Tampa Bay Storm
Tampa Bay Storm logo
League: Arena Football League
Conference: Eastern
Founded 1987 (as the Pittsburgh Gladiators)
Team History 1987-1990 as Pittsburgh Gladiators
1991-present as the Tampa Bay Storm
Team colors Blue, Gold, White               
Mascot Storm Dawg
Dancers Storm Dancers
Arena 1987–1990 Pittsburgh Civic Arena
1991–1996 Thunderdome
1996–present Tampa/St. Petersburg Times Forum
City 1987-1990 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
1991-present Tampa, Florida, U.S.
Team Owner Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment
(Jeffrey Vinik, chairman)[1]
Division titles 5: (AFL: 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2003)
Conference titles 5: (AFL: 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2003)
ArenaBowl titles 5: (AFL: 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2003)

The Tampa Bay Storm are an Arena Football League (AFL) team based in the Tampa Bay Area of Florida. They play their home games in the Amalie Arena (formerly the Tampa Bay Times Forum) in downtown Tampa.

The team began play in 1987 as the Pittsburgh Gladiators, one of the AFL's four charter franchises, and the only one still operating. They relocated to Tampa in 1991 and adopted their current name. They played in Tampa from 1991–2008, after which point the AFL folded, and resumed operations for the 2010 season following the league's restructuring. Together with the Orlando Predators they have been in their city for longer than any other AFL team. During their tenure they have won five ArenaBowl championships. They are coached by Dave Ewart.


Along with their traditional rivals, the Orlando Predators, they share the Arena Football League record for the longest tenure by a franchise in a single market area. They are also the last of the original four franchises (the Chicago Bruisers, Denver Dynamite and Washington Commandos were the other three) to have operated in continuous existence from the formation of the league in 1987 until the present.

Pittsburgh Gladiators (1987–1990)Edit


The franchise was originally known as the Pittsburgh Gladiators, and was one of the original four AFL teams formed in 1987. The team was named by Robert Ninehouser whose entry for the team name was selected in 1987. They originally played their home games at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Gladiators participated in ArenaBowls I and III, losing both.

Tampa Bay Storm (1991–present)Edit

The team moved from Pittsburgh, PA to Tampa, FL in 1991, with the team taking on the "Storm" nickname. The Cleveland Arena Football League franchise now bears the Gladiators name, however, the two organizations share no link in history nor records.

The Storm won the ArenaBowl in their first season in Tampa Bay (V) and have won four subsequent championships (VII, IX, X, and XVII). Up to the 2006 season, the Storm had qualified for the playoffs in every season but one during their time in Tampa Bay.

The team played in the former Thunder Dome in St. Petersburg (now called Tropicana Field) from 1991–1996, becoming its first regular team sports tenant. Since 1997, the team has played its home games in the Tampa Bay Times Forum (previously the Ice Palace and the St. Pete Times Forum) which is located in Tampa, FL.

The Storm competed in the Southern Division of the National Conference. They were coached by Tim Marcum, who is widely regarded as the greatest coach in Arena Football history.

The Storm have a heated rivalry with the Orlando Predators known as the War On I-4. Both teams have found success and have faced each other in the ArenaBowl and playoffs numerous times.

The team's current mascot is a dog named Storm Dawg.

On December 23, 2004, Sports Illustrated[2] wrote in its 'The 10 Spot' feature that the AFL's players' union filed a greivance against the Storm. The reason was that seven of the Storm's players claimed that some of the diamonds in their 2003 AFL championship rings were fake. Six of the seven players had left the team after the 2003 season. The Storm acknowledged that some of the rings did, in fact, include cubic zirconia instead of diamonds, and that different players received greater amounts of diamonds in their rings based on their contributions that season.

The Storm ended the 2006 season with a 7–9 record (4th in their Division), ending a 19-year streak of playoff appearances, dating back to their days as the Pittsburgh Gladiators and the start of the Arena Football League.

The Storm followed a 9–7 season and first-round playoff exit in 2007 with an 8–8 finish in 2008. They salvaged the .500 record by defeating the Los Angeles Avengers 72–47 in Tampa. There was no 2009 Arena Football League season due to the organization's ongoing financial difficulties, which eventually resulted in its filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, leaving it uncertain if the Storm, arguably the most successful team in the history of any form of indoor football, would ever play another game.

