This week, the XFL officially announced the Coordinators and Directors of Player Personnel set to join their 8 head coaches, with some highly experienced and well-accomplished names in the mix. Those taking over what’s assumed to be the league’s Seattle franchise are Head Coach Jim Haslett, Director of Player Personnel Randy Mueller, Offensive Coordinator June Jones, and Defensive Coordinator Ron Zook.
Head Coach – Jim Haslett
Jim Haslett brings 34 years of coaching experience to the XFL’s Seattle franchise, having spent time as a head coach, defensive coordinator, and in various positional coaching roles with several NFL, NCAA, UFL, and WLAF franchises. Notably, Haslett earned the NFL’s AP Coach of the Year Award with the New Orleans Saints in 2000.
Before kicking off his coaching career, Haslett played linebacker at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, later getting drafted in the 2nd round of the 1979 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. He earned the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 1979 and remained in Buffalo through 1985. Haslett broke his leg in the 1986 preseason, ending his career with the Bills. He joined the New York Jets for the 1987 season before officially retiring as a player and trying his hand in the coaching world.
Haslett began his coaching career at the University of Buffalo in 1988 as an assistant, where he stayed through the 1990 season. He’d join the now-defunct World League of American Football’s (WLAF) Sacramento Surge from 1991 and 1992, coaching defensive line, linebackers, and special teams.
Haslett’s first opportunity to coach in the NFL came in 1993 when offered the position of linebackers coach for the Los Angeles Raiders. After 2 seasons with the Raiders, he joined the New Orleans Saints in 1995, assuming the role of linebackers coach, but was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1996.
In 1997, Haslett took over as defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he remained through the 1999 season.
New Orleans Saints – Head Coach
Jim Haslett landed his first head coaching job in 2000 with the New Orleans Saints, joining Ron Zook and Randy Mueller on the team’s staff. In his first season with the franchise, he led them to a record of 10-6, also guiding them to their first playoff victory in franchise history. This was quite the turnaround from the season before his arrival, where head coach Mike Ditka led the team to a record of 3-13. Haslett’s turnaround of the team earned him the NFL Coach of the Year award in his first season with the franchise.
Unfortunately, Haslett’s first year would be their best in his 6 seasons with the team, giving them their only playoff appearance of his tenure. The team only recorded one other winning season under Haslett in 2002, starting strong with a record of 9-4, but losing 3 games in a row resulting in the team missing the playoffs by one game.
The 2005 season saw the Saints fall to a record of 3-13. This was also the season when Hurricane Katrina forced the franchise to play several of their home games at various sites, including the Alamodome in San Antonio and LSU’s football stadium. Haslett was fired after the season and replaced by Sean Payton.
Saint Louis Rams
Haslett took over as defensive coordinator for the Saint Louis Rams in 2006 and was named the interim head coach for the 2008 season after Scott Linehan was fired. Haslett was offered a contract that guaranteed him the Rams head coaching job if he won at least 6 games, but the NFL nullified the arrangement because it violated the league’s “Rooney Rule.” Haslett ended the season with a record of 2-10 as the team’s head coach, and they parted ways.
United Football League
After his time in Saint Louis, Haslett became head coach of the now-defunct United Football League’s (UFL) Florida Tuskers in the league’s inaugural season in 2009. They’d go 6-0 in the regular season, with Haslett earning UFL Coach of the Year honors, but lost to the Las Vegas Locomotives in the first-ever UFL Championship.
NFL – 2nd Stint
Jim Haslett returned to the NFL coaching ranks in 2010 when Washington Commanders head coach Mike Shannahan hired him as the team’s defensive coordinator. Jay Gruden took over the head coaching role after a terrible 2013 season but kept Haslett on the staff for the 2014 season. After the year, the Redskins announced they’d be parting ways with Haslett by mutual agreement.
He’d be brought onto the Cincinnati Bengals coaching staff in January 2016 as the team’s linebackers coach and remained with them through 2018. He was fired alongside head coach Marvin Lewis after the 2018 season.
