Lawrence Samuels - Head Coach
This will be Samuels’s first season as the head coach of the Storm. He spent the previous two seasons as the team’s assistant coach and offensive coordinator. Under his direction the team saw a vast improvement on the offensive end, finishing the 2013 season in the top-5 of several offensive categories including total offense and rushing offense.
Prior to joining the Storm coaching staff in 2011, Samuels spent two seasons as the wide receivers coach for Central State University (Wilberforce, OH). He was also a wide receivers coach for the USA Football summer camps sponsored by the National Football League, where he helped teach the fundamentals and skills necessary to be an effective wide receiver and defensive back. Samuels served two stints as the wide receivers coach for his alma mater, the University of West Alabama.
He spent 15 seasons with the Storm as a player and was a member of three ArenaBowl Championship teams. The legendary AFL Ironman starred at both the wide receiver and linebacker positions, and finished his career as the franchise 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). He was the first player in AFL history to record 1,000 receptions; the sixth player ever in professional football history to reach that milestone.
Samuels was elected to the 2013 Arena Football Hall of Fame Class this past 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
Kay, who has nearly 50 years of coaching experience, including 15 in the Arena Football League, serves the Storm coaching staff as Assistant Head Coach. 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 Coordinator
Hovan enters his second season with the Tampa Bay Storm and first season as Defensive Coordinator. He came to the Storm after spending 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.
Doug Miller – Offensive Coordinator
This will be Miller's first season as the Offensive Coordinator for the Storm. .