On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Storm announced the return of two assistant coaches and the addition of two more to complete head coach Ron James‘ staff for the 2017 season. Doug Kay and Shane Stafford will return as assistant head coach and offensive assistant coach, respectively. In the words of vice president of football operations, Jeff Gooch:
“Coach James has put together a coaching staff that has several years of coaching experience in the Arena Football League. With the return of Coaches Kay and Stafford, along with the addition of Coach Gussman and Coach Wilson, the Storm has built a professional staff that will help turn the team around and take us in a positive direction.”
While Kay is in his fifth season with Tampa Bay, this is not his first stint with the team. As part of his more than half century of coaching experience, including 18 in the Arena Football League, Kay began his career in 1993 as the Storm’s defensive coordinator (which he will be again this season).
Leading the team to a win in ArenaBowl VII, he returned to the team twice more, including in 2002 as the special teams coach and in 2013 as both defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.
Stafford returns for his second season as offensive assistant coach, and will be responsible for developing quarterbacks and receivers. A native of Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania, Stafford had tremendous success on the field for Tampa Bay. From 2001-06, Stafford completed 1,357 of 2,143 attempts for 15,667 yards and 289 touchdowns, setting franchise records in all four categories.
Gussman, a 24-year veteran of the AFL, has brings more than 15 years of coaching experience to Tampa Bay. He began his coaching career in 1995 as the special teams coordinator for the Connecticut Coyotes, then moved on to the Houston Thunderbears, the af2’s Rio Grande Valley Dorados, the Orlando Predators, Las Vegas Gladiators, and the New Orleans VooDoo.
On the field, Gussman was stellar for Miami (OH), where he was selected All-Mid-American Conference for three consecutive seasons and named First Team and an All-American as a senior, capping off a career with regards as one of the best kickers in conference history.
Finally, Austin Wilson completes the staff beginning his second stint with the team. Previously, he worked with strength and conditioning training, and now he brings his experience in various indoor football leagues to the team as the defensive line and linebackers coach.