New futureEdit

A new arena football league, originally called Arena Football 1, formed in 2009. The Storm were not one of the initial 16 teams announced. However, Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings owner Dan Newman mentioned that the Storm were one of at least two former AFL franchises that were being negotiated with, the other being the San Jose SaberCats.[3] The new organization bought the rights to the intellectual property, including the team names, logos, histories, and patented rules of the old AFL in a bankruptcy auction, which allowed to function essentially as a full successor; after this action, the name Arena Football 1 was dropped and the group resumed operating as the Arena Football League. The Storm resumed full operations for the new league's 2010 season, with some players from the former roster, and once again coached by Tim Marcum and this time owned by Tampa Bay Storm Partners LLC, a group led by Todd Boren a previous partner with the Orlando Predators and the Arizona Rattlers. The AFL released the schedule for their inaugural season on December 31, 2009. The Storm returned during the opening weekend of the season on April 3, 2010.[4]

On February 17, 2010, it was formally announced that the AF1 had adopted the former Arena Football League name.

In the 2010 season, the Storm went 11–5, finishing second in the South Division. In the playoffs, they earned a trip to ArenaBowl XXIII, but lost to the Spokane Shock 57–69.

On February 17, 2011, Tim Marcum would resign as head coach of the Storm less than a month before the 2011 season was to begin, after having the position for 15 years. He left as the AFL's all-time winningest head coach with 211 wins. Dave Ewart was named as the team's new head coach the next day.[5][6] His resignation was sparked by an admission in a deposition related to a lawsuit he had filed against the Storm's previous owner, Robert Nucci. In that deposition, Marcum admitted to forwarding emails that were pornographic and racially tinged to other members of the Storm organization, using his work email address. [7]

Team Logo HistoryEdit

Seasons and coaches historyEdit

Pittsburgh GladiatorsEdit


Head coach Tenure Regular season
record (W-L)
Post season
record (W-L)
Most recent coaching staff Notes
Joe Haering 19871990 15–13[8] 0–3[8]
Darrel Jackson 1989 1–1[8] 1–1[8]

Tampa Bay StormEdit

Head coach Tenure Regular season
record (W–L)
Post season
record (W–L)
Most recent coaching staff Notes
Fran Curci 1991 8–2[9] 2–0[9] Arena Football League
Coach of the Year (1991).[9]
Lary Kuharich 19921994 25–9[10] 4–2[10] 1x ArenaBowl winning coach (VII).[10]
Tim Marcum 19952010
140–77[11] 16–10[11] Asst. Head Coach / Line
Coach / Dir. Player
Personnel: Dave Ewart
OC: Vacant
ST Coordinator / FB
/ LB Coach: Eddie Vowell
DL Coach: Pete Kuharchek
2x Arena Football League
Coach of the Year
(1987, 1998).
3x ArenaBowl winning coach
(in Tampa Bay only, seven overall)
(IX, X, XVII).[11]
Arena Football League
Hall of Fame (1998).[11]
Founder's Award winner (2001).[11]
Dave Ewart 20052006,
10–13[12] 0–0[12]


  1. {{cite web |url= |title=Lightning (NHL) Owner, Vinik, Purchases Storm
  2. The 10 Spot
  3., "Arena Football 1 to launch in 2010"
  4. 2010 Regular Season Schedule
  5. Tim Marcum Resigns After 15 Seasons With the Storm. Tampa Bay Storm (February 17, 2011). Retrieved on February 17, 2011.
  6. Storm Name Dave Ewart Head Coach. Tampa Bay Storm (February 17, 2011). Retrieved on February 17, 2011.
  7. Tim Marcum Resigns.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Joe Haering. Retrieved on 2008-10-25.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Fran Curci. Retrieved on 2008-10-25.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Lary Kuharich. Retrieved on 2008-10-25.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Tim Marcum. Retrieved on 2008-10-25.
  12. 12.0 12.1 ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Dave Ewart. Retrieved on 2008-10-25.