No announcement yet.

Spielman to lead Destroyers

  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Spielman to lead Destroyers

    COLUMBUS, OH – The Arena Football League's Columbus Destroyers announced today that Chris Spielman has assumed the role of General Manager and Head Coach, while Earle Bruce has been named Vice-President of Football Operations. Spielman served as the Director of Football Operations, while Bruce was General Manager and Head Coach during the 2004 season as the club made its debut in Columbus after five seasons in Buffalo and sported a 6-10 record.

    "In Chris Spielman and Earle Bruce, the Columbus Destroyers have the best of both worlds when it comes to football executives," said JMAC President Mike Priest, representing club ownership. "Chris is a bright, young guy who played for Coach Bruce at Ohio State, learned from him during our inaugural season and is ready to make the transition and step to the forefront to lead this franchise. Nobody knows football and the AFL any better than Coach Bruce and he will continue to provide leadership and guidance to Chris and our organization in its efforts to win an ArenaBowl championship."

    A native of Canton, Ohio, Spielman was a two-time All-American and three-time All-Big Ten linebacker at Ohio State from 1984-87. After being the 29th player selected in the 1988 National Football League Draft by the Detroit Lions, he enjoyed a successful career with the Lions, Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns. He was elected to the Pro Bowl on four occasions before retiring in 1999.

    “Even since I was young, I have had coaching in my blood. I know this is the right opportunity for me at this point in my life and look forward to the challenges that being a head coach in the Arena Football League will bring,” said Spielman. “I can’t think of a better place for me to begin my coaching career than in the city of Columbus. I am anxious to get to work and put together an extremely competitive team that will compete for an ArenaBowl championship.”

    As the Destroyers' Vice-President of Football Operations, Bruce will be actively involved in advance scouting and personnel evaluation of Destroyers and AFL players and will continue to provide his input and expertise to the coaching staff. He will also play an important part of the franchise's business operations in the corporate community.

    A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Bruce led Ohio State to a 82-12-3 record, four Big Ten titles and eight bowl games in nine seasons as head coach from 1978-87. An Ohio State graduate and former assistant coach under Woody Hayes, he posted a 10-2 record and Tangerine Bowl win at Tampa in his first year as a head coach in 1972. He then turned a losing program at Iowa State into a winner before joining the Buckeyes in 1987. Bruce concluded his college coaching career with stints at Northern Iowa and Colorado State, where he took the Rams to their first bowl game in 42 years.

    Overall from 1972-92, Bruce led his teams to a 154-90-2 record, including a 12-5 mark in bowl games, won nine or more games 10 times and had nine top 20 teams. His career in the AFL began in 1993-94 with the Cleveland Thunderbolts and included stints with the St. Louis Stampede and the Iowa Barnstormers (AF2) before his return to the league with the Destroyers last season.

Related Topics


  • ramsbruce
    Where Are They Now? Isaac Bruce, Super Bowl XXXIV Champion
    by ramsbruce
    Thomas Neumann

    Claim to fame: Isaac Bruce was a cornerstone of the St. Louis Rams' famous Greatest Show on Turf offense, teaming with Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner and Torry Holt to light up scoreboards around the league on a weekly basis.

    Bruce was drafted out of Memphis State by the Los Angeles Rams in the second round of the 1994 draft, and he quickly established himself as one of the league's most reliable receivers. He relocated to St. Louis with the Rams in 1995 and ultimately played 14 seasons with the franchise. He was named to four Pro Bowl teams, including three in a row when the Rams led the NFL in both points and yardage from 1999 to 2001. He caught six passes, including the 73-yard game-winning touchdown, in Super Bowl XXXIV and recorded five receptions when the Rams narrowly lost Super Bowl XXXVI.

    Bruce played his final two seasons with the San Francisco *****, but returned to St. Louis to announce his retirement in June 2010. At the time, ranked second in receiving yards (15,208), fifth in receptions (1,024) and ninth in touchdown catches (91). He currently ranks fourth, ninth and 12th in those categories, respectively. Bruce is the career leader in each of those three categories for the Rams franchise, and the team retired his No. 80 jersey in October 2010.

    Prior to his retirement, Bruce held the distinction of being the last active NFL player who had competed for a Los Angeles-based franchise.

