03/03/2020 1:04 PM
Article By: Jacksonville Sharks
JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Sharks have announced their coaching staff for the upcoming 2020 season. The Sharks will be led by Head Coach James Fuller as he enters his third year in the National Arena League. Jacksonville has some familiar faces returning to the coaching staff as well as new pieces to add to the arsenal. After taking the NAL title last season the Sharks have now set their sights on winning their third overall NAL championship title in the last 4 years. The Sharks have a big target on their backs for the 2020 season as everyone is gunning for the defending National Arena League champs. See below Coach Fuller’s 2020 coaching staff.
Assistant Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator: Lee Johnson - Johnson, served as the assistant head coach and line coach last season. This season coach Johnson has been promoted to Defensive Coordinator and will also remain the team’s Assistant Head Coach now under James Fuller. Coach Johnson has 20 years of experience in the Canadian Football League and multiple arena leagues. Under coach Johnson’s watch the Sharks built offensive and defensive lines that allowed Jacksonville to finish first in total points scored (805) during the regular season while averaging 57.5 points a game. The only other team to come close to that was the Carolina Cobras (720, 51.4), who fell to the Sharks in the 2019 NAL Championship game. Even more impressive was the specific stats in the trenches as Coach Lee’s offensive linemen only allowed 11 sacks all season, which was fewest in the NAL, while his defensive line amassed 40 sacks against opponents which was the most in the NAL last season. The return of Coach Lee and Coach Fuller give the Sharks a favorable stance moving into the 2020 season as the league’s front runners for the 2020 title. As a player, Coach Lee played in the NFL with the Washington Redskins as well as a number of teams in the CFL and AFL.
Offensive Coordinator: Shane Stafford - A new face to the Sharks but a veteran to arena football is newly acquired offensive coordinator Shane Stafford. Stafford is a former arena football quarterback and coach, who began his career as an offensive assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Storm in 2016-2017. He then became the offensive assistant coach for the Washington Valor in 2018 and was the offensive coordinator for the Atlantic City Blackjacks in 2019 before joining the Jacksonville Sharks. While with the Storm in 2017, he helped the team earn a spot in the ArenaBowl XXX Championship Game. As a player he spent most of his career in the AFL between Tampa, Orlando, and Dallas playing mostly for the Storm (2001-2006). Stafford also made the Al Lucas team twice during his career (2007-2008).
Special Teams Coordinator / Wide Receivers Coach: Charlie Hunt - Hunt returns for his second year of coaching with the Sharks, he helped the Sharks to their second NAL title as the team’s Special Team Coordinator and Director of Player Personnel. This season, coach Hunt will take over as the wide receivers coach and remain as the team’s special teams coordinator. As a player, he won an ArenaBowl and a NAL Championship with the Sharks as a JLB / WR. He also earned First Team All-NAL JLB honors and was the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year.
Director of Football Operations: Mike Owens - Owens enters his eighth season with Sharks. He was the team’s equipment manager for the 2014, 2015 and 2019 seasons. Owens started with the Sharks during their inaugural season where he was the team’s football video coordinator from 2010-2013. Owens also served as the team's assistant director of football operations last season. This season as the director of football operations Owens will be in charge of quality control for both equipment and personnel.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The 2017 NAL Champions and ArenaBowl XXIV Champions play all home games at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Sharks Nation Memberships for the 2020 season are now available. To become a Shark Nation member or for more information please call (904) 621-0700. Follow the Sharks on Facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter and Instagram @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks.