Dave Ewart - Head Coach
Ewart enters his third season as head coach of the Tampa Bay Storm. He spent the previous seven seasons as the director of player personnel and assistant head coach. This is his 17th season as a coach in the Arena Football League.
Last season, 2012, under Ewart's leadership, the Storm saw a dramatic improvement with the play on the field. Tampa Bay was much more competitive than the previous season as the team finished with a 7-2 record at home. Included in those wins were several exciting finishes as the Storm defeated South Division rival Sharks on the final play of the game at the home opener and then dropped the VooDoo in overtime at the home finale. For the fourth consecutive season under his guidance, the Storm had a lineman earn All-Arena honors.
2011, Ewart took over the reins less than a week before the start of training camp. After a 2-6 start, he orchestrated a mid-season turnaround that saw the Storm finish 5-5 through the final 10 games of the season, including impressive wins over ArenaBowl XXIII defending champion Spokane Shock and in-state rivals Orlando Predators prior to ending the season with a dramatic come from behind victory over the San Jose SaberCats in the final game of the season.
He guided a defense that set an AFL single-season record with 41 sacks. Over the past two seasons his defensive line has combined for 70 sacks, the second highest total in a two-season span in League history. Ewart’s defense finished 2011 ranked third in the AFL, thanks in part to the pass rush that aided a passing defense that finished tied for first in the AFL.
In 2010, he guided a defensive line that collected the second most sacks (29) in the AFL as the team went on to play in ArenaBowl XXIII. He also guided one of the stingiest offensive lines in the AFL as the team allowed only 12 sacks the entire season, four less than the previous season.
In 2008 his offensive line did not yield a sack in seven games and finished as the sixth best line in the AFL yielding only 16 sacks. Additionally the offensive line paved the way for 32 rushing touchdowns, third most in the AFL and was efficient goal-line rushing attack that season with a league-high 28.8 percent touchdown conversion rate per attempt.
In 2007 Ewart fought through a revolving door on the offensive line early in the year due to injuries. His hard work resulted in a cohesive unit that helped protect a rookie quarterback to make the playoffs. In 2006 Ewart served as interim head coach for the Storm in the first three weeks of the season and won two games. Included among those games was a, 61-60, victory in the Storm home opener against the Georgia Force. The victory over the Force extended a Storm win streak to 12 consecutive victories at the St. Pete Times Forum. His overall record as head coach for the Storm is 3-2. He went 1-1 in 2005.
Ewart began his AFL coaching career in 1994 as the special teams coach and offensive line coach for the Cleveland Thunderbolts. In 1995 he moved on to the St. Louis Stampede where he served as the defensive coordinator. The following season the front office of the Stampede chose him to become the head coach for the 1996 campaign.
In 1997, Ewart moved on to his second head coaching position with the Texas Terror where he also was the general manager. The Terror, who finished 1996 with a 1-13 record, improved under Ewart’s guidance and finished the 1997 season with a respectable 6-8 record.
From there Ewart moved on to become defensive coordinator and line coach for the Florida Bobcats in 1998. He then moved on to the New England Sea Wolves where he spent a one year stint as the Sea Wolves defensive coordinator for the 1999 season.
In 2000, he re-joined the head coaching ranks once again. He served as head coach and director of football operations for the Florida Bobcats during the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
Ewart played offensive line for two seasons (1987-88) at Salem College (West Virginia) under Terry Bowden. He then transferred to East Tennessee State University (1989-90) where he enjoyed a productive two-year stint. During his time at ETSU, Ewart was a two-time All-Conference selection and named to the Division 1-AA All-America team. He coached with current Arizona University head coach Rich Rodriguez while at Glenville State.
Lawrence Samuels - Offensive Coordinator
The Tampa Bay Storm and legendary AFL Ironman, Lawrence Samuels, returns to the Storm for his 17th season with the franchise, second as a coach and first full season as offensive coordinator. He took over play calling duties in the latter part of the 2012 season.
The Franchise’s all-time leading receiver, Lawrence will directly be responsible for coaching the wide receivers and special teams.
He spent the 2011 season as the wide receivers coach at Central State (Wilberforce, OH) where he was the passing game coordinator and assisted in coaching the special teams units. Prior to that he was the consummate professional and veteran wider receiver with the Tampa Bay Storm where he assisted in the development of new and rookie receivers teaching them how to break down film and write up scouting reports.
During his tenure as a wide receiver with the Storm he held several high school coaching positions where he instructed high school athletes in the fundamentals of the wide receiver and defensive back position, as well as assembled weekly scouting reports and film breakdowns.
He also coached for USA football at their numerous summer football camps sponsored by the National Football League. His duties included fundamental and skills teaching at the wide receiver and defensive back positions and tutoring team skills, life skills and leadership.
