The Jacksonville Sharks have just announced that head coach Les Moss has been relieved of his coaching duties, effective immediately.
Moss, the only coach in Sharks franchise history, finishes with an overall record of 77-54 in Jacksonville, including a 7-4 record in the postseason, despite finishing the last three seasons with a 22-28 record in the regular season.
After guiding his team to four consecutive division titles (2010-13), two American Conference titles (2011, 2015), and a championship in a thrilling, last-second 73-70 ArenaBowl XXIV win against the Arizona Rattlers, Moss could not continue the record of success. Saturday’s loss to the Portland Steel dropped Jacksonville to 5-9, ensuring only the second losing season in franchise history (7-11 in 2014) and eliminating the possibility of the franchise’s first home playoff game since 2013.
Coach Moss has taken the blame for the Sharks’ recent form, including missing potential game-tying two-point conversions on the last play from scrimmage in consecutive weeks.
Although Moss did win Coach of the Year honors in 2010, his first year on the job, his most notable season was 2015, where he guided Jacksonville from an 0-4 start to a 10-8 season, finishing with the Sharks becoming the first team ever to start 0-4 and 1-5 to an ArenaBowl against the 19-1 San Jose Sabercats (San Jose won, 68-47).
Moss has been involved with arena football since 1988, beginning his career with the Chicago Bruisers as an assistant. Moss was also the defensive coordinator for the Orlando Predators from 1991-2003, winning two ArenaBowls (1998, 2000) with head coach Jay Gruden. Moss’ debut as a head coach came with the Scranton Pioneers of af2, he coached there from 2004-09.
Operating Manager Jeff Bouchy has not made an immediate decision on who will replace Moss for the remainder of the season.
“We would like to thank Coach Moss for helping us start the Jacksonville Sharks and put Jacksonville on the Arena Football League map.” Bouchy said. “We are indebted to him for our early successes, and we wish him well in his future coaching endeavors.”