The Arizona Hotshots were a professional American football team based in Tempe, Arizona, and one of the charter members of the Alliance of American Football, which began play in February 2019. They played their home games at Sun Devil Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University. The Hotshots were one of two AAF teams based in a city that already had an NFL team (the Arizona Cardinals; the other team was the Atlanta Legends, where the NFL's Falcons are based). The Hotshots were coached by former USFL player and college head coach Rick Neuheisel. Scott Brubaker was the team president and Phil Savage was the general manager.
Played in Sun Devil Stadium
in Tempe, Arizona
|Alliance of American Football (2019)
|Team colors||Green, Orange and Yellow|
|General manager||Phil Savage|
|Head coach||Rick Neuheisel|
|League championships (0)|
|Conference championships (0)|
|Division championships (0)|
On April 2, 2019, the league's football operations were reportedly suspended, and on April 4 the league allowed players to leave their contracts to sign with NFL teams. The league filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on April 17, 2019. At the time of the bankruptcy, the Hotshots owed over $1.2 million to Arizona State University for leasing Sun Devil Stadium.
Rick Neuheisel was announced as the head coach of the Arizona Hotshots by the Alliance of American Football on May 18, 2018. The team was slated to play at Sun Devil Stadium. By September 25, Scott Brubaker and Phil Savage were named team president and general manager, respectively.
Phoenix's name and logo were revealed on September 25, 2018, as the Arizona Hotshots along with the other three western teams. The name is a tribute to the region's firefighters, nicknamed hotshots, while the color scheme of green, orange, and yellow are commonly worn by such fire crews. The team's logo is a pair of crossed pickhead axes, which are used by structural firefighters and not the wildland firefighters the team is named for. The branding was developed by the national office then handed off to the team staff. Reception of the name was mixed, with some arguing it "exploits the memory of the Granite Mountain Hotshots." On March 3, 2019, the team retired No. 19 to honor the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire in 2013.
On October 11, 2018, the team named Hugh Freeze as the offensive coordinator and the rest of the coaching staff. In the 2019 AAF QB Draft, the Hotshots did not protect the assigned (by geographical method) quarterback Mike Bercovici in the first round and instead selected Trevor Knight for his speed. The final 52-man roster was set on January 30.
The Hotshots' own the rights to players from designated schools:
The Hotshots also have rights to players unaffiliated with one of the designated schools, but who were most recently affiliated with professional teams:
National Football League (NFL)
Canadian Football League (CFL)
Players not affiliated with any of the designated teams may sign with any AAF team.
In addition to league-wide television coverage through NFL Network, CBS Sports Network, TNT, and B/R Live, Hotshots' games were also broadcast on local radio by KDUS, an NBC Sports Radio affiliate.
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- Avila, Ricardo (September 28, 2018). "Hotshots: Support, criticism follows new Arizona pro football team's name". Arizona Sports. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
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- "Arizona Hotshots Host Public Safety Salute and #19 Retirement Ceremony Sunday, March 3". Our Sports Central. February 25, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
- "Photo: Arizona Hotshots retire No. 19 in honor of Granite Mountain 19". The Daily Courier. March 3, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
- Higgins, Ron (October 11, 2018). "Ex-Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze hired as offensive coordinator with Arizona AAF team". Mississippi Clarion Ledger. USA Today Network. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- Somers, Kent (November 28, 2018). "AAF draft: Arizona Hotshots think they found their man in quarterback Trevor Knight". AZ Central. USA Today Network. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
- "Arizona Hotshots set final roster". Alliance of American Football. January 30, 2019. Archived from the original on January 31, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- "Alliance of American Football schedule released for Arizona Hotshots, other 7 teams". AZ Central. USA Today Network. October 16, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Inabinett, Mark (July 12, 2018). "Alabama, Auburn players to go on Birmingham AAF team's assignment list". AL.com. Alabama Media Group. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
- "Arizona Hotshots". nbcsports1060.com. 2019. Retrieved March 16, 2019.[permanent dead link]
- Goodykoontz, Bill (April 3, 2019). "Failed AAF's only real memory involves ex-ASU quarterback Mike Bercovici". The Arizona Republic. Phoenix, Arizona. Retrieved April 3, 2019.