Samuels served two stints as the wide receiver coach at his alma mater West Alabama, where he learned the intricacies of coaching, coordinating the passing game, mentoring and advising student-athletes, coordinating conditioning programs, recruiting student-athletes and monitoring NCAA academic rules and regulations.
He was the AFL’s all-time leading wide receiver prior to the end of his career. He was the first player in AFL history to record 1,000 receptions and the sixth player ever in professional football to reach that milestone. He retired as the Storm all-time leader in receptions (967), receiving yards (11,078), receiving touchdowns (160), points scored (1,076), fumble recoveries (32), forced fumbles (20) and tackles (455.5) and was second in all-purpose yards (11,651) and interceptions (32).
He is the only player in the history of the AFL to earn both MVP and Ironman of the Game honors in an Arena Bowl. He was a member of three AFL Championships teams and one of the greatest two-way players to ever play the game of Arena Football.
He and his wife Kellei live in Wesley Chapel with their two daughters Landry and Wilson.
Doug Kay - Defensive Backs Coach
Kay, who has nearly 50 years of coaching experience, including 15 in the Arena Football League, joins Ewart's coaching staff as a defensive assistant. He began his AFL career in 1993 as the defensive coordinator for the ArenaBowl VII Champion Tampa Bay Storm and returned as the special teams coach in 2002.
He last coached in the AFL with the Columbus Destroyers from 2006-08, where as head coach he led the team to its first and only ArenaBowl appearance. In 1997 he was the defensive coordinator for ArenaBowl XI Champion Arizona Rattlers. During his career in the AFL he has served as either the head coach or defensive coordinator with the Albany Firebirds, Charlotte Rage Carolina Cobras and Los Angeles Avengers.
He began his coaching career as a position coach, quarterbacks and defensive backs, at his alma mater Western Illinois in 1960. Kay then spent five seasons as the head coach at Deerfield H.S. (Ill.) prior to returning to the collegiate ranks as the defensive coordinator at Indiana State University for three years. In 1970 Kay was named the head coach at Olivet College (MI). After six seasons he took over the role of offensive coordinator at San Jose State prior to joining UCLA as a defensive assistant coach from 1977-1979.
In 1980, he joined the University of Hawaii as the associate head coach and defensive coordinator for three seasons. He then spent the next four seasons coaching in the USFL with the Boston/New Orleans Breakers, and Tampa Bay Bandits and an additional two seasons in the World League as defensive coordinator with the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks and head coach with Team Dallas prior to joining the coaching ranks of the AFL.
A native of Chicago, Kay served in the U.S. Army for two years from 1954-56. He received a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1961 from Western Illinois University, where he played both football and baseball. On the gridiron, he played under the tutelage of Lou Saban as a quarterback, tight end and punter. He went on to earn a master's degree in physical education at Indiana State University in 1966.
He and his wife, Dawn, live in the Tampa Bay area and have two children Kimber and Bart.
Doug Kay’s Coaching Career
Chris Hovan - Defensive Line Coach
Hovan enters his first season with the Tampa Bay Storm as an assistant coach and will be responsible for coaching the defensive line. He spent the past two years at the University of South Florida where he was a member of the Strength and Conditioning Staff for the athletic program.
He began as an intern on the staff in 2011 working directly with the football program and assisted with 14 other sports as well. In 2012 he was promoted to Assistant Strength and Conditioning coach working specifically with the football program.
An 11-year veteran of the National Football League, Hovan began his career as a first-round draft pick (25th overall) for the Minnesota Vikings. After five seasons with the Vikings, during which time he was a consensus All-Rookie pick (2000) and earned All-Pro honors (2002), he signed a free-agent contract that would bring him to the Tampa Bay area to play with the Buccaneers.
In his first season with the Buccaneers (2005), the defense finished as top unit in the NFL. He would spend five seasons with Tampa Bay prior to joining the St. Louis Rams. A back injury derailed him for the 2010 season, his 11th in the NFL, and he was placed on injured reserve during training camp for the remainder of the season.
For his career, Hovan appeared in 156 games and started 149 of them. He finished his career with 362 tackles, 22 sacks, 14 pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
A native of Rocky River, OH, Hovan prepped at St, Ignatius H.S. (Cleveland, OH) where he was a star football and lacrosse player, earning state and national recognition in each sport. He went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in business from Boston College where earned All-America honors and was a semi-finalist for the Lombardi Award his senior season. Hovan was the first player in school history to earn All-Big East honors three times. He started 43-of-45 games while at BC and still ranks third all-time in career sacks (20.5) and tackles for a loss (43). While still playing the NFL, he participated in the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern.
He and his wife, Jaimi, live in the Tampa Bay area with their three children and remain active members in the Tampa Bay community.