Front Office Change in Jacksonville
The Jacksonville Jaguars have announced that James (Shack) Harris has resigned as their vice president of player personnel, effective at season's end.
The Jaguars are elevating Gene Smith, their executive director of college and pro personnel, to replace Harris as their front office chief.
"I want to thank [Jaguars owner Wayne] Weaver for the opportunity he gave me and for the support he always showed," Harris said in a written statement released by the Jaguars. "I also want to thank the personnel staff. They are one of the best staffs in the league and have done a good job. Thank you also to the players and coaches, football operations and the entire organization for everything they've done. I wish the team well and I wish them success."
The Jaguars, after reaching the second round of last season's AFC playoffs, have struggled to a record of 5-10 this season, and there could be widespread changes. There already has been a report that Coach Jack Del Rio will replace Gregg Williams as the club's defensive coordinator.
"I want to thank Shack for his contributions and his hard work in helping us rebuild this team," Weaver said in a written statement. "When he and Jack Del Rio joined us six years ago we were coming off three straight losing seasons, and Shack helped build a strong roster that returned us to the playoffs. Though this season has not been what we all hoped for, there have been many great moments over the last six years. I want to wish Shack all the best in the coming year and beyond."
Smith, 44, has been in the Jaguars' front office since 1994 in a variety of roles, mostly involving scouting.
"Gene Smith has been with us since the inception of this franchise, and he has steadily been groomed for this kind of responsibility," Weaver said. "I'm excited about Gene taking on this role and helping us develop and grow our roster to compete at the highest level in this league. He has established himself and worked tirelessly in his profession, and Gene is very much deserving of this promotion."
Del Rio said in a written statement: "Shack and I have known each other and worked together for a long time, and I'm sorry to see him leave the Jaguars. I respect Shack, as do many people in the league, and I appreciate his hard work and his efforts to help us build a winner here in Jacksonville.
"I also have great respect for Gene Smith and the job he does. I congratulate Gene and I look forward to working closely with him in his new role."
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