Tucson announced Thursday that it will join the Indoor Football League with Kevin Guy and his wife Cathy as co-owners.
That presents the first in-state rivalry for the Arizona Rattlers, who began playing in the Arena Football League in 1992, before breaking off two years ago to join the IFL, winning the championship in their first year there in 2017 under Guy’s guidance.
Guy said last month that he still intends on remaining as head coach and general manager of the Rattlers, as he takes on a new ownership role with what will become the Rattlers’ closest rival ever.
“I think it’s a great fit,” Guy said in a phone interview from Tucson. “We’ve got a natural rivalry. I’m going to make one decision and that is naming a head coach. Once I name a head coach, I won’t have anything to do with it. My focus is building the business and making sure the team is giving back to the community.”
Guy also will write the checks.
He said that his wife will have day-to-day control of the team, while he is making sure the Rattlers build another championship team.
Does this present a rivalry in the Guy home?
“Oh, yeah, no doubt,” Kevin said. “I tell her all the time, she is the CEO of the family but I’m the owner. She’s already kicking my butt all the time.”
This past season, Guy passed Danny White as the Rattlers’ all-time winningest coach. He has led the Rattlers for 10 seasons, winning four championships, including three in a row in the AFL.
The addition of Tucson gives the IFL seven teams next season.
It is being called Tucson Indoor Football until it is given a nickname.
Guy said a head coach could be named as soon as next week. He will become Guy’s on-field rival.
But he believes people have to think outside the box to get the league stronger. He believes having a team in Tucson will be getting more teams in the West to join the IFL.
The Rattlers were the only West team the past two years with the other five IFL teams centered in the Midwest. Guy cited how Major League Soccer started out with owners having multiple teams.
“We’re trying to build awareness and grow our sport,” Guy said. “We’ve learned over the years that some people try to be owners who don’t know the business. It’s important to build teams that know how to run the day-to-day operation. That’s where I come in.”
Guys feels he won’t have to do much baby-sitting with Mike Feder involved, along with Ali Farhang, who is part of the ownership group. Feder, who will be executive director, spent 15 years as general manager of Tucson’s Triple-A baseball team. He has indoor football experience, spending three years in the front office of the AFL New Orleans VooDoo and the Austin Wranglers.
Farhang, an attorney, founded the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl, which is played in Arizona Stadium in Tucson.
Guy was impressed by the media turnout for Thursday’s news conference at the Tucson Convention Center.
“There was close to 75 people,” Guy said. “It looked like an NFL press box.”
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