WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- David Irving is out as head coach of the Wilmington Hammerheads. Click the play video icon to see our interview with coach Irving. We sat down with Irving on Thursday afternoon. That's when the team announced, by mutual agreement, that Irving is leaving his role and will no longer be involved in the day to day operation with the team.
"David has been an integral figure in the soccer community in Wilmington for many years and had many successes,” Hammerheads General Manager Jason Arnold said in a news release. "He has contributed so much to the Hammerheads and the city of Wilmington, and for that we are very grateful. We wish David all the best and much success in the future."
The first part of the season was good for the Hammerheads. The team has clearly been in a downward tailspin the last month. With a late surge the Hammerheads could still make the playoffs, but it would be without David Irving. Wilmington currently sits in 12th place, but they have more remaining games than any other team in the USL Pro League. "It happens, it's football, it's soccer. Coaches get fired. Coaches get released, they step down all the time," Irving said. "That's part of the business. Is it a results business? Sure, but I think it's more than that. It's the club going in a different direction and that's fine."
Local ownership has always been part of the Hammerheads lore, until this season. "We had new ownership come in September, Irving told WWAY. "They felt it was time for a change. That's what happened basically. Am I disappointed? Sure. I'm not retiring. I want to thank a lot of people that have supported over the years, fans, and past ownership groups that supported me, and that's it. With the budget we've had we've not complained, our players that have come in here, they overachieved every year. That's what it is about. I can live with that. I have no regrets, none whatsoever."
We asked Irving, "Had you not resigned this week do you believe the new ownership group would have fired you? Well, that's a tough question." (followed by a slight laugh and smile)
Technical Director Carson Porter and Arnold will manage the team for the rest of the season. The search for a new head coach will begin following the season.
Click the play video icon above to see our interview with coach Irving.