Floyd Johnson lost more than football games as head coach of the Alaska Wild. An 0-8 record cost him his job.
The Wild's first-year indoor football coach was fired Thursday, according to team official Jeff Worthington. The reason, he said, was simple.
"We're 0-8 and we've got the worst defense in the league," Worthington said. "Now we're just looking for a different direction."
The Wild can only move up. They sport the worst record in the Indoor Football League, rank 16 out of 19 teams in scoring offense (32.1 points per game) and last in points allowed (58.0).
Worthington said Johnson, who came to Alaska from Denver, understood why he was fired.
"It was purely a business decision," Worthington said.
With Johnson out, the Wild decided to go with a local coach. Johnson's interim replacement will be Sonny Rodriguez, the Wild's quarterback coach who also coaches varsity football at Dimond High.
Rodriguez, who has been coaching high school football in Anchorage for the last 20 years, is the Wild's sixth head coach since the franchise debuted in 2007. He could not be reached for comment.
The Wild take their 0-18 all-time road record to Fort Collins., Colo., tonight to face the Colorado Ice.
Rodriguez, however, won't be making the road trip, Worthington said. He offered no specific reason why the coach will stay home.
That leaves tonight's game in the hands of Abe Hernandez, who has been in charge of multiple coaching duties since the franchise started.
Rodriguez will make his debut June 11 against the Rochester Raiders at Sullivan Arena.
The Wild first hired Johnson in the offseason as the team's offensive coordinator.
Without a game under his belt, he was quickly promoted to head coach when Hans Deemer resigned in February.
Johnson played for the Arena Football League 2's Wichita Stealth and Mobile Wizards as a receiver and defensive back and for the Arena Football League's Arizona Rattlers.
In 2004 he was the defensive coordinator for the San Angelo Stampede and served as head coach of the Colorado Wildcats of the National Indoor Football League from 2005-06. He was most recently the head coach and assistant general manager of the New Mexico Wildcats (2007-08).
Rodriguez, meanwhile, has no head coaching experience in indoor football. He's been the Wild's quarterback coach since last season and was once the head coach for a semi-pro team in Florida.
Last fall, Rodriguez led Dimond to a 4-5 record during his first year as the school's head varsity coach.
The Wild's final game is July 9 at home against the Fairbanks Grizzlies. Nearly three weeks later, the Dimond Lynx start football camps.
"Sonny's got his plate full," Worthington said.
Find Kevin Klott online at adn.com/contact/kklott or call 257-4335.
By KEVIN KLOTT