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AFL Veteran Ron James joins Cleveland Gladiators staff

Thursday February 12, 2015

CLEVELAND, OH - The Cleveland Gladiators announced today that Ron James will join the team’s coaching staff as Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator under Head Coach Steve Thonn. James, an Arena Football League coaching veteran, was 15-2 last season as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Power; his winningest season as a head coach in the AFL. James’ Gladiators debut will be in Tampa on March 27th when the Gladiators begin their defense of the 2014 American Conference Championship in their season opener. The home opener at The Q will be Saturday, April 11th vs. Arizona.

“It is great to have Ron on board as part of the Cleveland Gladiators. To get a coach of his caliber in both overall experience and the success he has had on the field will definitely add to our team,” Thonn said. “He understands the Arena game and what it takes to win in this league. Our players will learn from him I look forward to working with him this upcoming season.”

“I’m really excited to be joining a team like Cleveland who had tremendous success last season. I have a lot of respect for the Cleveland coaching staff and what they did last year. We had some great battles back and forth, so it’s good to be on the same sideline with Coach Thonn again,” James said.

James will oversee the Gladiators defense in 2015. He has a 57-52 regular season head coaching record over seven AFL seasons with the Las Vegas Gladiators, Utah Blaze, and most recently, Pittsburgh last season. James, 50, led Pittsburgh to a 15-2 record after he took over the head coaching position following the first game of the season. Under James in 2014, the Pittsburgh defense led the AFL in interceptions with 36, was second in scoring defense at 43.2 points allowed per game, and was third in the league in total defense.

“We are very excited to have a coach the caliber of Ron James join our coaching staff and football operations team. Ron has extensive football experience and knows the Arena Football League very well,” said Gladiators Chief Operating Officer Mike Ostrowski. “Having him partnered up with Coach Thonn and the rest of our coaching staff will be great for our entire team. We can’t wait for the season to get started in downtown Cleveland.”

James replaces former Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Ron Selesky, who joined the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders as a U.S. Scout.

Gladiators Football Alliance season memberships, which include great benefits such as: year-round member’s only events, exclusive access to the team, team-shop discounts, parking, Lake Erie Monsters tickets and the best seat locations - are on sale now! Seats start at just $9 per game. Discounted group ticket packages, game-day experiences and fundraising opportunities are also on sale! For more information please contact the Gladiators front office at 216-420-2222 or visit The 2015 Gladiators promotional schedule and single game ticket on sale dates will be announced at the end of February. Fans should also be sure to follow the Gladiators on Twitter (@clegladiators) and Facebook (/clevelandgladiators) to keep up-to-date on all Gladiators team news, ticket information and more.