    Catching up: Bruce, 43, lives in South Florida with wife Clegzette and their daughters, 6-year-old Isabella and 9-month-old Charis. He opened the Bruce Zone gym in Fort Lauderdale last year, with a keen interest in personal training and injury avoidance and rehabilitation, and he enjoys performing youth ministry work at his church, Words of Life, in North Miami Beach.

    He maintains a charitable organization, the Isaac Bruce Foundation, which focuses on educational opportunities and promoting fitness and healthy lifestyles. The foundation began in 2006 and is based in the St. Louis area, but it also awards an annual scholarships to students from the University of Memphis and Broward County, Florida. In addition to scholarships, the foundation provides financial assistance to students who need transportation to college -- a situation he was in when he traveled to attend junior college in Los Angeles.

    "When I award the scholarships every year, I totally enjoy calling up the winners and just heading the screams of excitement and the rejoicing on the other end of the phone. I truly enjoy that. Those are moments I'll always cherish and remember."

    For the past two seasons, Bruce has also volunteered as wide receivers coach at his alma mater, Dillard High in Fort Lauderdale. "I want to help the kids mature into young men," Bruce said. "At the same time, they can learn some skills as far as playing...
    -12-17-2015, 08:21 AM
  • Brain Daddy
    Isaac Bruce wins Len Eshmont award
    by Brain Daddy
    I know there are quite a few Isaac Bruce fans here so I thought this might be of some interest. I've been impressed with and surprised by just how good a player he still is. I originally wasn't thrilled about signing him but I'm now definitely glad he's on the team....
    -12-17-2008, 08:20 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Bruce, St. Louis Share Special Bond
    by r8rh8rmike
    Bruce, St. Louis Share Special Bond

    By Nick Wagoner/Senior Writer
    Posted Oct 27, 2010

    The love affair between Isaac Bruce and St. Louis started nearly from the day the Rams arrived in the Gateway City.

    In the 14 years that followed, that love only became more passionate, mutual and ultimately enduring.

    “I felt like the city adopted me and drafted me into their family,” Bruce said. “I kind of did the same thing with them. I felt like I was home for the second time in my life. We kind of had that mesh. We meshed together early in that 1995 season and it only grew from there.”

    On Sunday, that relationship becomes eternal when the Rams raise Bruce’s No. 80 jersey to the rafters of the Edward Jones Dome for reasons that go beyond his prodigious and prolific production on the football field.

    See, the bond between Bruce and the city of St. Louis goes well beyond first downs, touchdown catches and even Super Bowl victories.


    The initial meeting between Bruce and St. Louis came in 1995, the first year the Rams played in the city after moving from Los Angeles.

    Bruce was drafted by the Rams in 1994 and had spent one year with the team in Los Angeles. But Bruce knew, like many of his teammates, that a move was in the offing.

    Even as a rookie, Bruce had prepared himself for a new start elsewhere. While Bruce felt bad for the diehard Rams fans that were still around in the team’s final days in Los Angeles, the move to St. Louis had him excited about the opportunities it could provide.

    “I think when we first came to town in ’95; a lot of expectations were placed on us,” Bruce said. “Most of them were placed on us by ourselves. But just kind of knowing the history of the St. Louis Cardinals - the Big Red - that was there before we got there and football had gone away from that city for a long time so they were hungry. They were hungry for football and when we got there, it was a perfect match. It was our chance to stake our place and put roots down and we found what I believe was the perfect place.”

    St. Louis had been without football since the Cardinals picked up and moved to Arizona after the 1987 season. In the eight years that followed, St. Louis had endured numerous misfires in attempts to draw an expansion team.

    Football in the city was becoming a distant memory until team owner Georgia Frontiere teamed with local businessman Stan Kroenke and a host of others to build the Edward Jones Dome and bring the Rams to St. Louis.

    Finally, on Sept. 3, 1995, the Rams made their debut under the St. Louis banner at Green Bay. In one of the world’s most famous football venues, Bruce announced his presence with a sequence so scintillating that Rams fans couldn’t help but feel like it was love at first sight.

