Amidst league takeover, Portland coaching staff dismissed, James named new HC
The Portland Thunder were always going to have a tough 2016 season under league ownership. Now, they're going to head into the campaign with a brand new coaching staff according to sources close to the situation.
The Arena Football League is expected to make an announcement that the entire coaching staff of the Thunder, including head coach Andy Olson, has been relieved of its duties this week. The next coach of the team is expected to be named shortly as well.
Olson took over as the head coach of the Thunder during the offseason after the Spokane Shock left the AFL for the IFL. Adam Shackleford will be coaching Spokane, which has rebranded itself into the Empire.
The Thunder will now have a fourth head coach in just three seasons in the AFL. Matt Sauk, the team's first coach was fired after a 5-13 season. Mike Hohensee took over for the 2015 season and also was dismissed after going 5-13.
The league assumed control of the Thunder earlier in January, taking over for Terry Emmert.
UPDATE 7:20 PM ET: The Thunder have named Ron James the new head coach and general manager for the team effective immediately.
ArenaFan's Tim Capper aided in the compilation of this report.