Patrick Pass was named Head Coach of the Massachusetts Pirates on November 9, 2019. Pass became the third Head Coach in the history of the franchise.
Pass who served as the Pirates’ Director of Player Development last season, replaced Anthony Payton who departed at the end of the year to take the same position with the Carolina Cobras. Payton guided the team to an eight and six record in the regular season before losing to the Cobras 30 to 26 in the National Arena League playoffs.
The New England Patriots drafted Pass from the University of Georgia in the seventh round (239 overall) in 2000. Pass enjoyed an eight-year career in the NFL. In 79 games he rushed 128 times for 526 yards and three touchdowns and had 66 receptions for 570 yards and a score. During most of his career he was a blocking fullback, but he did see time at running back, wide receiver and kick returner.
In 2002 Pass earned his first Super Bowl ring as the Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams 20-17 for the first title in franchise history. In 2004 his second ring was secured as the Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers 32-29. The following season (2005) was statistically his best in the NFL. Pass rushed for a career high 245 yards as a running back filling in for the injured Corey Dillion. That season Pass also set career marks with 54 carries, an average of 4.5 yards per carry, three touchdowns, 227 receiving yards and 10.3 yards per catch. He was the starting fullback in Super Bowl XXXIX as the Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21. In 2007, Pass also was a member of the Houston Texans and the New York Giants.
Pass, who grew up in Scottdale, GA, attended the University of Georgia where he played running back, quarterback, receiver and returned kicks. In four seasons with the Bulldogs he rushed 221 times for 1,022 yards and scored five touchdowns. He also caught 35 balls for 435 yards and two scores. Before his freshman season he was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 1996 Major League Baseball draft and played that summer in the Marlins’ farm system. He also played in the Marlins’ minor league system before his sophomore and junior season in 1997 and 1998.
This is the second head coaching position for Pass. In 2012 he was named the Head Coach of the Boston Freedom Fighters, a professional developmental team in the National Spring Football League. In 2015 he was also a defensive backs coach for the Boston Renegades, a women’s team in the Women’s Football Alliance.
ASSISTANT HEAD COACH & OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR
The Massachusetts Pirates have named former Arena Football League star wide receiver Reggie Gray Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator for the 2020 season. Gray enjoyed 14 seasons of professional football; nine in the AFL and now he looks to bring his knowledge and experience to the Pirates.
In nine AFL seasons Gray recorded 879 receptions, 10,945 yards and 267 touchdown receptions. He also was an explosive kick returner with 302 returns for 5,752 yards and 15 TD’s. He also had two rushing touchdowns.
A two-time AFL champion, Gray was the Most Valuable Player in Arena Bowl XXVIII in 2015 with the San Jose SaberCats. He also won an AFL Championship in 2017 with the Washington Valor. Gray hails from Chicago, IL and played his college ball at Western Illinois. A self-proclaimed “film rat,” he is excited and ready to get to work by teaching players what he knows.
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR & SECONDARY COACH
On March 31, 2020 Rayshaun Kizer signed on as the Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs Coach for Massachusetts Pirates.
Kizer, a product of Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, signed with the New York Jets as an un-drafted free agent in 2007 and spent two seasons with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. After playing with the Green Bay Blizzard of the Indoor Football league in 2009, Kizer embarked on an eight-year career in the Arena Football League.
As a rookie with Orlando in 2010, Kizer led the AFL with 12 interceptions, earning First Team All-Arena honors. His second season with the Predators was a career year as he set the AFL All-Time record with 16 interceptions. He also recorded a career best 100 tackles and three touchdowns, earning him First Team All-Arena honors. 2011 also saw Kizer return to the CFL with stops in Montreal and Hamilton.
It was back to the AFL in 2012 with Philadelphia where he notched 29 interceptions over three seasons. From 2013-2015 the Euclid, Ohio native was an All-AFL Second Team selection three years running, twice with the Soul and in 2015 splitting time between New Orleans and Los Angeles.
After the 2016 season with the KISS, Kizer joined the Qingdao Clipper of the China Arena Football League. His final AFL season was in 2017 with the Cleveland Gladiators.
