Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward is headed to the XFL (Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
EXECUTIVES & ENTREPRENEURS

Hines Ward, Wade Phillips & the Inaugural XFL Coaching Class

The XFL named its eight head coaches on Wednesday, and they come with a mix of Super Bowl experience and Hall of Fame pedigree.

As the XFL prepares to relaunch in 2023, the league has announced its slate of coaches for its eight teams. The coaches are: Rod Woodson, Hines Ward, Wade Phillips, Bob Stoops, Reggie Barlow, Jim Haslett, Anthony Becht and Terrell Buckley.

The group comes to the XFL with a mix of college and pro experience, Super Bowl appearances, and Hall of Fame membership.. Both Phillips and Haslett are former NFL head coaches, and Stoops was the longtime head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners. The likes of Ward, Woodson, Barlow, Becht and Buckley are all former NFL players. 

“Our head coaches are a diverse group of leaders, champions and hall of famers with experience competing and coaching at the highest level in football,” Dany Garcia, Co-Owner and Chairwoman of the XFL said in a release. “Not only will they be mentors to our players, but they are also ambassadors of the XFL as we work together to build tomorrow’s league. What is most exciting about our talented coaches is that they all share our vision for the XFL and are committed to advancing the game of football for players and making it into a must-watch program for fans. The XFL is anchored in the belief of opportunity, and, just like our players, these football legends will drive the future of the game.”

The XFL has had a flurry of announcements since the league began revamping its operations in preparation for next year’s season. In November, the league announced its executive team. Two months later, it partnered with the NFL, and last week the league announced its new logo, a partnership with the NFL Alumni Academy and the hiring of Dean Blandino, who will serve as the vice president of officiating and playing rules innovation.   

“This is yet another huge moment for the XFL,” said league co-owner Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a statement. “I have experienced first-hand the positive influence and impact that coaches can have on a player’s life, and with our group of smart, accomplished and motivating head coaches, I expect nothing less. Not only will these coaches be mentors to our players, but they will be a big part of the cities in which we will operate. Stay tuned.”

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