Hamburg Sea Devils fire HC Charles “Yogi” Jones

The Hamburg Sea Devils have announced that they have parted ways with head coach Charles “Yogi” Jones following a disappointing 2023 campaign which saw the team finish with a 4-8 record.

The dismal regular season was a steep dive for a team that had reached the championship game in the previous two years.

Jones was hired before the 2022 season, taking over a team that came close to winning the championship in the inaugural 2021 season, losing in the title game to the Frankfurt Galaxy. Jones made sure the team did not take a step back.  After losing a close game to the Barcelona Dragons in week 2, dropping the Sea Devils to 1-1, Jones led his team to 10 straight wins to close out the season.  This gave Hamburg the best record in the league in the regular season at 11-1.  They took care of the Raiders Tirol in the semifinal before being defeated by the Vienna Vikings in the championship game.

In 2023, the Sea Devils took a major step back, finishing at 4-8 and not coming close to making the playoffs.  Some contributing factors to this disappointing season were the offseason departures of star running back Glen Toonga and ex-NFL pass rusher Kasim Edebali, the injury of starting quarterback Preston Haire, and a difficult schedule in the Western Conference.  Such a 4-8 season was a far cry from their last two seasons in which they nearly won the championship, and the Hamburg front office felt a change was needed in order to get back to their winning ways in the future.

Jones joined the team after spending over a decade as the linebackers coach at Bethune-Cookman University at the NCAA Division I FCS level.  He had previously coached in NFL Europe with the Hamburg Sea Devils and Frankfurt Galaxy. A former standout linebacker, Jones spent some time with the Dallas Cowboys before beginning his coaching career.

Sea Devils general manager Max Paatz said of the decision:

“Intensive reflection and discussions with players and coaches have now shown that we need new impetus in the leadership and direction of the team. That’s why we have decided to terminate Yogi Jones’ contract prematurely.”

He noted the search for a new coach has already begun:

 “The main goal is to find a charismatic and experienced personality as soon as possible, who will quickly bring our young team back on the road to success with a clear concept.”

A current student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carter played football in high school and has been a lifelong avid football fan.