Kevin Guy completed his first season coaching in the Indoor Football League by winning the national championship. This was his 13th as a general manager and head coach, and his ninth in that position with the world champion Arizona Rattlers.
The Rattlers, led by Guy, went 14-4 in 2017, including a 10-game win streak to end the season. The team ended up winning it’s sixth national title, by defeating the six-time defending champions, the Sioux Falls Storm in the United Bowl by a score of 50-41.
Despite having to turn over almost the entire roster and creating an entirely new playbook, the transition to the new league did not affect the the team’s high-scoring offense. The Rattlers led the league in rushing, and was second in scoring offense, touchdowns scored and yards per game.
Prior to joining the IFL, Guy spent spent 16 seasons coaching in the Arena Football League. Guy ranks fifth on the AFL’s all-time coaching list with a 105-37 regular-season record. Guy’s .739 regular-season winning percentage in the AFL ranks No. 1 all-time (minimum 20 games), and he owns the top spot in postseason winning percentage in the AFL (14-5, .737).
In 2016, Guy led the Arizona Rattlers to an AFL record tenth ArenaBowl appearance, and earned the AFL Marcum-Moss Coach of the Year award for the second time.
In 2014, Guy became the first coach in AFL history to reach the championship game in four consecutive seasons, while leading Arizona to a third straight title, a 72-32 decision over the Cleveland Gladiators in ArenaBowl XXVII. The victory also moved Guy into a tie with the late Tim Marcum as the only coaches in League history to have won three titles in a row. Following the 2015 season, Guy was inducted into the University of West Alabama Hall of Fame.
Arizona turned in one of the most dominating seasons in AFL history in 2014. Under Guy, the Rattlers rolled up 14 straight victories – the best start in League history and the longest winning streak in a single season. The team also had won 18 games in a row dating back to 2013, a League record for the longest overall winning streak.
Arizona’s offense flourished under Guy. The Rattlers averaged an AFL-leading 63.9 points per game, scoring 70 points or more 10 times, including a season-high 83 points against the LA KISS (83-47) in Week 15. The Rattlers also led the League with 164 total touchdowns.
As a testament to the success of one of the AFL’s most-storied franchises, 17 of the players listed on Arizona’s 24-man roster heading into ArenaBowl XXVII had made a combined 41 appearances in the championship game and won 27 titles. Five of those players – quarterback Nick Davila, wide receiver Rod Windsor, offensive lineman Michael Huey, defensive back Marquis Floyd and defensive end Cliff Dukes — received All-Arena honors.
In 2013, Guy led the franchise to its third consecutive ArenaBowl appearance and second straight world championship, a 48-39 victory over the Philadelphia Soul. The Rattlers posted an AFL-record 18 victories (first set by the team in 2011), including a 15-3 record during the regular season that featured an 8-1 mark on their home turf at Ak-Chin Indian Community Field at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Under Guy, Arizona’s offense was explosive, scoring 170 touchdowns and averaging a league-leading 66.8 points per game. The Rattlers also fielded one of the league’s most stingy defenses, allowing only 48.1 points per game, second to Philadelphia’s 46.6. Guy also saw eight of his players receive All-Arena honors, including two first-teamers.
In 2012, Guy led Arizona to its first ArenaBowl championship in more than a decade. The Rattlers won 16 games, earning back-to-back West Division and National Conference championships. The offense scored 158 touchdowns during the regular season and averaged 62.1 points per game, while the defense forced 45 turnovers and allowed 48.9 points per game.
Guy’s 2011 team piled up 160 touchdowns during the regular season, averaging 61.9 points per game. The defense, meanwhile, forced 54 turnovers for a plus-34 turnover ratio – the best in the AFL – while holding opposing teams to 46.4 points per game. While the Rattlers would make their first ArenaBowl appearance since 2004, they would come up short in the final seconds, losing 73-70 to the Jacksonville Sharks.
An arenafootball2 Hall of Fame inductee, Guy has proven to be a consistent winner, owning a 72.6 winning percentage (122-46) as a head coach. In 2011, he was named NFL Network Coach of the Year.
Guy joined the Rattlers on Aug. 10, 2007. He had been serving as defensive coordinator for the San Jose SaberCats, which had just won ArenaBowl XXI. The Rattlers, meanwhile, were coming off the second-worst record in the league (4-12).
Guy immediately went to work. He retained only three players from the 2007 team and began the 2008 season with nine rookies and seven second-year players. Arizona would win four more games over the previous year and host a first-round playoff game against Grand Rapids. Guy finished second in voting for AFL Coach of the Year, one of only four coaches to receive votes for the award.
In 2010, the Rattlers would post their first winning season (10-6) since 2004 and reach the National Conference semifinals, losing 57-49 to the Spokane Shock.
While the AFL reorganized in 2009, Guy continued his duties with the Rattlers and served as a consultant to the general manager and head coach of the Rio Grande Valley Dorados (af2). Guy assisted with all aspects of the organization, including business and football operations. With the help of Guy’s advisement, Rio Grande Valley return to the af2 playoffs after failing to reach the postseason the previous year.
Guy left the af2 with the most wins in the history of the league when he joined the SaberCats in 2005. His 52 victories came in his four seasons, an average of 13 wins per season. He picked up a Coach of the Year award along the way and finished with a 73.2 winning percentage while leading the Tennessee Valley Vipers (2002-04) and Dorados (2005).
In 2005, Guy led the Texas-based Dorados to a 10-6 regular-season record and a trip to the league’s National Conference championship game. The Dorados’ last victory that season, a 65-42 decision over Tulsa in the playoffs, lifted him to the top of the league’s coaching leaders.
With Tennessee Valley, Guy’s teams won 39 of 48 regular-season games and claimed a division title each season. In 2003, the Vipers won their first 14 games and reached the conference championship game. Guy would be named Coach of the Year.
Guy’s teams consistently were ranked near the top of all major statistical categories during his tenure as an af2 coach. He had 31 players advance from the af2, with five joining the National Football League. He had 14 players earn All-af2 recognition.
In 2001, Guy became the defensive coordinator for the AFL’s Florida Bobcats, where his defense limited opposing teams to fewer than 30 points per game twice and forced 26 turnovers. Florida also averaged six defensive stops per game.
Guy joined the coaching ranks after an AFL playing career that lasted four seasons. He began the 2000 season as the defensive coordinator of the New Jersey Red Dogs. At 26, he was elevated to interim head coach for the last four games. His team was ranked fourth in the AFL in total defense and fifth in pass defense. Over those final four games, the Red Dogs averaged almost 10 more points per game than over the first 10 games.
As a player, Guy spent four seasons with the Minnesota Fighting Pike (1996), the Red Dogs (1997-99) and the Orlando Predators (1999), primarily as a wide receiver and defensive back. He helped the Predators reach ArenaBowl XIII.
Guy was born Dec. 6, 1972, in Birmingham, Ala., and attended the University of West Alabama from 1991 to 1995. He and his wife, Cathy, have two children, Alexa and Kody.
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