Jacksonville Sharks

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Jacksonville Sharks
Current season
Established 2009
Play in Jacksonville, Florida
at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
JAXSharks.com
Jacksonville Sharks helmet
Jacksonville Sharks logo
Helmet Logo
League/conference affiliations

Arena Football League (2010–2016)

  • American Conference (2010–2016)

National Arena League (2017–present)

Team colors Blood Red, Midnight Black, White
              
Mascot Chum
Personnel
Owner(s) Jeffrey Bouchy
Steve Curran
Diva Nagula, D.O.
Rob Storm
Jason Green
Kevin Wesniak
Head coach Siaha Burley
Team history
  • Jacksonville Sharks (2010–present)
Championships
League championships (2)
AFL: 2011
NAL: 2017
Conference championships (2)
AFL: 2011, 2015
Division championships (4)
AFL: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Playoff appearances (7)
AFL: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016
NAL: 2017
Home arena(s)

The Jacksonville Sharks are a professional indoor football team based in Jacksonville, Florida, playing their home games at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, known for sponsorship purposes as Sea Best Field. Beginning in 2017, the Sharks began play as charter members of the National Arena League (NAL). They were members of the Arena Football League (AFL) from 2010 to 2016 and won the championship of their division in the first four seasons of their existence.

The Sharks joined the AFL for the 2010 season, following the league's complete reorganization the previous year. In their inaugural season, they set the league record for most regular season wins by an expansion team, winning twelve of their sixteen games, and ranked third in the league in ticket sales and average attendance. They advanced to the 2010 AFL playoffs, claiming the South Division title. In their second year in the league, they advanced to the ArenaBowl XXIV, defeating the Arizona Rattlers 73–70, for the first AFL Championship in franchise history.[1][2] The Sharks left the AFL after the 2016 season and joined the NAL.

History[edit]

Arena Football League (2010–2016)[edit]

The Arena Football League originally wanted to place a franchise in Jacksonville in the 1990s, citing the city's historical support for football.[3] The proposal drew the attention of Wayne Weaver, then owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the league decided that the Jacksonville Coliseum was too small for AFL standards.[3] In 2000, the Jacksonville Tomcats began play in the af2, the AFL's developmental league. The AFL and Tomcats ownership anticipated the completion of the new 15,000-seat Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, but the Tomcats folded after the 2002 season, before construction of the Arena was completed.[4]

Interest in placing an arena football team in Jacksonville remained. In 2010, following the restructuring of the AFL and the cancellation of the 2009 season, the AFL announced it would place an expansion team in Jacksonville.[5] The ownership group would be Jacksonville Sports Group, led by Jeff Bouchy, formerly part owner of the Orlando Predators AFL team under his brother Brett Bouchy.[5] On May 3, 2014, it was officially announced that former Mötley Crüe front man Vince Neil purchased a minority stake in the team.

National Arena League (2017–present)[edit]

On October 12, 2016, the Sharks announced that they were leaving the AFL for a rival league beginning with the 2017 season.[6] The Sharks were rejected from their first choice of league, the Indoor Football League (which itself is the home of several former AFL franchises), as the IFL was focused on a regional footprint that did not include Florida.[7]

On November 18, 2016, Sharks owner Jeff Bouchy announced the team has joined the National Arena League (NAL), originally known as the Arena Developmental League. He also announced the hiring for former Toronto Phantoms head coach Mark Stoute as their second head coach in franchise history, replacing interim head coach Bob Landsee. After going undefeated through eight games, Stoute was fired.[8] Siaha Burley was immediately hired as his replacement after serving as the offensive coordinator of the AFL's Cleveland Gladiators.[9] The Sharks nearly went undefeated throughout their inaugural NAL season before losing their home finale against the Monterrey Steel 44–37. They avenged the loss by beating the Steel one week later in the playoff semifinal 43–32 to advance to the NAL Championship Game. The Sharks won the inaugural NAL Championship Game 27–21 over the Columbus Lions.

Arena[edit]

Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, home of the Sharks

Since 2010, the Sharks' home arena has been Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, a $130 million facility. The field is known as "Sea Best Field", sponsored by the local seafood distribution company In the area.

Notable players[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Jacksonville Sharks roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Kickers

  • 12 Nick Belcher
Reserve lists
  • 81 Will Dukes WR (Susp.)
  • 14 Daniel Farley QB (Exempt.)
  •  4 Tommy Grady QB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 81 Joe Hills WR (Exempt.)
  •  5 David Hyland DB (Susp.)
  • 33 Montavis Mack OL (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  •  2 Marvin Ross DB (Exempt.)
  •  9 Schon Thomas DB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  •  9 Marquel Wade WR (IR) Injury icon 2.svg

Rookies in italics
Roster updated July 5, 2017
25 Active, 9 Inactive

More rosters

Individual awards[edit]

All-Arena players[edit]

The following Sharks players have been named to All-Arena Teams:

All-Ironman players[edit]

The following Sharks players have been named to All-Ironman Teams:

All-NAL players[edit]

The following Sharks players have been named to All-NAL Teams:

Notable coaches[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

Note: Statistics are correct through the 2017 National Arena League season.

Name Term Regular season Playoffs Awards
W L T Win% W L
Les Moss 20102016 70 50 0 .583 7 4 Coach of the Year (2010)
Bob Landsee 2016 (interim) 2 0 0 1.000 1 1
Mark Stoute 2017 8 0 0 1.000 0 0
Siaha Burley 2017–present 3 1 0 .750 2 0

Staff[edit]

Jacksonville Sharks staff
Front Office
  • Operating Manager & Member of Board of Managers – Jeff Bouchy
  • Vice President of Ticketing & Member of Board of Managers – Steve Curran
  • Partner and Member of Board of Managers - Diva Nagula, D.O.
  • Partner and Member of Board of Managers – Kevin Wezniak, CWO3, USN(Ret)
  • Partner and Member of Board of Managers - Jason Green
  • Partner - Rob Storm
  • Executive VP – Tim Johnson
  • Assistant General Manager – Jack Benigno
  • Director of Media Relations – Steven Shotola
  • Director of Operations & Director of Community Relations – Kayla Sharp
  • Account Sales Manager – Mike Adams
 

Head Coach

Offensive Coaches

Defensive Coaches

Football Operations Staff

  • Director of Equipment Operations - Matt Kaufman

Season-by-season results[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Don Coble (August 12, 2011). "Sharks win ArenaBowl on final play". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  2. ^ Don Coble (August 16, 2011). "Jacksonville to celebrate Sharks' championship with a parade". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "New arena considered for football". The Florida Times-Union. May 25, 1998. Retrieved January 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ Jeff Walker (November 13, 2002). "Tomcats fold". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved January 5, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Jeff Elliott (November 18, 2009). "Jacksonville arena football team hoping for a bang". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved January 5, 2011. 
  6. ^ "SHARKS MOVING TO RIVAL LEAGUE". Jacksonville Sharks. October 12, 2016. 
  7. ^ http://jacksonville.com/sports/2016-10-18/jacksonville-sharks-create-new-league
  8. ^ "STOUTE OUT AS HEAD COACH". Jacksonville Sharks. May 23, 2017. 
  9. ^ "SIAHA BURLEY NAMED SHARKS HEAD COACH". Jacksonville Sharks. May 23, 2017. 

External links[edit]