TAMPA — Coach Dave Ewart led the Tampa Bay Storm to the playoffs for the first time since 2010 but that wasn't enough to save his job.
Team president Derrick Brooks announced Tuesday that Ewart would be let go following a disappointing 7-11 season.
"We appreciate the hard work and selfless dedication that Dave Ewart has given to the Tampa Bay Storm as our head coach these past three seasons," Brooks said in a news release. "Unfortunately, our results have not met expectations and I believe a coaching change is in the best interest of the organization."
Tampa Bay lost a franchise-record eight straight games to close the season, including 69-62 Saturday against Jacksonville in the opening round of the American Conference playoffs.
The fourth-seeded Storm led the top-seeded Sharks by 21 in the third quarter.
Ewart took over for longtime coach Tim Marcum two weeks before the start of 2011 training camp. After consecutive sub-.500 seasons, the Storm jumped to a 7-4 record this year before dropping the final eight.
The Storm had a rash of injuries to key players this season. Linemen Brad Serini (knee) and Terence Crosby (lower body) both sustained season-ending injuries, and receiver Greg Ellingson was signed away by the CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats midway through the year.
But the biggest blow came when Tampa Bay lost quarterback and MVP candidate Adrian McPherson (knee) June 15 against New Orleans.
McPherson, a former Florida State standout, shattered the league record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (22) with 31, despite playing just 13 games.
The Storm didn't win a game the rest of the way.
Ewart served as director of player personnel and assistant coach from 2002-2010. He had a 22-32 regular-season record in three years as coach.
Ewart declined comment when reached by phone on Tuesday.