Kizer’s 67 interceptions ranks third All-Time in the AFL. He has previous coaching experience with the Bismarck Bucks of the IFL.
OFFENSIVE LINE COACH
Offensive line coach Rob Orell is back for his second season with the Pirates.
Orell played and graduated from Nichols College in Dudley, MA and now serves as its offensive line coach.
In addition to his coaching experience, Orell has plyed arena football as well.
“After college I went down to Myrtle Beach and played for a summer down there. I came back up and started coaching at Nichols. Then in the summer of 2018 I played in New England for the Bobcats and won my first championship. I also played in 2019 and then dedicated my summer to getting ready for Nichols College and coaching with the Pirates as well,” he said.
GERALD “JERRY” SNAY
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR, LINEBACKERS & DEFENSIVE LINE COACH
Gerald Snay will be the Pirates special teams coordinator, defensive line and linebackers coach for the 2020 season.
Snay, 52, coached high school and college football for 10 years each with numerous roles. Snay also dabbled in the arena game for two years.
His experience includes coaching at Worcester State and as the defensive line coach at Fitchburg State. He was also the special teams coach at Nichols College. His arena experience came with the New England Surge.
Snay has a very special tie to Pirates owner Jawad Yatim mentoring him in his playing days. Yatim is excited to reunite with Snay for the upcoming season.
“I’ve known coach Snay since I was in high school and I am very familiar with him and how serious he takes coaching,” Yatim said. “He takes pride in his work and is absolutely a great guy. Glad to have him and looking forward to competing side by side with him this coming season.”
Savary is entering his third year as an Assistant Coach for the Massachusetts Pirates.
His previous arena experience includes winning the 2018 EIF Arena Championship as the head coach/offensive coordinator for the New England Bobcats. He is currently the Offensive Coordinator for Team USA 14u. Played over 20 seasons of Minor League and Indoor Football.
Coach Don Williams coached with the Boston Ravens of the Eastern Football League. He is also one of the only coaches in the National Arena League to have coached an exclusively female football team in the Independent Women’s Football League. Williams was the wide receiver’s coach for the Boston Militia of the Women’s Football Alliance winning a league championship. His relationship with Patrick Pass goes back to his time with the Boston Renegades.
STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH
Dominick Spaulding received his opportunity to work for the Pirates after things did not go his way during a tryout, looking to make the roster as a player.
“Team Owner Jawad Yatim and I had spoken months after breaking my foot at their tryout out during a drill segment and he really wanted me to come out and play for the team, but things didn’t go as planned,” Spaulding said. “He then reached out to me later on and stated he wanted me to come on board and be the strength coach,” he added.
Spaulding admits there was a learning curve.
“In all honesty, I had no idea what I was doing at first. I was doing a lot training with different athletes but to be a strength coach? That wasn’t even a thought. So when he presented the idea I was nervous, but I studied hard and learned from a lot of different people and coaches to try and put my guys in the best position to win. It clicked immediately since day one. It’s been nothing but a professional scene,” he said.
HEAD EQUIPMENT MANAGER & COACHING ASSISTANT
“I started my arena football career in 2016 with Philadelphia Soul and quickly after that, we created a league in China called the CAFL so I went there,” Cronin told masspiratesfootball.com. “When I came back, the next team I worked for was the Washington Valor in 2017.”
The 27-year-old bounced back and forth between the Valor and Soul before the league folded in 2019. The Franklin Pierce University alum then went to Iowa to dip his toes into the Indoor Football League waters. As a member of the Barnstormers, Cronin not only was the equipment manager as well as the running backs coach.
“I got into backfield coaching when I was shadowing primarily the running backs coach in college,” Cronin said. “I spent three years working with that department at Franklin Pierce and last year was basically my first professional coaching position.”
Cronin as a coach gave masspiratesfootball.com a taste of what he looks for in his running backs when he is building a backfield. “I look for versatility in my running backs,” Cronin said. “I don’t really like backs that can do just one thing like run and gun or ground and pound kind of guy. You need to make sure they can do different things like pass block. It is also important for them to know the game with these players coming straight out of college and knowing about the rules and format of arena football. Just teaching them the different steps, different formations, and just kind of hammering that out initially.”