The Dallas Sidekicks have announced two major changes this week: General Manager and Director of Operations Jesse Llamas has been promoted to team President, and Simon Bozas has stepped down as Head Coach.
Jesse Llamas joined the Sidekicks, replacing Simon Bozas as General Manager when the team returned from their year-long hiatus, during the 2017-2018 season. In Llamas’s first season, the Sidekicks had marginally better results, improving from 7-13 to 9-15, and average attendance grew from 2,299 to 2,615.
Llamas also helped the team weather the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Sidekicks one of just 7 teams to play during the abbreviated 2020-2021 season.
With Llamas at the helm, the team has a leader with longstanding ties to the Sidekicks, having played for the reborn incarnation of the team in 2003 and later serving as an assistant coach under Tatu.
Llamas is already saying the right things to re-establish faith in the franchise, “I believe I have found the right team, and we will go forward into the community making sure everyone knows every single face of the front office. I want people to trust our new organization and our new team going forward. I want everyone to feel they are part of the team.”
One of Llamas’s first moves as team president was to part ways with Head Coach Simon Bozas, who had served as the Sidekicks coach since the 2015-2016 season. Under Bozas, Dallas never finished with a winning record and only qualified for the postseason once. That appearance came this past season, where only 7 teams played and all 7 made the playoffs. Dallas finished in 7th place with a 1-10 record.
It appears Bozas may continue to serve as co-owner (although this has been neither confirmed nor denied as of yet), and will assist in on-boarding whoever the team elects to hire as their new coach to ensure a smooth transition.
Speaking as a fan and supporter of the Sidekicks, both of these moves have me more excited for the new season than I’ve been in years. I’ve written several articles previously criticizing Bozas’s performance, and with both Llamas at the top and Bozas out, the team is already in the best shape they’ve been in since Tatu left.
Honestly, it’s that simple. Bozas was out of his depth and floundering, and Llamas was there for both eras when the team was actually, properly good.
There’s no word yet on who will replace Bozas as head coach, but given the rumours I’ve heard concerning the Mesquite Outlaws, a certain Brazilian armadillo might be available soon.
The Sidekicks return for MASL action in November, with the details of the season yet to be announced.