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The eight head coaches for the relaunch of the XFL in 2023 were revealed Wednesday on ESPN.
During a performance by XFL owners Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dany Garcia on ESPN’s Come upthe following names were announced as head coaches for the 2023 season:
Former NFL head coaches Wade Phillips and Jim Haslett as well as former University of Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops will join the league. Former NFL stars Hines Ward and Rod Woodson are ready to receive their first professional coaching opportunities.
In terms of previous head coach experience, Phillips, Haslett and Stoops are without a doubt the biggest winners for the XFL.
In addition to being a longtime NFL defensive coordinator, the 74-year-old Phillips spent 12 seasons as NFL head coach. He was the full-time head coach of the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys and served in a temporary capacity for the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans.
All in all, Phillips achieved a record of 82-64 in the regular season, leading teams to the playoffs on five occasions.
Haslett, 66, has long been the NFL assistant coach on the defensive side of the ball, but he is best known for his six years as head coach of the Saints from 2000 to 2005, where he played 45-51 with one playoff appearance. He also went 2-10 when the then St. Louis Rams’ interim head coach in 2008.
Stoops spent 18 seasons as Sooners’ head coach from 1999 to 2016 and served as interim head coach in two games last season following the departure of Lincoln Riley.
He is one of the most successful head coaches in college football history with a record of 191-48, 10 major 12 championships and a national championship.
The 61-year-old Stoops is also the only returning head coach from the 2020 version of the XFL who saw him lead the Dallas Renegades.
The other five XFL head coaches are best known for their NFL player careers, and many of them have limited coaching experience.
Ward spent 14 seasons as a wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1998 to 2011, earning four Pro Bowl nods, two Super Bowl rings and a Super Bowl MVP award.
He broke in as a coach as an offensive assistant for the New York Jets in 2019 and spent last season as a wide receiver coach at Florida Atlantic University.
Woodson is also a Steelers legend who spent 10 of his 17 NFL seasons as a defensive back in Pittsburgh.
The 57-year-old is a member of the Pro Football and College Football Hall of Fame, and he owns a sparkling resume highlighted by 11 Pro Bowl spots, six first-team All-Pro picks, an NFL Defensive Player of the Year award and a Super Bowl victory, the latter of which came as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.
Woodson’s most recent coaching job was as a cornerbacks coach for the then Oakland Raiders in 2017.
Terrell Buckley, 50, was an NFL cornerback from 1992 to 2005 with several teams, most notably the Miami Dolphins from 1995 to 1999.
He has been the assistant coach at several collegiate programs since 2007, including being the cornerbacks coach at Ole Miss in 2020 and 2021.
The 44-year-old Anthony Becht was a first-round pick of the Jets in 2000 and remained in the NFL through the 2011 season.
His first major coaching job came as a tight ends coach for the Alliance of American Footballs San Diego Fleet in 2019, and he most recently was the offensive coordinator at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Florida.
Reggie Barlow, 50, was a wide receiver and return specialist for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996 to 2003, winning a Super Bowl with the Bucs.
He has extensive coaching experience at NCAA FCS and Division II levels, coaching Alabama State from 2007 to 2014 and Virginia State from 2016 to 2021.
The 2023 XFL season begins in February 2023 and it will represent the third iteration of the league.
The XFL lasted one season in 2001 before being folded and did not reach all the way through the 2020 season after its restart due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Johnson, Garcia and a group of investors bought XFL from WWE President Vince McMahon in 2020 for $ 15 million.
Hoping to maintain the XFL in the long run, the league has entered into a partnership agreement with the NFL to help with player development.