Rob Keefe (born November 5, 1980) is a former arena football defensive specialist and current head coach of the Albany Empire of the Arena Football League (AFL). Keefe has four championship victories and is the only person in arena football history to win ArenaCup (af2) and ArenaBowl (AFL) titles as both a player and a coach.
Keefe at the Empire’s Arena Bowl XXXII victory celebration in 2019
|Born:||November 5, 1980|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||190 lb (86 kg)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career Arena statistics|
|Head coaching record|
|Regular season:||75–35 (.682)|
|Player stats at ArenaFan.com|
Keefe attended Mercyhurst College (Erie, PA) from 1999 to 2003. He delivered eight interceptions in his career and ranks 27th in school history with 166 career tackles. Also a standout on special teams, Keefe holds the school's career record with 643 yards on punt returns.
Keefe joined the Spokane Shock (then af2) for the club’s inaugural season in 2006, helping the franchise secure its first ArenaCup Championship. He ended his two-year tenure with the Shock as the team’s career leader in tackles (168) and interceptions (19), twice earning all-af2 accolades as a defensive back.
Keefe entered the AFL in 2008 as a member of the Philadelphia Soul. In his only AFL season as a player, Keefe helped the Soul earn a victory over the San Jose SaberCats in ArenaBowl XXII.
In 2009, Keefe joined the Spokane Shock as the defensive backs coach. That season, the Shock boasted the af2’s top-ranked scoring defense, allowing just 37.6 points per game. Keefe’s secondary surrendered the fifth-lowest number of passing yards per game (231.6) and registered the second-highest interception total in the league (34). The season culminated in an ArenaCup Championship title.
Keefe was promoted to Head Coach of the Shock when the organization joined the Arena Football League in 2010. Under Keefe’s guidance, Spokane finished with the best record in the AFL (13-3 regular season) while producing the League’s fourth-ranked scoring defense (52.7 ppg). Keefe became the youngest coach in AFL history to win a championship, as the Shock defeated the Tampa Bay Storm in ArenaBowl XXIII.
Keefe began the 2012 season as the offensive coordinator of the Orlando Predators. On April 10, 2012, it was announced that Keefe had been fired and replaced as offensive coordinator by Ben Bennett.
Keefe took over as the new Defensive Coordinator of the Utah Blaze midway through the 2012 season and engineered a dramatic turnaround on that side of the ball. After allowing an average of 64 points over the first 10 games of the season, Utah allowed just over 51 points per contest under Keefe. In the opening round of the 2012 postseason, the change in culture was loudly put on display as the Blaze defense surrendered a mere 34 points in a victory over the top-seeded San Antonio Talons.
On December 24, 2013, Keefe was named the new head coach of the Orlando Predators. In his first season as Head Coach of the Orlando Predators, Keefe directed the franchise to its first division title since 2006, coming within one win of a berth in the Arena Bowl. The 2014 Orlando Predators secured the South Division Championship and reached the American Conference Championship after knocking off the 15-3 Pittsburgh Power in the opening round of the postseason.
Head coaching recordEdit
|Won||Lost||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|SPO||2010||13||3||.813||1st in NC West||3||0||1.000||Defeated Tampa Bay Storm in ArenaBowl XXIII|
|SPO||2011||9||9||.500||2nd in NC West||0||1||.000||Lost to Arizona Rattlers in Conference Semifinals|
|ORL||2014||11||7||.611||1st in AC South||1||1||.500||Lost to Cleveland Gladiators in American Conference Final|
|ORL||2015||12||6||.667||1st in AC South||0||1||.000||Lost to Jacksonville Sharks in Conference Semifinals|
|ORL||2016||12||4||.750||2nd in AC||0||1||.000||Lost to Jacksonville Sharks in Conference Semifinals|
|ALB||2018||8||4||.667||1st in AFL||1||1||.500||Lost to Washington Valor in Semifinals|
|ALB||2019||10||2||.833||1st in AFL||3||0||1.000||Defeated Philadelphia Soul in ArenaBowl XXXII|
- "Rob Keefe Set To Shine On ESPN2 Monday - MERCYHURST COLLEGE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE". Hurstathletics.cstv.com. 2008-04-25. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
- Frank, Jared (Apr 10, 2012). "Orlando Fires Former Shock Coach Rob Keefe". kulr8.com. Archived from the original on March 12, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2018.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Orlando Predators Introduce Rob Keefe As New Head Coach". orlandopredators.com. December 24, 2013. Archived from the original on December 26, 2013. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
- "Albany AFL Names Rob Keefe as Head Coach". arenafan.com. November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "Rob Keefe Coaching Record". ArenaFan.com. Retrieved July 7, 2014.