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 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 COORDINATOR & QUARTERBACKS COACH
Coach Thompson’s most recent position in professional football came in Spring 2020 as the football operations manager for the New York Guardians in the XFL. He was also an assistant coach for the team. In 2019, Thompson worked as a coaching intern for the Chicago Bears in the NFL during their training camp. That same year, he also spent time in the AAF with the Atlanta Legends as the team’s director of football operations. He also was an assistant coach for the Legends.
Thompson comes to the Pirates with twelve years of coaching experience in professional indoor football. In 2018, he was the offensive coordinator for the Albany Empire in the Arena Football League. He also served as the team’s director of football operations.
From 2012-17, Thompson served as head coach of the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks. Thompson took over the Steelhawks after the team produced a 4-10 record in their inaugural season. In six seasons with the Steelhawks, the team tallied six consecutive playoff appearances. In 2017, he won the coach of the year award in the National Arena League with the Steelhawks.
In 2018 with the Empire and 2017 with the Steelhawks, Thompson coached two league MVP quarterbacks.
In 2011, Thompson was the head coach of the Reading Express in the Indoor Football League. Thompson guided the Express to a playoff berth. From 2007-11, Thompson was the offensive coordinator of the Express. Thompson also served as assistant general manager for his entire run with the Express and Steelhawks.
Thompson has garnered coaching experience in other football leagues as well. From 2013-18, he was selected six consecutive times to be a head coach in college football’s annual FCS Bowl. In 2017, he was an assistant coach for Alvernia University in their inaugural season. Thompson began his coaching career with Lebanon Valley College in 2004 as the team’s quarterbacks coach and offensive assistant.
In 2011, Thompson gained experience in football sales while acting as the manager of football programs for the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League.
In Summer 2020, Thompson started to work as a color analyst for high school football in the Lehigh and Berks counties in Pennsylvania. That same year, he started his own coaching business called ‘Elite Skills Coaching’. The program focuses on quarterback development for youth ages to professional ages. Thompson resides in Pennsylvania during the offseason.
ASSISTANT OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR & WIDE RECEIVERS COACH
Bones Bagaunte was just named the Pirates Assistant Offensive Coordinator and Wide Receiver Coach for 2021. This is Bagaunte’s second stint with the Pirates, he formerly coached and played wide receiver for the team in 2018. Bagaunte brings seven years of arena football experience, both as a coach and player. Most recently, in 2019, Bagaunte served as wide receivers coach and assistant to the director of football operations with NAL’s Columbus Lions, while also suiting up and earning First-Team All-NAL honors as a wide receiver. In 2018, as a player for the Pirates, Bagaunte contributed to the franchise’s first winning season and first playoff appearance. He still holds two Pirates receiving records set in ‘18, most touchdowns in a game (6), and the highest all-purpose yards average per game (100.4). Bagaunte also served as an offensive and special teams coach for the Pirates and helped guide Devonn Brown to First-Team All-NAL wide receiver honors.
In 2017 Bagaunte was a player and coach for the IFL’s Cedar Rapids Titans. He guided Damond Powell to First-Team All-IFL wide receiver honors. A year prior, in ‘16, Bagaunte coached wide receivers while playing for the IFL’s Billings Wolves. He also was an assistant coach at Frederick Douglass High School (MD) for three seasons, 2014-16. In 2014 the team went 14-0 and won its first state football championship.
After finishing a productive, All-American career at the University of Cincinnati, in which he was a 52-game starter at wide receiver and defensive back, setting several school records, Bagaunte had an NFL stint with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent and participated in their 2010 training camp. He then began his indoor football career, having stops with the Omaha Beef, Kansas City Command, and Nebraska Danger. During his seven-year indoor career, Bagaunte played in thirteen playoff games and three championship games.
Bagaunte, also a certified personal trainer, has spent time coaching and training football players of all ages. He is well-respected amongst players and coaches alike. His experience and vast knowledge of the indoor game will be an asset to the Massachusetts Pirates organization. Bagaunte approaches all phases of life with his personal motto: “Dew more, say less.”
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.
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.
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.