Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Storm taps Samuels as coach

Lawrence Samuels was a member of three ArenaBowl Championship teams.

Times files (2008)

Lawrence Samuels was a member of three ArenaBowl Championship teams.

TAMPA — Few names carry as much weight in the Storm history books as Lawrence Samuels.

On Thursday, another chapter began.

The Storm named Samuels, one of the greatest players in Arena Football League history, the organization's sixth head coach. Samuels played 15 seasons for the Storm and has been an assistant the past two years.

"I was confident going in, but it was a vigorous interview process and you never know," said Samuels, 43. "But I believed I was qualified for the job."

Samuels had been the team's offensive coordinator the past two seasons under Dave Ewart, who was let go after a first-round playoff loss. Samuels has also spent time as wide receivers coach for Central State and his alma mater, West Alabama.

"Lawrence has been a staple of the Storm franchise since joining the team in 1994," Storm president Derrick Brooks said. "We believe that he is ready to make the next step and take the reins as the team's head coach."

Samuels was elected to the AFL Hall of Fame in August. A wideout and linebacker, he finished as the franchise leader in receptions (967), receiving yards (11,078), receiving touchdowns (160), points (1,076), fumble recoveries (32), forced fumbles (20) and tackles (455.5).

Samuels said his first priority will be maintaining core talent, mentioning All-Arena wideout Joe Hills, quarterback Adrian McPherson and defensive lineman Rodney Beamon.

"The last couple of years we haven't had a solid nucleus and I want to make those guys the building blocks," Samuels said. "We have some tools to work with, and I am very excited about this opportunity."

Storm taps Samuels as coach 09/05/13 [Last modified: Thursday, September 5, 2013 9:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Mikhail Sergachev quickly feels at home with Lightning

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — When D Mikhail Sergachev took the ice Wednesday for the first time in a Lightning uniform, he was quickly embraced by fans at the Ice Sports Forum.

    Lightning prospect Mikhail Sergachev skates during the Lightning Development Camp Wednesday at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  2. USF hoops to play at Indiana in November


    The USF men's basketball team is set to get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse in non-conference play next season.

  3. Mariners lose lefty Drew Smyly to Tommy John surgery


    SEATTLE — Drew Smyly was the centerpiece to one of Seattle's many offseason moves by general manager Jerry Dipoto. He was a priority acquisition as a proven lefty for the rotation the Mariners believed would thrive pitching at Safeco Field.

    Drew Smyly will undergo Tommy John surgery after being diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Seattle announced the diagnosis on Wednesday, ending Smyly's hopes of returning during the 2017 season. [AP photo]
  4. Jones: Steve Yzerman's plan for getting the Lightning back into the playoffs

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Seems like forever since the Lightning played a game.

    If the Lightning season started right now, would Steve Yzerman be happy with what he has? "We're still a couple of players short,'' Yzerman said.. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. Mikhail Sergachev said he felt comfortable and welcomed in his first day in a Lightning uniform.