TRENTON, New Jersey — The Jersey Flight Football team has hired Jake Grande as their inaugural Head Coach effective immediately. "Jake has a vision for this organization that includes building a championship caliber team," said Sam Davis, Jr., co-owner. "His positive and varied football experience fosters a winning attitude wherever he coaches". Grande is a New Jersey native and looks forward to leading the National Arena Leagues (NAL) newest addition to their league - Jersey Flight.
Grande has over eight years of experience coaching Arena Football. From 2010 to 2013, Grande served as the Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator of the Jacksonville Sharks. During his time with the Sharks, Grande was responsible for developing the defensive game plan as well as coordinating special teams. He also handled football operations for the entire Jacksonville franchise.
Upon joining the Sharks in 2010 as Defensive Coordinator, Grande helped lead the Sharks to the playoffs in their first season as an expansion team in the Arena Football League (AFL). In the years to come, Grande would help lead the Sharks to an Arena Bowl championship with a 73-70 victory over the Arizona Rattlers in Arena Bowl XXIV. Grande also coached a league top-5 defense in each of his 4 seasons with the team.
In 2011, During the Arena Bowl XXIV championship run Grande’s Defense was among the top yet again with the #1 scoring defense for the second year in a row. It was during this championship season that Grande coached defensive back and arena football legend Micheaux Robinson to his AFL record-breaking 46 pass breakups. Grande’s Defensive continued its record breaking ways in 2013 when they broke the AFL Sack Record with 45.
Prior to the Sharks, Grande worked with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Pioneers of the Arena 2 Football League where he was a part of Two Conference Titles and Two Arena Cup Appearances.
In addition to coaching future NFL and CFL players, Grande is also no stranger to coaching the outdoor game.
After four seasons with the Jacksonville Sharks, Grande served as Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs Coach at Jacksonville University from 2011-2015, coaching the Dolphins into back-to-back interception leaders in the FCS. In 2014 and 2015, JU recorded 24 and 20 interceptions respectively, #1 in the FCS in each season.
Grande most recently served as the Special Team’s Coordinator and Wide Receivers Coach at Valdosta State University, coaching the Blazers to the playoffs in his first season with the program with the #8 passing offense in Division II.
Grande's Coaching Experience
2016-Present Assist. Head Coach-Special Teams Coordinator-WR Valdosta State University
2015 Asst. Head Coach-Defensive Coordinator Tropic Bowl College All-Star Game
2011-2015 Defensive Coordinator-Defensive Backs Jacksonville University
2014 Asst. Head Coach/ Defensive Coordinator National Bowl College All-Star Game
2010-2013 Assistant Head Coach-DC-DFO Jacksonville Sharks
2007-2009 Assistant Head Coach-DC-DFO Wilkes-Barre Scranton Pioneers, AF2
Grande's Playing Experience
2003-2006 Cornerback/Return Specialist Wilkes University
• 2005-2006 Team Captain
• Earned All-Conference Honors
• Conference Champions in 2006
About the Jersey Flight Football Team
Jersey Flight Football, Inc. (National Arena League – NAL) play their home games at Sun National Bank Center, Trenton, New Jersey, starting in the Spring of 2018. Owners Kyna Ruiz and Samuel Davis, Jr. are excited to be partnering with the NAL and the Sun National Bank Center to bring the excitement of Arena Football back to the Mercer County community and
surrounding region. Jersey Flight Football, Inc. is the first African American 100 percent owned New Jersey sports franchise featuring an African American Woman Majority Director.