Aaron Garcia (American football)

Aaron Garcia (born October 28, 1970) is a former professional American football quarterback who played 19 seasons in the Arena Football League (AFL), from 1995 to 2014. He played college football at Washington State University before transferring to California State University, Sacramento. After retiring from the AFL, Garcia was named the head coach of the Las Vegas Outlaws in September 2014, and was formally introduced as the head coach of the Outlaws on October 11, 2014. Garcia is married to Bryn Garcia and has four children, Gigi, Bella, Anthony and Christian.

Aaron Garcia
Personal information
Born: (1970-10-28) October 28, 1970
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school:Grant Union
(Sacramento, California)
College:Sacramento State
Career history
As player:
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career Arena statistics
Comp. / Att.:4,963 / 7,794
Passing yards:62,159
QB Rating:115.72
Rushing TDs:46
Head coaching record
Regular season:5–12–1 (.306)
Postseason:0–0 (–)
Career:5–12–1 (.306)
Player stats at ArenaFan.com

Born in Sacramento, California, Garcia attended high school in Sacramento at Grant Union High School. After graduation from high school in 1988, Garcia enrolled at Washington State University and played quarterback for the Cougars, starting for two seasons. He transferred to California State University, Sacramento in 1992, where he started for two seasons.

After going undrafted in the 1995 NFL Draft, Garcia was encouraged to try playing in the Canadian Football League (CFL) or the AFL to gain more scouting exposure for an opportunity at the National Football League (NFL). He signed with the Arizona Rattlers and became their starting quarterback in 1995. In his career, Garcia has also played for the Connecticut Coyotes, New Jersey Red Dogs, Iowa Barnstormers, New York Dragons, Jacksonville Sharks, San Antonio Talons, San Jose SaberCats Orlando Predators and Los Angeles KISS. Garcia would go on to set AFL records for passing yards, passing touchdowns and interceptions during his 19-year career, winning ArenaBowl XXIV while a member of the Sharks. Garcia was also a two-time Arena Football League Offensive Player of the Year Award recipient, in 2001 and 2011.

High school career

Garcia attended Grant Union High School where he played high school football, and basketball with his father as coach, where he broke John Elway’s California state high school passing, yardage and touchdown records with a two-year prep total of 5,800 yards and 57 touchdown passes.

College career

Garcia went to Washington State University in 1988, and started as a redshirt freshman in 1989, contributing 1,591 yards and 11 touchdown passes, leading the Pac-10 in passing efficiency that year. During that year, quarterbacking duties also were shared by junior Brad Gossen, who threw for 1,372 yards and nine touchdowns in an injury shortened season, prior to Garcia being named the starter. In 1990, a mid-season quarterback controversy erupted when second-year coach Mike Price benched veterans Gossen and Garcia in favor of true-freshman Drew Bledsoe.

After Bledsoe's emergence at Washington State in 1990, Garcia transferred to Sacramento State in Division I-AA[1] and finished his college football career as the starter there, throwing for 1,798 yards and 13 touchdowns in his senior season.

College career statistics

NCAA Collegiate Career statistics
Washington State Cougars
Season Passing Rushing
CompAttYardsPct.TDIntQB RatingAttYardsAvgTD
1989 1151891,59160.81111139.15280.20
1990 174123641.51573.513110.80
Sacramento State Hornets
1992 417367256.226126.1--------
1993 1372531,79654.21613124.4--------
NCAA Career Totals 3105564,29555.83035125.9--------


Professional career

Arizona Rattlers

Following his college career, Garcia turned to Arena Football. He played for the Arizona Rattlers in 1995.

Connecticut Coyotes

Garcia was traded to the Connecticut Coyotes during the 1996 season.[3][4]

New Jersey Red Dogs

Garcia would change teams again in 1997, playing for the New Jersey Red Dogs.

Iowa Barnstomers/New York Dragons

Garcia played for the Red Dogs for a year and a half before joining the Iowa Barnstormers during the 1998 season. Garcia finally settled down in Iowa, and found his greatest success when the Barnstormers became the New York Dragons in 2001. In the 2001 season, Garcia threw a league record 104 touchdown passes, but this was passed by Clint Dolezel in 2006.

