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Arizona Rattlers

Arizona Rattlers
Current season
Established 1992
Play in Talking Stick Resort Arena
in Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona Rattlers helmet
Arizona Rattlers logo
Helmet Logo
League/conference affiliations

Arena Football League (1992–present)

  • American Conference (1992–2008)
  • National Conference (2010–present)
    • West (1992–2015)
Team colors

Black, Copper, Teal, White

Mascot Fang and Stryker
Owner(s) Ron Shurts
President Chris Presson
General manager Kevin Guy
Head coach Kevin Guy
Team history
  • Arizona Rattlers (1992–present)
Team nicknames

League championships (5)

Conference championships (4)
2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Prior to 2005, the AFL did not have conference championship games

Division championships (10)

Playoff appearances (20)
1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Home arena(s)

The Arizona Rattlers are a professional arena football team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are currently members of the National Conference in the Arena Football League (AFL) and the defending ArenaBowl champions. The Rattlers were founded in 1992 as an expansion team, and are the third oldest active franchise in the AFL. They play their home games at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Rattlers are led by Head Coach Kevin Guy. Since the team's establishment in 1992, the Rattlers have won ten division titles and have played in nine ArenaBowl Championship games, winning championships in 1994, 1997, 2012, 2013 and 2014.


  • History 1
    • Founding and White Era (1991-2004) 1.1
    • Kevin Guy coaching era (2008–present) 1.2
  • Notable players 2
    • Current roster 2.1
    • Retired uniform numbers 2.2
    • Arena Football League Hall of Famers 2.3
    • Individual awards 2.4
    • Arizona Rattlers All-Arena players 2.5
    • Arizona Rattlers All-Ironman players 2.6
    • Arizona Rattlers All-Rookie players 2.7
  • Notable coaches 3
    • Head coaches 3.1
    • Staff 3.2
  • Team ownership 4
  • Season-by-season 5
  • Media 6
    • 1999-2004 Season 6.1
    • 2005-2008 Season 6.2
    • 2010 Season 6.3
    • 2011 Season 6.4
    • 2012-2014 Season 6.5
    • 2015-Present Season 6.6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Founding and White Era (1991-2004)

In 1987, it was speculated that the Phoenix, Arizona area would be a target for the newly formed Arena Football League (AFL).[1]

On September 11, 1991, it was announced that Jerry Colangelo had been awarded an expansion franchise in the AFL in Phoenix.[2] Colangelo, owner of the NBA's Phoenix Suns, first approached Frank Kush to coach his team, but Kush declined the invitation.[3] In October 1991, the team announced that former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Danny White would be the franchise's first head coach.[4] In December 1991, the team announced that they would named the Arizona Rattlers after more than 250 people suggested that the team's nickname should be the Rattlers, while 55% of their responders picked "Arizona" over "Phoenix".[5]

In 1992, the Rattlers began their first two games on the road, and won their home debut in front of a 15,505 sell-out crowd at America West Arena by a score of 56-31 over the Sacramento Attack.[6]

In 1994, the Rattlers captured their first ArenaBowl championship, with a 36-31 victory over the Orlando Predators.[7]

In December 1999, Gene Nudo, White and Will Meris pursued the purchase of the Rattlers from Colangelo.[8]

Kevin Guy coaching era (2008–present)

In 2008, it was announced that Brett Bouchy would become the new owner of the Arizona Rattlers. After the Rattlers had a 4–12 record in 2007, Brett Bouchy hired Kevin Guy as the new Arizona Rattlers head coach in the 2008 season and the Rattlers improved to an 8–8 record and cliched playoff berth for the first time since 2006, but lost in the first round. In August 2009, numerous media outlets began reporting that the AFL was folding permanently and would file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The league released a statement on August 4 to the effect that while the league was not folding, it was suspending league operations indefinitely. Despite this, several of the league's creditors filed papers to force a Chapter 7 liquidation if the league did not do so voluntarily.[22] This request was granted on August 7, though converted to a Chapter 11 reorganization on August 26. However Brett Bouchy and a group of investors planned to launch a new league called Arena Football 1 and helped the Arizona Rattlers and the Orlando Predators to become two of the four teams to survive and return in 2010 with Arena Football 1. In early 2010, it was announced that Arena Football 1 was granted the trademarks to the AFL brand and was renamed the Arena Football League. In 2011, after Brett Bouchy was able keep both the Arizona Rattlers and the Orlando Predators alive, he was forced to let go of ownership to one of the teams and that became the Arizona Rattlers.

