Bonner QB - July 16, 2010

Notes[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.