TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Storm is pleased to announce the return of Chris Hovan as assistant head coach, along with the addition of Joshua Bauman as offensive line coach, Michael Feagin as defensive backs coach and Ernie Leal as quality control.
“The organization is pleased with the makeup of the coaching staff heading into the 2015 season,” said Storm President Derrick Brooks. “With Lawrence leading the staff, the return of Chris and the addition of Joshua, Michael and Ernie, we feel that the team is building a professional and dedicated staff that the players can rely on.”
“Last season the coaching staff laid a foundation to build upon,” said Storm Head Coach Lawrence Samuels. “With Chris returning, and the addition of Josh, Mike and Ernie, we will build on last season, looking to bring a winning team back to Tampa.”
Hovan returns for his third season with the Storm, now as the team’s assistant head coach. His primary role will be to develop the Storm’s defensive game plan, along with coaching the team’s defensive line. Before joining the Storm, Hovan spent two years at the University of South Florida working as a member of the Bulls Strength and Conditioning staff. The 11-year National Football League veteran and former All-Pro (2002) spent five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings before joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent.
“I’m looking forward to getting back out on the sidelines with this coaching staff,” said Hovan. “We all have one mindset and that is bringing winning AFL football back to Tampa, giving the fans a team they can be proud of.”
Bauman enters his first season with the Storm as the team’s offensive line coach. The Athol Springs, NY native brings several years of experience, working with collegiate and professional coaching staffs. Most recently, he spent the 2014 season with the University at Buffalo (NY) as the team’s senior defensive analyst. Bauman brings a wealth of knowledge to the staff, having coached both offense and defense for multiple collegiate programs. He began his AFL career in 2010 with the Cleveland Gladiators where he was a football operations assistant.
“I’m excited to be joining Coach Samuels and the rest of the coaching staff this season with the Storm,” said Bauman. “I want to thank Lawrence, Derrick and Jeff for giving me the opportunity to coach for this historic franchise.”
Feagin joins the staff for his first coaching stint in the Arena Football League as the Storm’s defensive backs coach. The Greenville, AL native brings several years of both playing and coaching experience. Feagin began his professional career with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League before moving on to the Tampa Bay Storm where he was teammates with Storm head coach Lawrence Samuels.
“It is an honor to return to the Storm and help on the sidelines,” said Feagin. “For years the Storm has been the premier team in the Arena Football League, and I will do everything that I can to help this team return to prominence.”
Leal begins his first season with the Storm working as its assistant coach for quality control. He comes to the Storm after spending the 2013 season with the Miami Dolphins (NFL). The Livonia, NY native spent three seasons with the University of South Florida working in football quality control and player personnel. He began his coaching career in 2009 working on the Bulls’ strength and conditioning staff before moving on to Syracuse University in 2010.
“It is an honor to work for such a storied organization,” said Leal. “They have a rich history of winning championships and I look forward to helping this team win in any way that I can.”