On May 12, 2011, Ron Shurts became the new majority owner of the Rattlers franchise.[9]

In 2011, the Rattlers won 16 games in the regular season, a league-record for wins in a single regular season. In the playoffs, by winning the National Conference championship, they clinched a berth in ArenaBowl XXIV. They lost the game to the Jacksonville Sharks when Jacksonville quarterback Aaron Garcia threw a game-winning touchdown pass on the game's final play. The Rattlers redeemed themselves the following season, winning ArenaBowl XXV over the Philadelphia Soul to win their first title in 15 years.[10]

In 2013, the Rattlers and Soul met again in ArenaBowl XXVI, with the Rattlers winning yet again, 48-39. This made them the first team since 1995 to win back-to-back championships, and the first team in history to beat the same team for both titles.[11][12]

In 2014, the Rattlers went 15–3 in the regular season after a 14-game winning streak to start the season, and defeated the Cleveland Gladiators in ArenaBowl XXVII by a score of 72–32, becoming the first team in AFL history to win three consecutive AFL championships since the Detroit Drive of 1988–1990, as well as establishing the largest margin of victory (40 points) in an ArenaBowl.[13]

In 2015, the Rattlers went 14-4 in the regular season and made it to the Conference Championships but lost to the San Jose Sabercats 70-67, a team which had twice beaten them in the regular season. This ended their streak of consecutive ArenaBowl appearances at four.

Notable players

Current roster

Retired uniform numbers

Arizona Rattlers retired numbers
Player Position Seasons Date Retired Ref.
13 Sherdrick Bonner QB 1993-2007 June 16, 2010 [14]
14 Hunkie Cooper WR/LB 1993-2005 May 6, 2005 [15]
17 Randy Gatewood WR/DB 1996-2007 May 9, 2008 [16]

Arena Football League Hall of Famers

Arizona Rattlers Hall of Famers
No. Name Year Inducted Position(s) Years w/ Rattlers
13 Sherdrick Bonner 2012 QB 1993–2007
14 Hunkie Cooper 2011 WR/LB 1993–2005
17 Randy Gatewood 2012 WR/DB 1996–2007
44 Bob McMillen 2013 FB/LB 1995–2000
-- Gene Nudo 2011 Executive/Head Coach 1993–2007
-- Danny White 2002 Head Coach 1994–2002

Individual awards

Arizona Rattlers All-Arena players

The following Rattlers players have been named to All-Arena Teams:

Arizona Rattlers All-Ironman players

The following Rattlers players have been named to All-Ironman Teams:

Arizona Rattlers All-Rookie players

The following Rattlers players have been named to All-Rookie Teams:

Notable coaches

Head coaches

Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 2014 Arena Football League season.
Name Term Regular Season Playoffs Awards
W L T Win% W L
Danny White 19922004 121 55 0 .688 20 10 1993 Coach of the Year
Todd Shell 2005 7 9 0 .438 0 0
Gene Nudo 20062007 12 20 0 .375 1 1
Kevin Guy 2008–present 77 27 0 .740 11 3 2011 Coach of the Year


Team ownership

The Arizona Rattlers introduced Ron Shurts as the team’s new majority owner on May 12, 2011.[9]

"I have been an Arizona Rattlers season ticket holder since day one and attended the first Arizona Rattlers game at America West Arena. I believe in the team and the Arena Football League," said Shurts. "I want to bring the passion and excitement for Rattlers football back to US Airways Center and the Valley."

