Sharks Stock Up on Coaching Talent with Two Key Hires
Damian Daniels Joins Sharks & Charlie Hunt Returns
JACKSONVILLE, FL- The Jacksonville Sharks start the week by hiring two legendary players to join the Sharks 2023 coaching staff. Damian Daniels, a former Columbus Lions Coach and Hall of Fame defensive back is the latest coach to join the Jacksonville Sharks staff as the Sharks new defensive coordinator. As a player, Daniels led the Lions with 96 career interceptions and an arena football total of 117 interceptions before retiring. Daniels finished his playing career as a five-time defensive player of the year; he also helped the team to three NAL Championship appearances in four seasons. As a Lions hall of fame player, Daniels spent over nine seasons with Columbus helping them to multiple championships. Last season Daniels & Gibson propelled the Lions to their fifth straight NAL playoff appearance (Most in NAL History), the Lions finished the regular season 7-5. Damien Daniels served as the Lions defensive coordinator where his defense led the NAL in fewest points allowed.
In another major move, Coach Gibson secures a well-known name within Shark nation by retaining Coach Charlie Hunt. Coach Hunt is a legendary Shark who spent the majority of his arena playing & coaching career with the organization. The Sharks former All-NAL player and veteran Coach will return to the Sharks staff for his fourth season on the sideline. Hunt served last season as the team’s offensive assistant & special teams coordinator; this season he will move into his new role under Head Coach Jason Gibson as the team’s receiver / jack linebackers coach. Hunt played JLB/WR for multiple seasons for the Sharks in both the NAL and AFL. In 2017, Hunt helped the Sharks as a player to their first-ever NAL Championship, while personally being named the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year. Coach Hunt currently lives in the Jacksonville Beach area and is the offensive coordinator for Episocopal High School. Hunt played high school football here as a star athlete for University Christian where he went on to play collegiately at Florida State.
Coach Gibson’s Sharks coaching staff now consists of former star players within the sport as the Sharks announced the return of Coach Clay Harrell last week who was a star AFL fullback and Arena Bowl Champion. Hiring coaches that were not only athletes but star players at their position is not a coincidence as even Coach Gibson had a long and successful career as a player who played both receiver & defensive back. Gibson, as an athlete, got opportunities to play in the CFL, GFL, and the AF2. Having former players as coaches may serve as a major advantage for Jacksonville not only in player development but also success on the field of play. This strategy is not a new phenomenon, as many college FBS & FCS football programs as well as NFL teams have shifted to hiring former players to high ranking coaching staff positions.
The Jacksonville Sharks expect to kick off their sixth NAL season in spring 2023. This October, the Sharks will be holding tryouts, athletes interested in the opportunity can go to jaxsharks.com/tryouts . The Sharks along with the entire NAL will enter open free agency in November, where Jacksonville will have the opportunity to sign players from across the league in preparation for the 2023 season.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The 2019 & 2017 NAL Champions and ArenaBowl XXIV Champions play all their home games at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena. Sharks Nation Memberships for the 2023 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.