Hound Dogs' head coach surprised by abrupt firing

By John L. Pitts, Daily Journal

Martino Theus has been fired as head coach of the indoor pro football Mississippi Hound Dogs. The first-year team fell to 0-3 with a 75-27 loss at Lakeland, Fla., on Saturday night.
“I didn’t see it coming,” said Theus, 36, who was in his first head coaching position. “It wasn’t the record but about the problems I was having trying to put together a roster of healthy players. I needed more help from ownership.”
Theus addressed the team at a meeting Monday evening. He said he first learning of his firing from one of his players.
Injuries to several players had left the team’s roster too thin to prepare for its next game, Theus said.
“As a coach, I’m trying to look after my guys,” he said. “I wanted to get some good guys in here but I just wasn’t getting any help from the front office.”
The Hound Dogs are home against the Rome (Ga.) Rampage on Friday night at the BancorpSouth Arena. The Rampage rallied to win 35-30 here three weeks ago in the Hound Dogs’ debut.
Team owner Marty Cooper – no relation to the former ICC coach – said current defensive coordinator Eric Bingham will be the interim head coach.
The previous indoor football team to play in Tupelo, the Mississippi MudCats, finished its final season in 2008 with an interim coach after a dispute over compensation led all three primary coaches – and two top players – to quit.