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XFL Orlando Coaching Staff Previews: Terrell Buckley Brings Tons of NFL Experience to Team

The XFL has finally released the full coaching staffs for all 8 charter teams in their 3.0 launch. Orlando’s staff comes stacked from top to bottom with a seasoned cast of football minds. At the top of course, is Head Coach Terrell Buckley, who brings 14 years of experience as an NFL cornerback, and 15 more as a coach.

Buckley has coached with Akron, Louisville, Mississippi State and Ole Miss, going head to head with the SEC’s best as a defensive backs coach. With such a resume, he’s closely in tune with the trends that offenses are taking in the modern football world, and how to defend against them.

Director Team Operations: Pat Austin

Pat Austin will be responsible for overseeing many aspects of this franchise, and he brings years of experience in NFL and NCAA front offices to the table. He cut his teeth in the football world as a high school coach around Mississippi, before earning a spot with Mississippi State in their front office. He’s also worked as an Operations Consultant with the Minnesota Vikings, and was most recently Executive Director/Director of Corporate Partnerships at Mississippi Valley State. His multifaceted experience around the football world will be an asset to this team as they grow their brand.

Director of Player Personnel: Larry Lee

Who better to be in charge of personnel than a former player? Lee was a longtime center in the NFL back in the 80’s, and was VP of Football Operations with the Detroit Lions after that. He’s most recently been working with the Fritz Pollard Alliance, and is making his reappearance with Orlando after some time away from the game. A seasoned football mind like his will be welcome as the young coaching staff builds in Orlando.

Offensive Coordinator: Robert Ford

Ford was a WR/Returner in college, and has since had an extensive career as a coach. He’s largely been in charge of wideouts and tight ends, most notably with the Dallas Cowboys during their legendary run in the 90’s, and the Miami Dolphins in the late Marino/Jay Fiedler years. He’s coached some incredible players in his time, and brings a wealth of experience and success to this staff. Ford spent much of his time in the NFL with Barry Switzer in Dallas, and one wonders if we’ll get to see a wishbone formation thrown in there. After the Birmingham Stallions ran the T formation last spring, anything is possible.

Assistant Head Coach: Lamar Thomas

Thomas was a 2x National Champion wideout with Miami back in college, and translated that into an 8-year NFL career. He spent 5 years with the Miami Dolphins, being coached by Robert Ford. Their connection, along with his long record of success as a WR coach made him a natural candidate for this staff. He also was WR coach at Louisville the same time Terrell Buckley was their CB coach.

Quarterbacks: Shane Matthews

An excellent get for the team, they’ve added a National Championship winning, 14 year NFL veteran quarterback to mentor their young QB’s. Shane Matthews was a 2x SEC player of the year and National Champion at Florida, and had a long run as a journeyman passer in the pros. I frankly could not think of a better option to work as a QB coach in the XFL, and I’m excited to see who they pair him up with.

Offensive Line: Keith Wagner

A former offensive tackle who was All-American at Abilene Christian and All-World League in NFL Europe, Keith Wagner has been offensive line coach with some highly successful programs. Most notably he has been with Alabama A&M, as well as North Carolina A&T. He’s been coaching for two decades, and has developed 4 All-Americans, 17 All-Conference linemen, 5 NFL players, and 2 offensive linemen of the year. With such an extensive background in and around the trenches, he’s set to make his pro debut as a coach.

Defensive Coordinator: Tony Carter

Tony Carter is best known for being Denver’s trusty nickelback throughout the Tim Tebow/Peyton Manning eras, and he’s made his foray into the world of coaching since then. A graduate of Florida State, he’s got the connection to Buckley there, and on his own has worked as cornerbacks coach at Jacksonville University and Southern Illinois. He’s also seen pro action as a coach, as a defensive assistant with Detroit, where he stepped up as defensive backs coach for a game due to COVID in 2020.

Defensive Line: Ty Warren

Warren was a stalwart in the middle of Bill Belichick’s defenses in New England for years. A 2x Super Bowl Champ and All-Pro, he made the transition to coaching after his retirement. He started with the Detroit Lions alongside Tony Carter, and was most recently seen in charge of the Houston Gamblers’ DL this spring with the USFL. Another excellent addition.

Linebackers: Mark Snyder

Snyder worked alongside Ty Warren in Houston this spring as the Gamblers’ LB coach. He’s longtime college coach who was HC at Marshall from 2005-2009, and has also been with big schools like Ohio State, Texas A&M, Michigan State and Florida State. His coaching last spring was immense, as two of his players won themselves acclaim in Donald Payne (First Team All-USFL) and Chris Odum (Defensive MVP). He’s also coached up guys like AJ Hawk, Myles Garrett and Bryan Burns in their college days.

Safeties: Ronnie Lee

A bonafide veteran coach, Lee had a 25 year career in the NCAA coaching with Miami, Michigan, and Minnesota. He was just seen with the Salt Lake Stallions as their Defensive Coordinator, and has been in youth football since the AAF folded.

Athletic Trainer: Rachel Sharpe

Rachel Sharpe was Rehab Coodinator/Assistant Athletic trainer with the South Carolina Gamecocks, and Head Athletic Trainer for the Atlanta Legends of the AAF.

Equipment Manager: Bobby Monica

Bobby Monica is the Senior Director of Equipment Operations league wide, a field he’s been in with the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns and the UFL.

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Matt Nagashima has been covering the XFL since before the 2019 Draft, and has witnessed history being made as a Credentialed Reporter for the Dallas Renegades. While he is engrossed with the X's and O's, the roster building and more, it has always been his goal to keep the players first in mind in coverage, showing the human aspect of this sport behind all the action on the field. With Dany Garcia and Dwayne The Rock Johnson now at the helm, he's excited to see all the opportunities that this league will create for players to showcase their talent and make their dreams come true.

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