    In the second quarter...
    -10-28-2010, 12:38 PM
  • RamsFan16
    Bruce, the ultimate St. Louis Ram, stays put
    by RamsFan16
    Bruce, the ultimate St. Louis Ram, stays put
    By Bill Coats
    Rams Bruce
    Isaac Bruce (right) saw his numbers decline in a injury-plagued 2005, but he still became the 12th receiver in NFL history to surpass 12,000 receving yards.
    (Paul Sancya/AP)

    On April 12, 2001, free-agent cornerback Todd Lyght left the Rams for Detroit, and wide receiver Isaac Bruce became the only remaining player who was with the team when it moved here in 1995. For several days this past week, it appeared as if that final tie to Los Angeles was thisclose to being severed.

    On Sunday night, while the NFL owners and players wrangled over a new collective bargaining agreement, the Rams did something that to some had been unthinkable: Unable to reach agreement on a contract extension, they released Bruce. At the heart of the issue was Bruce's salary cap figure for 2006, a whopping $10.04 million.

    Team officials, including new coach Scott Linehan, expressed confidence that Bruce would be re-signed. Still, he was free to accept a deal with any other team, and at least six expressed interest.

    Negotiations with the Rams rekindled after a new CBA was voted in Wednesday night and the cap went to $102 million from $94.5 million. On Friday, Bruce signed a three-year, $15 million deal to remain in St. Louis.

    Thus, a significant chapter in our town's NFL history was spared an abrupt and prickly conclusion.

    Bruce, 33, has played 164 of his 176 games (regular season and playoffs) after the Rams moved here. He has collected 12,765 of his 13,037 receiving yards, caught 836 of his 857 passes, scored 78 of his 81 touchdowns and made all four of his Pro Bowls while representing the Gateway City.

    Despite missing large chunks of three seasons because of injuries, he holds franchise records for receptions, receiving yards and and touchdown catches.

    If Bruce eventually is elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he would be the first inductee who played the bulk of his career here since former Cardinals tackle Dan Dierdorf, class of 1996.

    Road to success

    In 1995, Bruce was a 22-year-old former Memphis State standout coming off a solid if not spectacular rookie season (21 catches, 272 yards, two touchdowns) when owner Georgia Frontiere decided to accept a lucrative offer from St. Louis. The Rams hadn't had a winning season in five years, including a 4-12 record in 1994.

    The St. Louis Rams slogged through four more sub-.500 seasons before the curtain rose on the "Greatest Show on Turf" in 1999. With Bruce latching on to 12 of Kurt Warner's 41 touchdown passes, the Rams went from 4-12 in '98 to 13-3 and the franchise's first Super Bowl berth since 1980.

    On Jan. 30, 2000, in Atlanta, the Rams cruised to a 16-0 lead against Tennessee in Super...
    -03-12-2006, 09:02 AM
  • RamsFan4ever
    Isaac Bruce Selected as Rams’ Walter Payton Man of the Year Recipient
    by RamsFan4ever
    Isaac Bruce Selected as Rams’ Walter Payton Man of the Year Recipient
    Monday, December 18, 2006

    The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award is a prestigious honor recognizing a player for his community service as well as his on-the-field performance. Each NFL team has the opportunity to nominate the player who they feel best exemplifies the philanthropic spirit of Chicago Bears' Hall of Fame running back, Walter Payton. This year’s Rams’ recipient is Isaac Bruce.

    A four-time Pro-Bowler, Isaac holds three Rams single-season records for most receiving yards (1,781), most receptions (119) and most consecutive 100-yard games (six) and is the Rams current career receiving yards leader (13.104), career reception leader (871) and career receiving touchdown leader (79).

    Isaac is just as impressive off the field as he is on it. He received the 2006 National Sportsmanship Award for his off the field efforts and recently started the Isaac Bruce Foundation, a fund for the Institute for Science and Health which focuses on health, wellness, nutrition, fitness and education. He hosts a free football clinic for children in the St. Louis area each summer to provide them an opportunity to work on their football skills, sportsmanship and teamwork skills while building self esteem both on and off the field. Isaac is also assisting with the Diversity Awareness Partnership’s newest awareness campaign to promote inclusion and acceptance of diversity in the St. Louis community. As part of the campaign, Bruce is featured on a poster with the words, "Judge me by my ability, not the color of my skin." For several seasons, Isaac has also partnered with “Dream for a Day” to provide 10 tickets to Rams’ home games to children in the St. Louis community and also provides jerseys and a limousine ride for the children that attend the games.
    -12-18-2006, 04:52 PM