March 8, 2017 - National Arena League (NAL) - Jacksonville Sharks
JACKSONVILLE - The Jacksonville Sharks announced today that Head Coach Mark Stoute has finalized his coaching staff for the 2017 season.
Joey Smith is the first to join Stoute who took the helm for the Sharks in November 2016 as the Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs coach. Smith will continue his coaching career after several years of coaching in the IFL, FXFL and NCAA level. Smith spent two seasons with Stoute as the Defensive Coordinator of the Cedar Rapids. In 2016, Smith's defense ranked as the number one defense in the league, boasting two First-Team All-IFL players and a 12-4 record. In 2015, Smith coached the third shutout in IFL history after a 48-0 win over the Bemidji Axemen. Smith also coached the Brooklyn Bolts of the Fall Experimental Football League as the team's Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach. During his time with the Bolts, he coached the number one ranked defense in the FXFL to an undefeated season, assisting seven players to move up the NFL.
Smith began his coaching career at East Stroudsburg University where he served as the team's Defensive Secondary Coach and then as the Warriors Outside Linebackers Coach during his 14 year tenure. In addition to his coaching career, Smith played four years in the NFL with the New York Giants as a wide receiver, defensive back and return specialist from 1991-1994 but was most notably known as one the Giants greatest kick returners when he averaged 18.8 yards per kick return in 1992. Smith graduated from the University of Louisville where he played defensive back and kick returner for the Cardinals for four seasons and played for the 1990 Fiesta Bowl team that defeated the third-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.
Bob Landsee will return to the Sharks' coaching staff as the team's Offensive Consultant. Landsee began his professional football career as a player. He attended the University of Wisconsin and earned both All-American and All-Big Ten Honors as a center. He was drafted to the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1986 NFL Draft. He played with the Eagles for two seasons, but a knee injury cut his career short, sparking the beginning to his successful coaching career in indoor / arena football. His professional coaching career began when he was hired as the offensive line coach with the AFL Milwaukee Mustangs in 1999, Toronto Phantoms in 2002, Indiana Firebirds in 2003 before becoming the head coach of the Green Bay Blizzard where he coached from 2005-2009. He returned to be the head coach of the Milwaukee Iron from 2010-2012 where the team went 11-5 in the 2010 season and appeared in the National Conference Championship. Landsee joined the Sharks in 2016 under former head coach Les Moss and took the helm as the team's Interim Head Coach where he led the Sharks to back-to-back home victories at the end of the 2016 regular season. Landsee also coached the Sharks to a thrilling post-season victory against the rival Orlando Predators and an appearance in the 2016 American Conference Championship.
BJ Cohen returns to the Sharks as the team's Defensive Line and Linebackers coach. In 2013, Cohen began his coaching career with the New Orleans VooDoo as their offensive and defensive line coach and joined the Sharks in 2016 as the team's defensive line coach. In college, Cohen played football for Marshall University where he was a three time All-American. Following his collegiate career, Cohen began playing arena football in 1999 as an offensive and defensive lineman. Throughout his career, he was a part of the Orlando Predators, Tampa Bay Storm, New Orleans VooDoo, and Kansas City Brigade. He made First Team All-Arena with the VooDoo in 2005 and is a two-time ArenaBowl Champion.
Stan Wrubluski continues his arena football coaching career with the Jacksonville Sharks as the team's offensive line coach and fullbacks coach. Wrubluski joined the Iowa Barnstormers in 2014 as the team's Defensive Line and Special Teams coach. He spent time with the Jacksonville Sharks, Orlando Predators, Jacksonville Tomcats of the af2 and the Eastern Kentucky Drillers. In addition to his pro football coaching career, Wrubluski college coaching tenure includes the University of Texas - El Paso, Valdosta State, Jacksonville University, University of Pikeville and Lambuth University.
Brett Allen will be the Sharks' Athletic Trainer for the 2017 season. Allen began his athletic training career with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, working for their Triple-A team. After a season with the Pirates, Allen moved to work for the San Francisco Giants' Advanced Single-A affiliate, the San Jose Giants and the American Association's Kansas City T-Bones. Allen moved from baseball to hockey by joining the Elmira Jackals in 2006. Allen is a native of Gainesville, Florida and attended college at Middle Tennessee State University where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Athletic Training.
Equipment Manager Matt Kaufman begins his first year with the Sharks. Kaufman recently received his Master's Degree in Sports Leadership from Northeastern University and received his Bachelor's Degree in Sports Management at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. In 2016, Kaufman earned a position on the Harvard Athletics Equipment Staff where he served on the Harvard Football and Lacrosse teams.