Lawrence Samuels - Head Coach
19th AFL Season | 18th with the Storm | 2nd as Head Coach
The Tampa Bay Storm and Arena Football League Hall of Famer, Lawrence Samuels, enters his second 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
Dean Cokinos - Assistant Head Coach
8th AFL Season | 1st With The Storm
Dean Cokinos enters his first season as the assistant head coach of the Tampa Bay Storm. This is his first season with team and eighth in the Arena Football League.
Cokinos began his AFL coaching career the Nashville Kats in 2005. He would go on to serve as the team’s Assistant Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Director of Personnel from 2005 – 2007. While he was with Nashville, Cokinos scouted professional arena and indoor league players for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League.
In 2010, Cokinos was named the Head Coach of the Alabama Vipers, a team that would relocate to Georgia as the Force in September of that year. While with the Force, Cokinos would help lead the team to two consecutive playoff appearances in 2011 and 2012.
Cokinos also has experience coaching in af2 with the Tennessee Valley Vipers. He was the team’s head coach in 2008 and 2009, leading the Vipers to an ArenaCup Championship over the Spokane Shock in 2008. The 2008 af2 championship game was voted as the top af2 game of all-time.
After his time with the Force, Cokinos returned to Alabama and was named the head coach of the Alabama Hammers of the PIFL in 2013. Cokinos would find immediate success in the PIFL, leading the Hammers to its first-ever Championship and earning Coach of the Year Honors.
After a two-year stint with the Hammers, Cokinos returned to the AFL when he was named the head coach of the New Orleans VooDoo.
During his time in the AFL, Cokinos also served on the six-man AFL Coaches Advisory Board and was proactive in enforcing league rules and policies.
Cokinos has international football experience from his time in the German Football League, which served as an NFL Europe developmental ground. Cokinos was a Head Coach and General Manager of teams in Munich and Berlin.
Cokinos also has experience coaching at the collegiate level serving as an assistant coach at Austin Peay State University, The University of West Alabama and the University of Massachusetts. Cokinos coached current Storm head coach Lawrence Samuels during his tenure at the University of West Alabama.
Cokinos and his wife, Trina, have two daughters, Isidora and Alexandria, and reside in Franklin, Tennessee.
Dean Cokinos' Coaching Career
Shane Stafford - Offensive Assistant Coach