Former NFL and College Football legends will make up part of the new XFL head coaching staff

By Aidan Wohl

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dany Garcias’ Xtreme Football League (XFL) will return for another season in February 2023 after the economical jeopardy that saw the league bankrupted due to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. The collaboration discussions between the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the XFL helped relaunch the fan-favorite football league. 

The reboot of this highly anticipated league will feature eight teams led by many former collegiate and NFL coaches, determined to bring more firepower and marketability through their talent and image.

Here are the head coaches for the 2023 XFL season:

San Antonio Brahmas: Hines Ward

San Antonio will have its first XFL team in 2023 and former Pittsburgh Steeler star wide receiver Hines Ward take the reins as the play-caller and general manager, marking his first season as a head coach.

Home to UTSA football, multiple NCAA basketball final four games, boxing matches and MLB games, the Alamodome will also host Hines and San Antonio for their first XFL season.

Ward has had experience coaching with multiple teams in the last few years as a wide receivers intern for the Steelers in 2017, offensive assistant for the New York Jets in 2019, and a special assistant to the head coach for Florida Atlantic University. 

“San Antonio, we’re going all the way,” said Ward, eager to rejuvenate the city of San Antonio that has not had that much experience or success in professional football.

Las Vegas Vipers: Rod Woodson

First year head coach and NFL Hall of Famer cornerback Rod Woodson will man the charge for Las Vegas after recently being an analyst for NFL Network and Big Ten Network. 

Woodson has coached his fair share of teams in the past decade, interning for the Bengals as well as a cornerbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders. 

The Vipers coach has been six seasons removed from the game but still possesses the IQ and discipline that is poised to take his players to the next level.

Arlington Renegades: Bob Stoops

Bob Stoops, the former 17 year Oklahoma Sooners head coach and member of the College Football Hall of Fame will renew his head coaching position this season. 

Stoops finished with a 191-48 record with the Sooners throughout his tenure and continues to adjust with a new environment that is the XFL.

Finishing 2-3 in 2019, the first head coach to ever be hired in the XFL will look to gain momentum with his new-look Renegade team.

Seattle Dragons: Jim Haslett

Ending the 2019 season at an underwhelming 1-4 record, former New Orleans Saints head coach and University of Buffalo assistant, first year head coach Jim Haslett aims to turn the Dragons program around into a winning franchise. 

Taking over the Saints in 2000 after a 3-13 record the year prior, Haslett led New Orleans to a 10-6 record in his first season as head coach. The Dragon’s play caller knows what it takes to instantly shift a team’s momentum and confidence which should propel the Dragon’s hopes come February.

Houston Roughnecks: Wade Phillips

The long term NFL defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will bring 50 years of coaching from the collegiate to the professional level for the Roughnecks.

Phillips has been a DC most of his career but has had multiple stints as head coach in the NFL; Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, delivering a 82–64 record under the helm.

TDECU Stadium, home of the Houston Cougars will host the Roughnecks in the spring of 2023. Phillips will be familiar with this location, coaching the Houston Cougars at the Astrodome (16 minutes from TDECU Stadium) for his first job in 1969.

Orlando Guardians: Terrell Buckley

Camping World Stadium, home of the annual college football Citrus Bowl will host head coach “The Vaccinator” Terrell Buckley and the Orlando Guardians this spring. 

Buckley, a former college football, NFL cornerback and collegiate cornerbacks coach will take on his first ever head coaching job. 

The Guardians play-caller is no stranger to Florida, coaching the wide receiving corps, safeties as well as in the weight room throughout his tenure for Florida State (2007-2011)

St Louis BattleHawks: Anthony Becht

The St Louis BattleHawks will once again get a former tight end coach as their head coach, landing Anthony Becht after the departure of Jonathan Hayes.

Becht, a former NFL tight end who last coached in the Alliance of American Football League for the San Diego Fleet in 2019. He will have the experience of coaching in a newer league, allowing him to have better knowledge of the different rule changes that other coaches are not as familiar with.

Becht is thrilled about coaching at the Dome in St Louis and is hyping fans up about this upcoming season.

“We’ve got the most loyal fans out there,” Becht said. “I already know we’re going to have a great turnout at our games at The Dome.”

Washington D.C Defenders: Reggie Barlow

The Washington D.C Defenders will bring in another quarterback coach with Reggie Barlow after former Michigan quarterback coach Pep Hamilton led the charge in 2019. 

Head coach of Alabama State and Virginia Tech, Barlow brings head coaching experience to D.C. with an 83-58 record throughout his collegiate tenure.

Finishing 3-2 in the Defenders’ shortened 2020 campaign, Barlow will be sure to adjust and tweak his roster accordingly in order to fuel the fire come spring.

American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!