The Greenjackets football club has opted to not name a new head coach for the 2003 season.
Instead, the Glens Falls-based semipro team will have veterans Tom Mayer and Pete Quackenbush serving as co-head coaches.
Mayer was the offensive coordinator and Quackenbush the defensive coordinator last season under former head coach Joe Buonviaggio, who stepped down after two seasons.
Last year, the Greenjackets enjoyed one of their finest seasons, finishing 11-5 overall, including runner-up finishes in the Empire Football League and the Eastern Regional playoffs.
"Joe's inspiration and leadership is very hard to replace, and it will be sorely missed, but we believe our current coaching staff can jointly assume most duties of a head coach and get us through the season," Jackets president and general manager Charles Adams said in a statement.
"We had a winning combination in Tommy Mayer's offense and Pete Quackenbush's defense last season. We want to build on that and not disrupt it by making any hasty changes in the coaching staff."
Mayer and Quackenbush have worked together for more than 30 years, as teachers and coaches at Hudson Falls High School, and back in the 1970s, in their first go-round with the Jackets.
In 1976, Quackenbush was the Jackets' head coach while Mayer was head coach at Hudson Falls, and they served as each other's assistants. They both coached track at Hudson Falls until they retired last season.
"I think it will work great," Mayer said. "We've got a pretty good history together. I have a lot of respect for him and I know where he's coming from."
Mayer recalled one Saturday in 1976 when he and Quackenbush coached Hudson Falls against Queensbury in an afternoon game, then returned to Derby Park for an EFL semifinal game against the Watertown Red & Black.
"That night we played a three-overtime game against Watertown. We ended up coaching 11 1/2 quarters of football in one day," Mayer said. "We beat Watertown and that put us into the finals against the (Albany Metro) Mallers. That was the last year we won the (EFL) championship."
Mayer said he foresees no problems with working with Quackenbush in trying to build another championship contender. Mayer's offense scored the most points in team history last season, while Quackenbush's defense produced four shutouts and shut down most of their opponents.
"It will be a matter of what we'll do ahead of time - we'll come up with the game plan, and as long as we do a little homework, we'll be all right," he said. "We'll keep with a standard script like we did last year. Last year, Joe was the final say, but I don't see any problems. We had great people last year, and we'll need them again because we're in a tougher division."
The Jackets will play for the first time in the EFL's Southern Division this season. The Southern Division will include the Jackets, Broome County Jets, Capitaland Thunder, Scranton Eagles and the defending EFL champion Orange County Bulldogs. The Northern Division will include the Lake City Stars of Plattsburgh, Montreal Condors, Watertown Red & Black, St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers and the expansion Green Mountain Gladiators of Burlington, Vt. The Syracuse Vipers and New Jersey Ravens have taken a leave of absence.
In other Greenjackets news, eight Jackets were recently named All-Americans by the American Football Association, led by defensive end Ken Hackett, who was named an AFA second-team All-American. Linebacker Jamie Longmire was named to the third team, while six others received honorable mention - quarterback Kevin Siska, running back Dan McGovern, wide receiver Dan Chandler, center Jake Wilde, defensive end Jarris Jones and placekicker Brian Bagstad.
Hackett was also named a first-team All-American by National Football Events. Four other Jackets received honorable mention from the NFE - Siska, McGovern, Chandler and Jones.
The Greenjackets also announced their schedule for the 2003 season. They will open the preseason with a home game on June 28 against the Lake City Stars at East Field, in their annual Mayor's Cup showdown. The Jackets' regular season is set to begin on July 12 against the Capitaland Thunder at East Field.
The Greenjackets will hold a players' meeting on March 30 for all returning and prospective players at 2:30 p.m. at the Glens Falls YMCA.