Former Shelby County High and current head coach of the Arizona Rattlers Kevin Guy looks to lead the team to back to back ArenaBowl championships. (Contributed/Bruce Yeung)
Former Shelby County High and current head coach of the Arizona Rattlers Kevin Guy looks to lead the team to back to back ArenaBowl championships. (Contributed/Bruce Yeung)

Archived Story

Guy leads Rattlers to ArenaBowl

Published 4:40pm Tuesday, August 13, 2013

By DREW GRANTHUM / Sports Writer

Leading a large number of individuals to try to come together to achieve a common goal is a tall order in any case. When that large number of individuals just happens to be a professional sports team, and the goal happens to be winning your league’s championship, it only makes it more difficult.

Difficult as it may be, former Shelby County High School graduate and current Arena Football league head coach Kevin Guy will look to do exactly that Aug. 17, as he leads the Arizona Rattlers to their third consecutive ArenaBowl appearance. The Rattlers took home last season’s championship.

“We really haven’t talked about a repeat,” he said. “We had 40 percent turnover on the roster (from last season). “

He said the support from the team’s ownership and the Rattlers’ hometown was something that made an impression on him.

“I feel real blessed,” he said. “I have great assistant coaches. It’s something the city of Phoenix is on fire about.”

It wasn’t always easy, as any coach can attest, but Guy said it has been worth it.

“It’s been a long road,” he said. “I’ve moved my family all over the country. We’ve been a lot of places. I didn’t know at 23 (the AFL) would give me a career. I knew since 12 I wanted to coach.”

Guy, who moved to Shelby County in eighth grade and graduated from SCHS in 1991, said he still had several friends and family in the area.

“My coaches at Shelby County had a big influence on me,” he said. “Coming out of college, I thought I’d go into sales. My heart (told me) go into coaching.”

Guy and the Rattlers will be a part of history with their appearance in ArenaBowl XXVI, as their matchup with the Philadelphia Soul will be the first time two teams rematch in the game. The two teams have faced twice already this year, with the Rattlers coming out on top both times.

Guy said keeping the team focused shouldn’t be an issue, as they play an 18-games season with three rounds of playoffs. At this point, he said, the focus would be keeping the Rattlers from overlooking the Soul.

Which plays into his coaching philosophy of coaching people as individuals, guiding each player in a way that best suits that player.

“It’s all people skills,” he said. “I’m just coaching people who play football. My philosophy is I treat all my guys as individuals. I treat them as their own person. I’m pretty straight with them the first day of camp.”

ArenaBowl XXVI will kick off at 1 p.m. ET, on CBS, with trophy presentations held after the game on CBSSports Network.

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