Adam Shackleford wants to be a head coach again in the arena football league. But, at this point, he just wants to coach again.
“My next coaching job doesn’t have to be as a head coach,” the former Spokane Shock coach said.
And that thinking has got some people in with the Tri-Cities Fever organization optimistic about Shackleford possibly being an assistant coach for the Tri-Cities Fever.
Shackleford, who was surprisingly fired by the Shock in September, was in town Thursday meeting with Fever coach Pat O’Hara. The two discussed the prospects of coaching together, but more than that, it was a get-to-know-you session for the two coaches.
“I like Adam a lot and would love to have him on our staff,” O’Hara said. “Whether or not that works out? We’ll see.”
Shackleford led the Shock to an 19-1 record and an ArenaCup title this summer, but was unexpectedly fired in September. A day later, the Shock hired Rob Keefe, who was Shackleford’s assistant with the Shock during the championship run.
“It was completely out of the blue,” said Shackleford, who who coached Spokane to three division championships, two conference championships and one ArenaCup title in three seasons. “I have to think the ball had been rolling way before that.”
Shackleford said he was disappointed that the Shock wanted to turn in a different direction, but says ultimately that he doesn’t want to be somewhere where he is not wanted.That is not the case in the Tri-Cities.
O’Hara and Shackelford developed a relationship over the phone last season after O’Hara was hired as the Los Angeles Avengers coach. The relationship continued to grow, and O’Hara surprisingly found himself coaching against Shackleford last season after the Avengers folded and he was hired as the Fever’s coach midway through the season.
The two continued to talk regularly on the phone, but before Thursday had never sat down face-to-face. After the meeting, O’Hara is convinced that Shackleford would be a huge asset to him and helping rebuild the Fever’s image on and off the field.
“I would love to give him a job, he deserves it,” O’Hara said.
Shackleford said he is still weighing some of his options for the upcoming season in the new Arena Football 1 League. But with uncertainties with the new league, he, like a lot of players and other coaches, are still waiting from some questions to be answered.
Shackleford did want to make one point clear though. If he decided to coach with O’Hara it wouldn’t be because everything else fell through.
“I think this is a good situation,” he said. “There are a lot of positives here. This would not be a last-ditch effort to find a coaching job.”
-- The Green Bay Blizzard announced Thursday that it is joining the Indoor Football League, instead of the AF1. The Blizzard played in the arenafootball2 league form 2003-2009, but under new ownership is making the move to the IFL.
-- Earlier this week, the Manchester Wolves folded, adding to the list of former af2 teams not planning to play in 2010.