Tampa Bay Storm Press Release
“As a team, we felt the need to head in a different direction in terms of coaching staff,” said Storm head coach Lawrence Samuels. “We have added several years of AFL experience that will only benefit us during the season. I can say that we cannot wait to get back on the sidelines this year and give the Storm fans a team that can contend every weekend.”
Cokinos will serve as the squad’s assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, while Stafford will be an offensive assistant coach.
“With Lawrence, Dean and Shane, we have added close to 40 years of Arena Football League experience on the sidelines,” said Storm President Derrick Brooks. “We believe that we have started to form a staff that will help make us contenders heading into 2016.”
Cokinos enters his eighth season in the Arena Football League and first on the Storm’s coaching staff. He most recently served as the head coach of the New Orleans VooDoo. Cokinos began his AFL career with the Nashville Kats in 2005 where he served as the team’s assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and Director of Player Personnel. In 2010 he was named the head coach of the Alabama Vipers, a team that would relocate to Georgia and become the Force. Cokinos spent three seasons with the Force franchise, leading the team to the AFL playoffs in 2011 and 2012.
“I am excited about the opportunity to join the Tampa Bay Storm organization,” said Cokinos. “Over the years, they have proven to be the model for operating an Arena Football League franchise. I am really looking forward to working with Derrick, Lawrence and the entire staff to help develop the product on the field.”
Prior to joining the Alabama Vipers, Cokinos was the head coach of the Tennessee Valley Vipers of the af2. In two seasons, he posted a 21-11 record as the Vipers head coach, leading the team to an ArenaCup championship in 2008.
Stafford returns to the team he began his AFL career with in 2001. The Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania native joins the Storm as an offensive assistant coach, helping Samuels develop the quarterbacks and receivers. Stafford is an eight-year veteran of the AFL as both a player and a coach. He played five seasons with the Storm, finishing his career as the team’s all-time leader in pass completions (1,357), pass attempts (2,143), passing yardage (15,667) and passing touchdowns (289).
“I’m excited to be back in the blue and gold here in Tampa,” said Stafford. “I am looking forward to the opportunity and will help this organization in any way that I can.”