Columbus Destroyers name Pat Sperduto head coach
Tuesday July 15, 2008
Sperduto guided Nashville to 48-41-1 record in six years, including back-to-back ArenaBowl appearances
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Destroyers have named Pat Sperduto head coach of the Arena Football League franchise, club Partner, General Manager and President Jim Renacci announced today. He becomes the fourth head coach in Columbus history and the seventh in the history of the Columbus/Buffalo franchise.
“Pat brings a winning tradition to Columbus along with 14 years of experience as a player and a coach in the Arena Football League,” Renacci said. “His winning attitude was apparent after his signing when he said, ‘we’ve won today, let’s keep winning every day.’ We look forward to getting back to the ArenaBowl under his leadership.”
Sperduto, 41, has compiled a 48-41-1 record in 90 regular season games spanning six seasons with the Nashville Kats. He also has a 5-4 record in the postseason, including guiding the Kats-to-back to back ArenaBowl appearances in 2000 and 2001.
Sperduto’s coaching has garnered several players’ recognition from the AFL including: James Baron (2001 Lineman of the Year, 2001 First Team All-AFL and 1999 Defensive Player of the Year), Jarrick Hillery (2001 First Team All-AFL) and Darryl Hammond (1999 Ironman of the Year). He also helped the Kats earn Support Staff of the Year honors in 2005.
Sperduto began his professional career as a player with the Canadian Football League’s British Columbia Lions before joining the Tampa Bay Storm (AFL) as an offensive/defensive lineman from 1991-93. He recorded 26 tackles (24UT-4AT), two forced fumbles and two pass deflections in 20 career games, helping the Storm win ArenaBowl V in 1991 and ArenaBowl VII in 1993. He began his coaching career in the off-season of 1991 as an assistant with Murray State (Ky.) University, prior to taking over football operations for the American Sports Foundation of Macelatta in Tolentino, Italy in 1992.
After his playing career, he served as an assistant with the Storm for the 1994 and 1995 seasons, helping the club win ArenaBowl IX in 1995. He spent the 1996 season as the defensive coordinator and director of player personnel for the Connecticut Coyotes (AFL) prior to joining the Kats’ staff in 1997. He was the defensive coordinator and player personnel director during the 1997 season and was elevated to assistant head coach/defensive coordinator for the 1998 campaign.
Sperduto was named head coach of the Kats at the end of the 1998 season and posted the best record of the seven AFL coaches who took over new teams in 1999 with an 8-6 mark. The next year, he guided the club to a 9-5 record in the regular season and a berth in ArenaBowl XIV. He followed that season with a 10-4 record in 2001, as the Kats won the National Conference Southern Division and earned a berth in ArenaBowl XV. Following the 2001 season, the Kats’ franchise was sold and moved to Atlanta.
Sperduto joined Tennessee Titans organization in September 2001, serving on the coaching and scouting staff until June 2008. While working for the Titans, he was given the responsibility in 2004 to oversee the startup process of a new AFL team to be placed in Nashville.
In 2005, Sperduto returned to the sidelines as head coach and director of football operations for the new Nashville Kats. That year, the club went 6-9-1 and finished third in the Central Division. The next season the Kats went 8-8 en route to a second place finish in the Central Division and berth in the ArenaBowl playoffs. The 2007 season saw Nashville go 7-9 and miss the playoffs by one game.
Sperduto played collegiately for the University of Massachusetts at Boston as both a fullback and linebacker, earning All-New England Conference honors from 1987-89. He and his wife, Laura, reside in Brentwood, Tenn., with daughters Roseann (10) and Sofia (5) and son Cosmo (7).