20th AFL Season | 1st With The Storm | 1st as Head Coach
Ron James enters his 20th season in the Arena Football League and his first with the Storm as the team’s head coach. James brings over 30 years of experience to Tampa, eight of which have been spent as head coach. He spent the 2016 season with the Portland Steel, acting as the team’s head coach.
James began his coaching career in 1986 at his alma mater, Siena College, as the team’s linebackers coach. He would spend a season at Siena before moving on to St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY) where he was the team’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach from 1989-91.
In 1990, James began his AFL career when he was named an assistant coach for the Albany Firebirds. He would return to the collegiate ranks in 1992 when he was introduced as the defensive coordinator for Hartwick College. After two seasons, he moved on to Kentucky Wesleyan College, finally settling in at Army, serving as the team’s offensive line coach for two seasons (1998-99).
James returned to the AFL in 1999 with the Houston ThunderBears, before settling in with the Las Vegas Gladiators as the team’s assistant head coach. He held this position for three seasons before taking over as the team’s head coach in 2005. As the Gladiators’ head coach, James would head a team that would lead the League in both total offense and total defense. In two seasons as head coach, James would help lead the team to multiple team records, including season records in passing yards (4,664) and total yards (4,996).
In 2007, James joined the Utah Blaze, becoming the team’s head coach in 2010. Over four seasons, James led the team to a 30-33 record, including a team best 12-6 record in 2012, earning him AFL Head Coach of the Year honors.
James would eventually be named the head coach of the Pittsburgh Power in 2014, leading the team to a 15-2 record. Known for his defense, the Power led the League in interceptions (36), was second in scoring defense (43.2) and third in total defense (256.0).
A native of Albany, NY, James prepped at Christian Brothers Academy (Albany) before enrolling at Siena to play on the offensive line. He played four seasons at Siena, where he was an All-American offensive lineman.