San Francisco 49ers

Garcia briefly left the AFL in 2002, when he was signed by the NFL's San Francisco 49ers.[5] He was released after minicamp in June and returned to the Dragons, who finished 3–11 that year.[6]

Return to the Dragons

On February 26, 2006, Garcia suffered a fractured tibia and fibula, ending his season. He was replaced by Juston Wood and later Nick Browder. At the time of the injury, Garcia had thrown more touchdown passes than any pro quarterback, however, Andy Kelly and Clint Dolezel moved ahead of Garcia while he was injured.

On June 2, 2007, Garcia became the fourth quarterback in AFL history to throw 800 touchdowns, joining Dolezel, Sherdrick Bonner, and Kelly.

In 2008, Garcia led the Dragons to the playoffs despite finishing the season with an 8-8 record. In the first round playoff game, Garcia and the Dragons defeated a heavily favored Dallas Desperados team who finished the year at 12-4. Garcia and Dolezel squared off at quarterback against each other, and Garcia out dueled Dolezel throwing nine touchdown passes to Dolezel's seven. The following week, New York lost on the final play of the game to the Philadelphia Soul, who would go on to win ArenaBowl XXII.

Jacksonville Sharks

The Arena Football League suspended operations in 2009. On January 21, 2010, Garcia signed with the expansion Jacksonville Sharks when the Arena Football League reformed in 2010. On May 1, 2010, Garcia threw his 900th touchdown pass to Sale' Key in a 62-60 win over the Tulsa Talons. On June 5, 2010, Garcia became the all-time leader in passing touchdowns in Arena Football history, with 932 touchdown passes thrown.[7] On April 30, 2011, Garcia connected with Jeron Harvey for his 1,000th career touchdown pass. Jacksonville Sharks went on to beat in-state rival Orlando Predators 76-55.[8] On July 22, 2011, Garcia became the first AFL quarterback to cross the 50,000 yard milestone in a 75-56 victory over the Spokane Shock.[9] On August 12, 2011, with two seconds remaining in the 4th quarter, Garcia threw the winning touchdown pass as time expired in ArenaBowl XXIV to win his first Arena Bowl title for the Jacksonville Sharks.

San Antonio Talons

On September 27, 2011, Garcia was officially announced as the first player to sign with the relocated San Antonio Talons franchise.[10] On March 29, 2012, Garcia was strip sacked on the six yard line but was able to recover the ball and go into the end zone for a fumble recovery score in a 47-34 road victory over the Orlando Predators.[11] Garcia lead the Talons to a 14-4 record, and a Central Division Championship.[12] With the top seed in the National Conference, the Talons were upset 35-34 by the Utah Blaze after Garcia was sacked on 4th and goal with 2:50 remaining in the game.[13] After the 2012 season, the Talons offered a contract to Garcia,[14] but Garcia decided to sign elsewhere.

San Jose SaberCats

On November 8, 2012, Garcia signed with the San Jose Sabercats.[15] On April 22, 2013, after a slow start to the 2013 season (98 for 159, 24 TD's and 13 INT's) the SaberCats announced that they have been assigned former Chicago Rush quarterback Russ Michna on a two-year contract. The SaberCats then placed Garcia on recallable reassignment to make room on the 24-man roster.

Orlando Predators

On April 25, 2013, Garcia was traded, along with Devin Clark, to the Orlando Predators in exchange for Amarri Jackson.[16]

Return to Jacksonville

On February 8, 2014, Garcia was traded back to Jacksonville for Bernard Morris, Matt Marcorelle and Trevis Turner. Garcia started one game for the Sharks, while refusing to report for most of the season.

