TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Storm has named Ron James the seventh head coach in franchise history, team president Derrick Brooks announced.
“It gives me great pleasure to introduce Ron as our next head coach,” said Brooks. “Ron has over 30 years of coaching experience that he is bringing with him to Tampa Bay. After spending time with him throughout this vetting process, we believe he best exemplified what we want to do, and where we want to go, as a team.”
James joins the Storm after spending the 2016 season with the Portland Steel. He brings over 30 years of coaching experience to Tampa, eight of which have been spent as head coach. The 2012 AFL Head Coach of the Year has led his teams to three playoff appearances, including a National Conference Championship appearance in 2012.
“I am extremely humbled and excited to join one of the most storied franchises in the Arena Football League,” said James. “It’s a great feeling to be a part of a team that has such strong management and leadership. This is truly an honor and I want to thank Derrick Brooks, Jeff Vinik and the entire Storm organization for giving me this opportunity to lead the team into the future.”
James began his coaching career in 1986 at Siena College as the team’s linebackers coach. He would begin his AFL career in 1990 when he was named an assistant coach for the Albany Firebirds, a position he’d keep for two seasons before moving back to the college ranks. After brief stops at Hartwick College and Kentucky Wesleyan, James would settle in at Army, spending two seasons as the team’s offensive line coach.
In 1999, James returned to the AFL when he was named the offensive and defensive line coach for the Houston ThunderBears. He would move on to the Las Vegas Gladiators in 2002 when he became the team’s assistant head coach. James held this position for three seasons before taking over as head coach in 2005.
James was named the head coach of the Utah Blaze in 2010, leading the team to a 30-33 record over four seasons. He became the head coach of the Pittsburgh Power in 2014, coaching the team to a 15-2 record.
Known for his defense, James’ teams have consistently shown a knack for disrupting opposing offenses. During his time with Pittsburgh, his team led the League in interceptions (36), was second in scoring defense (43.2) and third in total defense (256.0)
A native of Albany, New York, James played four seasons at Siena, where he was an All-American offensive lineman.