Mississippi Sea Wolves fire head coach Esposito

Phil Esposito was fired as head coach of the Mississippi Sea Wolves on Monday. Joe Pace Jr will be stepping up as interim head coach for the rest of the season, until a new coach can be found. All other staff will remain the same.

Esposito was the first coach in Federal Prospects Hockey League Mississippi Sea Wolves history. His record was 2-9-2, leaving the Sea Wolves last in the Continental Division of the FPHL. Previously, Esposito coached multiple teams in the Southern Professional Hockey League, as well as the FPHL.

“Mississippi has waited eight long years for hockey’s return to the Gulf Coast. They are a top-notch fan base who deserve a championship level product on the ice,” CEO and Director of Hockey Operations Joe Pace said in an interview. “Our organization is committed to do whatever it takes, and make whatever changes necessary, to accomplish that goal.”

Pace is well known within the FPHL as a player, having played on the Danville Dashers and Port Huron Prowlers, who were the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup Champions. He became CEO and Director of Hockey Operations in the inaugural season of the Sea Wolves, as well as a defensemen with the team. Will this move mean that Pace will hang up his number 13 jersey for the season and stand on the bench?

“At this time, I will continue to play on the ice while I work with the team as interim head coach. I am not quite ready to hang up my skates.”

With the change, Pace is hoping this will be the launching point for a fresh start.

“We are open to this change, and are looking forward to find the right fit of coach for our team and our vision. The Sea Wolves aren’t planning on making any rush decisions with regards to leadership, and are looking forward to bringing home a different atmosphere for our fans. We really do have the best fans in the league, and they have stuck by our side through this rough start of a season. We hope that this move shows them that we hear their concerns and are looking to bring them a brighter future in hockey.”

The Sea Wolves are hitting the road this week to take on the Elmira Mammoth at First Arena in New York on Friday. The Mammoth currently have a 1 game win streak and the same win-loss-tie record as the Sea Wolves. The puck drops at 6:35 p.m. and Saturday at 5:35 p.m. and can be seen on YouTube or at one of the following locations: Sully’s in Gulfport, Walk-On’s in D’Iberville, or Val’s Sports Bar and Grill in Ocean Springs.

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