Lawrence Samuels - Head Coach
19th AFL Season | 18th With The Storm | 1st as Head Coach
18th season with the Storm – 19th season in the AFL – First as Head Coach
The Tampa Bay Storm and Arena Football League Hall of Famer, Lawrence Samuels, enters his first season as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Storm. This is his 18th season with the Storm and 19th in the Arena Football League. He spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach.
Before joining the Storm coaching staff in 2012, 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 positions, 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 one of only two players 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 will be inducted into the Arena Football Hall of Fame during the 2014 season.
He and his wife Kellei live in Wesley Chapel with their two daughters Landry and Wilson.
Lawrence Samuels’s Coaching Career
Doug Kay - Assistant Head Coach
17th AFL Season | 4th With The Storm
Kay, who has over 50 years of coaching experience, including 17 in the Arena Football League, joins Samuels’s coaching staff as an assistant head coach. He began his AFL career in 1993 as the defensive coordinator for the ArenaBowl VII Champion Tampa Bay Storm, returning as the special teams coach in 2002 and defensive backs coach in 2013.
He was 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 Coordinator
2nd Season with Tampa Bay – 2nd Season in AFL
Hovan enters his second season with the Tampa Bay Storm as the team’s defensive coordinator. He joined the team last season as its defensive line coach. Prior to joining the Storm he spent 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 in the NFL, he participated in the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern.
Doug Miller – Offensive Coordinator
12th AFL Season | 1st With The Storm
Miller enters his first season with the Storm as the team’s offensive coordinator. He joins the team after spending the past two seasons with the New Orleans VooDoo coaching staff. Miller began his coaching career with the Orlando Predators in 2010. Miller also served as the assistant defensive line coach for the Florida Tuskers of the UFL in 2011.
As 12-year veteran of the AFL, Miller played for the Orlando Predators for seven years and was a two-time All-Ironman Team selection. He finished his career with 75.5 tackles and 9.5 sacks. He helped lead Orlando to a playoff appearance all seven years of play including an appearance in ArenaBowl XX.
A Tampa, FL native, Miller began his professional career in the National Football League with the Atlanta Falcons. He also played a season with the Scottish Claymores (NFL Europe) and the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. Miller played collegiately at Howard University and was a four-year letter winner and two-year starter on the defensive line.