"Downtown Phoenix continues to grow and the Rattlers will be an integral part of the affordable, family-fun entertainment that the Suns and the Mercury are providing the local community," Shurts added.



1999-2004 Season

KASW-TV WB6 became the first ever broadcast home for the Arizona Rattlers beginning in the 1999 season. They continued the partnership until after the 2004 season.

2005-2008 Season

After the 2004 season. The Arizona Rattlers announced a deal to move their broadcasts to Fox Sports Arizona beginning in the 2005 season as part of the new Arena Football League's Regional local broadcasts deal with the Fox Sports Networks.

2010 Season

After the cancellation of the 2009 season and return of the Arena Football League. The Arizona Rattlers announced a new broadcast deal with KAZT-TV AZTV 7 to broadcast up to eight games of the 2010 season. The partnership ended after one season after KAZT would not renew their broadcast partnership with the Rattlers in the 2011 season.

2011 Season

After major changes of ownership throughout the 2011 season the Arizona Rattlers announced a new broadcast deal in mid season to return to Fox Sports Arizona with some games carried on Fox Sports Arizona Plus.

2012-2014 Season

As the 2012 season approached the Arizona Rattlers would again announced that they would be moving their broadcasts to a new home this time to Cox7 Arizona with longtime Arizona sports caster Kevin Ray and Dale Hellestrae calling the game in the booth with Chris Harris on the sidelines and Lindsay Smith on Social Media. Cox7 was known as the Rattlers best broadcaster by televising all nine of their home games including selected away games that were simulcasted to other teams broadcasts. Cox7 also did Pregame Shows with the Rattlers before every home game showing documentaries and Talking LIVE before the game. The Partnership became a major success for Cox7 the Arizona Rattlers later extended their contract with Cox7 through the 2014 season when the announcement was made in November 2012.

2015-Present Season

After the major success with Cox7 Arizona the Arizona Rattlers would not renew with Cox7 Arizona after their contrat expire in the 2014 season and announced they would move their broadcasts back to Fox Sports Arizona with broadcasting up to only three home games and one playoff game on Fox Sports Arizona Plus. However the Rattlers still carried over the same broadcast team from Cox7 Arizona with Kevin Ray, Dale Hellestrae, and Chris Harris calling the game. The Rattlers can also be seen on National broadcasts on ESPN2 and CBS Sports Network.


  1. ^ "Phoenix may get indoor team". Mohave Daily Miner. July 24, 1987. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Arena expansion planned". The Daily Gazette. October 2, 1991. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Kush says no to new Phoenix team". The News. September 13, 1991. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Ex-Cowboy White new Arena coach". Spokane Chronicle. October 11, 1991. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ "'"Arena football team settles on 'Rattlers. The Prescott Courier. December 8, 1991. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ Mel Relsner (June 17, 1992). "51-36? Doesn't seem like 'real' football". Kingman Daily Miner. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ Tim Hipps (September 3, 1994). "Rattlers bite Predators at ArenaBowl". The News-Journal. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Danny White interetsed in purchasing Arizona Rattlers". The Daily Courier. December 17, 1999. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Williams, Cory. "Arena Football: Arizona Rattlers Find New Majority Owner, Ron Shurts". SB Nation Arizona. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "Game Statistics". Arena Football League. August 10, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Arizona Rattlers Repeat as ArenaBowl Champions". Arena Football League. August 17, 2013. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  12. ^ Joe Williams (August 17, 2013). "ArenaBowl XXVI: Rattlers win 2nd Arena Football League title in row". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Arizona Rattlers To Retire Shedrick Bonner's Jersey". Stryker-Indigo. June 12, 2010. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  15. ^ Darren Urban (May 6, 2005). "Rattlers to honor former star at halftime ceremony". East Valley Tribune. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Rattlers To Retire Randy Gatewood's Number 17". OurSports Central. April 29, 2008. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 

External links

  • Official Website
  • Official Home of Live Rattlers Games and Video Highlights
  • Arizona Rattlers at
  • Rattler Report
  • Rattlers coverage from The Arizona Republic/
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