Los Angeles KISS

On May 12, 2014, Garcia was traded to the Los Angeles KISS for J. J. Raterink.[17]

Career statistics

1995Arizona Rattlers17528461.62,416438115.015440
1996Connecticut Coyotes13627150.21,77931493.712173
1997New Jersey Red Dogs7613855.195016784.514192
1998New Jersey Red Dogs9114065.01,158185108.019948
1998Iowa Barnstormers20034358.32,457439100.920237
1999Iowa Barnstormers28346860.53,8156815109.45311515
2000Iowa Barnstormers27046657.94,026928118.813180
2001New York Dragons36852969.64,51510416122.69322
2002New York Dragons11218859.61,390299101.211340
2003New York Dragons32951364.14,27910010121.711331
2004New York Dragons27945960.83,7979113115.014134
2005New York Dragons34551666.74,1129013120.18-110
2006New York Dragons12115777.11,417324132.95120
2007New York Dragons14922765.61,724464120.7000
2008New York Dragons33650067.23,533789119.0762
2010Jacksonville Sharks31248664.23,7188216113.39-291
2011Jacksonville Sharks40256271.54,93311617125.24241
2012San Antonio Talons40561066.44,98511816120.11080
2013San Jose SaberCats9815961.61,154241387.4000
2013Orlando Predators14824360.11,839406105.62-10
2014Jacksonville Sharks274264.327761108.93000
2014Los Angeles Kiss13224853.21,709261772.80300

Coaching career

Garcia was named head coach of the Las Vegas Outlaws of the AFL in September 2014.[18] The Outlaws folded in August 2015.[19]

Coaching record

TeamYearRegular seasonPostseason
WonLostTieWin %FinishWonLostTieWin %Result
LV2015 5121.3062nd in West


  1. Joe Davis (September 26, 2012). "Sac State alum one of the AFL's greats". www.statehornet.com. The State Hornet. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  2. "Aaron Garcia". www.sports-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  3. Dom Amore (June 1, 1996). "Coyotes' Garcia Won't Give Up On NFL Dream". www.articles.courant.com. Hartford Courant. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  4. Mike MacAdam (June 29, 1996). "New-look Coyotes could create problems for Firebirds". The Daily Gazette. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  5. Brian Belefski (February 4, 2002). "Dragons must revamp roster". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  6. Associated Press (June 16, 2002). "Predators roll past Dragons". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved February 20, 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  7. Sharks QB Aaron Garcia sets arena football touchdown record in 64-56 victory at Chicago
  8. "Jacksonville Beats Orlando, 76-55". www.arenafootball.com. April 30, 2011. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  9. "Sharks Triumph Over Shock, 75-56". www.arenafootball.com. July 23, 2011. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  10. Eric R. Ivie (September 30, 2011). "San Antonio Talons sign Aaron Garcia, Robert Quiroga". www.sports.yahoo.com. Yahoo!. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  11. "AFL Box Score: San Antonio Talons @ Orlando Predators (Mar 29, 2012)". ArenaFan.com. March 29, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  12. David Flores (July 23, 2012). "Top-seeded Talons open AFL playoffs at home against Utah on Friday night". www.kens5.com. KENS 5-TV, Inc. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  13. David Flores (July 27, 2012). "Talons' first season in S.A. ends with 35-34 loss to Blaze in playoff opener". www.kens5.com. KENS 5-TV, Inc. Archived from the original on August 1, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  14. "Talons offer deal to QB Garcia". www.mysanantonio.com. Hearst Communications Inc. October 30, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  15. Jimmy Durkin (March 28, 2013). "SaberCats' home opener a homecoming for Aaron Garcia". www.mercurynews.com. MediaNews Group. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  16. "San Jose SaberCats trade away veteran quarterback Aaron Garcia". www.mercurynews.com. MediaNews Group. April 25, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  17. "LA KISS Adds Arena Football League's All-Time Passing Leader". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. May 12, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  18. Robin Leach (September 8, 2014). "Strip Scribbles: Amy Purdy + Oprah; George Clooney's wedding; Britney hits road". www.lasvegassun.com. Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 15, 2018. Retrieved July 23, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. "Aaron Garcia Coaching Record". ArenaFan.com. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
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