Charting a Championship Course
Having made the playoffs in their first two years of existence, the Pirates goal in 2020 was to win a championship. The team hired a three-time Super Bowl Champion to lead them. Former New England Patriot fullback Patrick Pass was elevated to Head Coach after serving as Director of Player Development in 2019. His staff included Offensive Coordinator Reggie Gray, a two-time Arena Football League champion and Defensive Coordinator Rayshaun Kizer, who ranks third all-time with 67 interceptions in the AFL. It was full-speed ahead as the season approached, but a world-wide pandemic loomed on the horizon. With the start of the season delayed due to Covid-19, the Pirates used the extra time to launch their official online pro shop which now serves fans from sea to shinning sea. The Pirates also rolled out a new website design and boosted their social media presence. Original media content featured the team’s 20 all-time greatest plays, a series on the top comeback wins in Pirates history and a full-length documentary entitled “Now or Never,” on Amazon Prime Video, which recapped the 2019 season. In June, the National Arena League cancelled its season and the Pirates three-year with the league expired. As team President and Owner Jawad Yatim explored options for 2021, the franchise continued to be a force in the community with players appearing at youth football camps and outreach events. Most importantly, the Pirates partnered with BodyArmor, a team sponsor, to provide refreshments to hospital workers as they performed free coronavirus testing at UMass Memorial Hospital in Marlborough, MA. Behind the scenes, the front office continued to evolve with the hiring of Christie McPherson, the new Head Coach of the Pirates Cheer Squad. In a normal year, the month of August would see the Pirates in the playoffs. This time it saw the Pirates charting a new course to glory. In an August 19th press conference at the DCU Center, President and General Manager Jawad Yatim announced a historic move as the Pirates joined the Indoor Football League. The franchise became the first east coast organization to play in the league based in the central and western United States. At the same time, Yatim announced a new three-year agreement with the DCU Center, ensuring that Pirates fans and the rest of New England would continue to see championship caliber football in the years ahead.