Antonio Brown has owned an arena football team for a couple months now. Back in early May we put together a post outlining the hirings, firings and various controversies that had plunged the National Arena League franchise into chaos. Things have basically continued down the same path with Brown saying he would play in the most recent home game before becoming a last-minute scratch because of paperwork.
UPDATE: On Thursday, June 15th, the Albany Empire were terminated from the NAL for failure to pay their portions of the league's operating costs.
And then there's the coaching situation.
Antonio Brown's team has hired, fired, intended to hire and lost multiple coaches this season. More than a handful even. It's actually incredibly difficult to keep up with coaches from other arena league teams and local high schools either accepting the head coaching job and then either never coaching or getting immediately fired. Try to keep up...
Tom Menas, who had won league championships for the franchise, was fired 10 days before the season. He was replaced by Damon Ware, but when the payroll issues took place, Ware left the team. Menas was then rehired. He then resigned again on May 22nd after the team's fourth straight loss. The next day Brown announced he would play in the team's upcoming game. The story about that announcment appears to be the only thing added to the team website since the story about their season-opening win.
The only other thing on the main page is a 2022 hype video and their Twitter account, which hasn't been updated since April.
Back to the coaching situation. With Ware and Menas gone, Brown turned to local high school football coach John Audino. Brown told Rodger Wyland, the sports director of WNYT, the local NBC affiliate, that Audino would be at practice on Monday, despite the fact that he had not actually accepted the job.
“He’s changing coaches and players every single week and I was trying to build it from the ground up again,” Porcelli said. “ I had no say on personnel, no say on really anything. It’s too bad he’s duping the fans and he’s insulting the city of Albany saying he’s playing and saying (former NFL quarterback) Cam Newton’s coming. It’s an embarrassment to Albany.”
As Porcelli points out, Brown has been "recruiting" players on Twitter to drum up business.
So who is the coach now, with six games remaining on the schedule? How about Iowa Barnstormers defensive coordinator Terrence Foster? Just for a minute apparently. Yesterday former NFL player Maurice Leggett accepted the interim head coaching position. He may or may not have been playing defensive back for the team this season. Who knows if he'll make it through the week.
By my count, that's six people who have been announced as head coach by Brown in the last two months. One of them was fired, rehired, and resigned. Two of them never actually coached a game. Somehow, the Empire are only tied for the worst record in the league at 1-6.