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 & DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR/SECONDARY COACH
On Nov 12, 2021, Rayshaun Kizer returned to the Pirates for the 2022 season and the second season a part of the coaching staff as the Assistant Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator, and Secondary Coach.
During the 2021 season, Coach Kizer was the mastermind behind the IFL’s best defense and developed a unit that had five players listed on the All-IFL team. Over 17 games, the Coach Kizer led defense held opponents to a league-best 31.6 points per game, and led the league in eight other defensive categories. Against the run, Massachusetts yielded a league-best 3.1 yards per carry, and against the pass, held opponents to 117.3 yards per game and 4.8 yards per reception. Kizer’s expertise on defense was a big reason why the Pirates were so successful throughout the 2021 season. Before coaching with the Pirates, Kizer has past experience coaching in the IFL a part of the Bismarck Bucks coaching staff in 2019 as the Defensive Coordinator, defensive backs, and special teams coach.
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.
On November 15, 2021, Mark Stoute was promoted to offensive coordinator for the 2022 season. Stoute joined the organization last June as a senior advisor to Head Coach Patrick Pass’ staff and brought to Massachusetts 25 years of coaching experience, in 2021.
Stoute started the season as the first head coach of the Indoor Football League expansion franchise Louisville Xtreme and held that position until the organization ceased operations. Prior to joining Louisville, he was the head coach of the Cedar Rapids River Kings in the IFL. 2018 saw him leading the Nebraska Danger. Stoute was also the head coach of the Jacksonville Sharks (Arena Football League/National Arena League) in 2016 through 2017.
From 2012-2016 Stoute had an extended run in Cedar Rapids with the Titans, taking a team with four wins in his first season to four-straight playoff appearances. Stoute was the IFL Coach of the Year in 2013. He left the Titans with a 40-17 record.
From 2009-2012 Stoute was the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator of the Milwaukee Iron of the AFL. In 2007 he spent the regular season with the Laredo Lobos. He also was an assistant head coach and offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Blizzard in the AF2 from 2005-2009 helping the team to five playoff appearances and an American Conference Title in 2006.
Stoute’s professional coaching experience began in the AFL in 1995 with the Connecticut Coyotes. That led to the Charlotte Rage (1996), Florida Bobcats (1997-98), New England Sea Wolves (1998-2000), which later became the Toronto Phantoms where he received his first head coaching assignment (2000-02), the Indiana Firebirds (2003-04), and Tampa Bay Storm (2004-2005). He also spent 2002-03 with the af2’s Mohegan Wolves.
Stoute attended Kentucky State University in Frankfort, where he majored in Business Management and Computer Science. He has been a member of the American Football Coaches Association since 1995.
OFFENSIVE LINE COACH & SPECIAL TEAMS ASSISTANT
The Massachusetts Pirates, Champions of the Indoor Football League, have hired Mike Custer to be their Offensive Line Coach and Special Teams Assistant for the 2022 season. Custer has multiple years of experience coaching in the IFL with the Louisville Xtreme in 2021, the Cedar Rapids River Kings in 2019, the Iowa Barnstormers from 2017-2018, and the Seattle Timberwolves in 2011. He was a part of the staff during Iowa Barnstormer’s 2018 IFL Championship season.
This reunites Custer with the Pirates’ Offensive Coordinator Mark Stoute and they both worked together with the Louisville Xtreme last season. Prior to coaching with Stoute in Louisville, Custer served as an Assistant Head Coach with Stoute in 2019 with Cedar Rapids in the IFL. The pair coached in Cedar Rapids also from 2013 through 2016 and led the team to four-straight playoff appearances with a record of 40 – 17. The pair also played with each other during their playing days in semi-professional football in Connecticut during the 1980s.
After playing college football at the University of Buffalo, Custer then played professionally and then went on to coaching at the high school level, collegiately, and eventually in the arena and indoor football leagues.
RUNNING BACKS COACH & ASSISTANT SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR
Will Croom joins the Massachusetts Pirates coaching staff as the running backs coach and will assist with special teams. Croom brings several years of coaching experience to the organization, including stints at the collegiate and high school level.
Croom recently completed his third year as the defensive backs and wide receivers coach for the Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts. He oversaw the program turn-around, culminating in the 2019 Mark Conroy Bowl, and becoming New England Class C Champions.
In 2016, Croom coached wide receivers at Worcester State University, an NCAA Division III Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference member.
Croom began coaching in 2014 at Billerica Memorial High School as the running backs coach and their head of strength and conditioning. While at Billerica, he coached two Boston Globe All-Scholastic running backs, Drew Laundry (Towson University) and Derek Laundry (Bryant University). Billerica would go on to win the MVC conference in 2015.
Croom played collegiality at the University of West Georgia, a traditionally strong program in the Gulf South Conference. Following his career at UWG, he signed a contract with the New England Surge arena football franchise.
In the offseason, Croom provides year-round skill development programs where he connects promising high school football players with a national network of college coaches and national recruiting services. Additionally, Croom provides professional prospects with pro days, combine training, and consulting services.
DEFENSIVE LINE COACH
Gerald Snay will be the Pirates defensive line 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.