|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|
|Official Dance Team||Sidewinders, Venom Vixens|
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.
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.
- On Saturday, April 28, 2007, despite losing on the road 67-45 to the New York Dragons, Sherdrick Bonner joined Clint Dolezel and Andy Kelly as the only quarterbacks to throw 800 career touchdowns.
Season-by-season[edit | edit source]
Coaches[edit | edit source]
|Head coach||Tenure||Regular season
|Most recent coaching staff||Notes|
|Danny White||1994–2004||121-55||20-10||Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback.|
1993 AFL Coach of the Year.
|Kevin Guy||2008||8-8||0-1||OC: Danny White
OL coach: Kani Kauahi
ST Coordinator / DL coach: Bryce Saia
Roster[edit | edit source]
Arizona Rattlers roster
Rookies in italics
Notable players[edit | edit source]
- Sherdrick Bonner
- Siaha Burley
- Hunkie Cooper
- Cecil Doggette
- Aaron Garcia
- Randy Gatewood
- Chris Horn
- Evan Hlavacek
- Bob McMillen
- David Miller
- Mark Tucker
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]
- "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Danny White". http://www.arenafan.com/history/?page=coaches&coach=40. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
- "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Todd Shell". http://www.arenafan.com/history/?page=coaches&coach=33. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
- "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Gene Nudo". http://www.arenafan.com/history/?page=coaches&coach=80. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
- "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Kevin Guy". http://www.arenafan.com/history/?page=coaches&coach=54. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
- "Danny White Returns To The Rattlers". 2008-10-21. http://www.azrattlers.com/news/releases/index.html?article_id=445. Retrieved 2008-10-24.