Jacksonville Sports Day

ARENA: Sharks Hire Two-Time NAL Champion Head Coach

JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Sharks are excited to announce the hiring & return of Siaha Burley as head coach & the head of football operations. Burley spent three seasons as the head coach of Jacksonville from 2017-2019 winning the first-ever NAL championship in 2017 as well as the 2019 NAL championship.

The Sharks decision to bring Burley back means Jacksonville returns the winniest coach in NAL history (min 30 games) as Burley has compiled an overall record of 26-8 (.760 winning pct) with his closest competitor having a 32-24 record (.570).

Burley had a career season with the Sharks in 2019 helping Jacksonville to a 13-1 overall record, a playoff win and a thrilling 2019 National Arena League Championship victory over the Carolina Cobras. In Burley’s last season with the Sharks they led the league in total offense with the most touchdowns scored (109), most yards gained (3,421), and average points per game (57.5).

The Sharks also dominated on all three phases of the game with the most interceptions (36), most forced fumbles (14), and most sacks (40). While also dominating on special teams with the most PATS made (94) and the best PAT accuracy (.879).

Burley’s success with the Sharks is not unprecedented, having coached some of the top teams in arena football. He served six years as offensive coordinator & position coach for the Arizona Rattlers, Cleveland Gladiators, Orlando Predators, and Chicago Rush.

He also had a very successful playing career where he was a star college receiver at UCF and top target for UCF hall of fame quarterback and NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Dante Culpepper. Burley had a stint with the Minnesota Vikings in 2005 but spent the majority of his pro career as a top AFL wide receiver where he had an 11-year playing span that included seasons with the Orlando Predators, Los Angeles Avengers, Arizona Rattlers, and Utah Blaze.

His arena accolades as a player include Rookie of the Year in 2001, First & Second Team All-AFL honors, and an Offensive Player of the Year award in 2007.

“It’s extremely exciting opportunity to rejoin the Sharks organization and take part in a return to dominance,” said Head Coach Siaha Burley who also stated “to get a chance to coach in front of the Shark fans again as their expectations, our organization’s expectations, and my expectations have always been aligned.”

The Sharks enter the 2022 season following a disappointing 2021 season where the Sharks only home victory came against an undefeated Albany Empire team that later became the 2021 NAL champions. Burley looks to rebuild the team to it’s league leading reputation, a 2022 championship victory would mark a third NAL title for the Sharks and a third NAL championship for Siaha Burley.

“We’re excited to have Coach Burley back on board for the 2022 season,” said Sharks partner Jason Green. “Siaha has a proven track record and understands what we expect every season and that’s playing for a Championship.”

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