According to Massachusetts Pirates management, Ameer Ismail will not be returning as head coach in 2019. In an exclusive AFT interview, team owner Jawad Yatim said Ismail received an offer from the Indoor Football League (IFL) expansion team San Diego Strike Force. It is unknown whether the offer was accepted but Pirate management is actively making plans for Ismail’s replacement. Yatim was unable to confirm , but hinted the replacement is likely to come from within the Pirate organization.
Coach Ameer Ismail who is well known in the National Arena League (NAL) for his animated board-side coaching style, received the Coach Of The Year award after leading the Mass Pirates to the number one spot in 2018. No reply to AFT request for comment from Coach Ismail.
“We wish Ameer the best of luck. He’s a great coach for us and a really good friend,” Yatim said about his former team leader.
In the off season, Pirate owner Jawad Yatim has been busy building his roster. In fact, just hours before our interview, Yatim re-signed wide receiver Mardy Gilyard who racked up 747 total yards and 19 touchdowns in 2018. With the recent loss of Bones Bagaunte to the Columbus Lions, Gilyard will again share the receiving work load with Devonn Brown and giving MVP quarterback Sean Brackett another much needed target.
Rumor has it the National Arena League, who has been surprisingly quiet in the off season, will be releasing the 2019 schedule next month. Arena Football Talk will have additional information as it becomes available.