ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Tom Menas is out as the Albany Empire’s head coach. Co-owner Mike Kwarta confirmed the move to News10 ABC Thursday night. Assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Damon Ware will serve as the team’s interim coach.

Co-owner and former NFL All-Pro Antonio Brown spoke with the media earlier in the night, but did not comment on Menas’ status when asked. “Well you have to ask Mike about front office things regarding players and coaches,” said Brown. “I don’t get into that stuff. My job here is bring the community. Put the people in the stands. We’re looking for coaches that are excited to be here, that are grateful to be here, going to be going out to local communities, working within our program of the coaches now.”

The Empire begin their season in 10 days on April 16th at home against the Orlando Predators. “Yeah, that was a little, interesting timing,” said Tom Menas. “My only regret is if this decision was going to be made that it would have been made in February. I turned down a bunch of jobs this offseason to come back, and coaches don’t want to be out of work for long. I wish I had the chance to see all the people that welcomed me two years ago and say thank you on behalf of me and my family.”

Menas led the Empire to back-to-back NAL Championships in his two seasons with the team, the franchise’s first two seasons in the NAL. Despite the timing of the decision, Menas doesn’t hold a grudge regarding the move. “Everyone is kind of mystified why I’m not angry,” said Menas. “I’m not angry at all because I work at the pleasure of our ownership, right? They’re allowed to make any decisions they want and I’m happy for them. I don’t wish any one ill will. They’re going to move on. I understand coach Ware has been named the interim head coach, what a great guy. Damon and I have been together for two years, we’re like Butch and Sundance, so I’m happy for him. I think I was terminated at like, let’s say 12:00 PM. At 12:01 PM I recommended Damon.”

When asked if he felt a change since Antonio bought his ownership stake, Menas had only positive things to say. “All I can tell you is this, anytime I’ve had any interaction with the Brown family they’ve been really kind, generous to me,” said Menas. “They’ve been very forthcoming. I’ve had a great relationship with them since I met them and all I can say in regards to a shift in culture is I see an unbridled enthusiasm with the Browns.”