Most recently, Haslett served under head coach Mike Vrabel as the team’s inside linebackers coach, joining them in February 2020. Haslett was not retained after the 2021 season and now finds himself as the leader of Seattle’s XFL Franchise.
|Playing Career – Linebacker||–|
|Indiana University of Pennsylvania||1975-1978|
|Buffalo Bills – Round: 2 / Pick: 51 of 1979 NFL Draft||1979-1985|
|New York Jets||1987|
|Career NFL Stats||–|
|University of Buffalo – Assistant Coach||1988-1990|
|Sacramento Surge (WLAF) – Defensive Line/Linebackers/Special Teams||1991-1992|
|Los Angeles Raiders – Linebackers||1993-1994|
|New Orleans Saints – Linebackers||1995|
|New Orleans Saints – Defensive Coordinator||1996|
|Pittsburgh Steelers – Defensive Coordinator||1997-1999|
|New Orleans Saints – Head Coach||2000-2005|
|St. Louis Rams – Defensive Coordinator||2006-2008|
|St. Louis Rams – Interim Head Coach||2008|
|Florida Tuskers (UFL) – Head Coach||2009|
|Washington Commanders – Defensive Coordinator||2010-2014|
|Penn State – Consultant||2015|
|Cincinnati Bengals – Linebackers||2016-2018|
|Tennessee Titans – Inside Linebackers||2020-2021|
|Head Coaching Record||–|
|Regular Season||NFL: 47–61 (.435)|
UFL: 6–0 (1.000)
|Postseason||NFL: 1–1 (.500)|
UFL: 0–1 (.000)
|Career||NFL: 48–62 (.436)|
UFL: 6–1 (.857)
Director of Player Personnel – Randy Mueller
Randy Mueller brings 39 years of front office experience to the XFL’s Seattle franchise and rejoins coach Jim Haslett, who he worked with in 2000 with the New Orleans Saints. Most recently, Mueller was involved with the 2020 iteration of the XFL as the Houston Roughneck’s Director of Pro Personnel.
After graduating from Linfield University, Randy Mueller kicked off his front office career as a Pro Personnel Assistant with the Seattle Seahawks in 1983. He’d work his way up the ranks, and by 1990 he was promoted to the team’s Pro Personnel Director. By 1995, Mueller assumed the VP of Football Operations role, where he stayed for 4 seasons.
He’d land the General Manager job with the New Orleans Saints in 2000, joining head coach Jim Haslett, and earning NFL Executive of the Year after his first season with the franchise. He’d leave for a position as an NFL Analyst with ESPN in 2002 but returned to an NFL Front Office in 2005 when he took over as General Manager of the Miami Dolphins. Following the 2007 season, Mueller joined the Los Angeles Chargers as their Senior Vice President of Football Operations, where he remained until 2018.
This will not be Mueller’s first experience in alternative football leagues, having spent time as General Manager of the AAF’s Salt Lake Stallions in 2019 and as the Director of Pro Personnel for the 2020 iteration of the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks.
|Seattle Seahawks – Pro Personnel||1983-1989|
|Seattle Seahawks – Pro Personnel Director||1990-1994|
|Seattle Seahawks – Vice President of Football Operations||1995-1999|
|New Orleans Saints – General Manager||2000-2001|
|NFL Analyst for ESPN||2002-2005|
|Miami Dolphins – General Manager||2005-2007|
|Los Angeles Chargers – Senior Executive of Football Operations||2008-2018|
|Salt Lake Stallions (AAF) – General Manager||2018-2019|
|Houston Roughnecks (XFL 2020) – Director of Pro Personnel||2020|
Offensive Coordinator – June Jones
XFL fans should recognize Seattle’s new Offensive Coordinator, June Jones, who recently led the Houston Roughnecks in the 2020 iteration of the league. He rejoins Randy Mueller in the XFL, but this time in the northwest.
Over the years, Jones has gained experience in the NFL, NCAA, CFL, USFL (1984-1985), XFL, and most recently, The Spring League, bringing the Run & Shoot offense along the way.
Before joining the coaching ranks, Jones played quarterback on three different college teams before kicking off his coaching career, attending Oregon, Hawaii, and Portland State. While at Portland State, he’d be introduced to the Run & Shoot offense by head coach Mouse Davis, an offense he’d later champion throughout his professional coaching career. Under coach Davis, Jones became the first quarterback to give the Run & Shoot legitimacy as a quarterback-friendly offense. He ended his two seasons with the team totaling 5,798 yards passing with 50 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.
Following the 1977 NFL Draft, he’d sign as an undrafted free agent with the Atlanta Falcons, and in four seasons with the team, Jones completed 75 of 166 passes for 923 yards with 3 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He’d spend 1982 with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts before getting into the coaching world.
After his time with the Argo’s, Jones tried his hand at coaching, getting his first opportunity as a graduate assistant at the University of Hawaii in 1983. He spent the next two seasons in the USFL, coaching wide receivers for the Houston Gamblers in 1984, then taking over as offensive coordinator for the Denver Gold in 1985. Following the collapse of the USFL, Jones joined the CFL’s Ottawa Rough Riders in 1986 as the team’s offensive coordinator.
Jones got his first NFL shot in 1987 on Jerry Glanville’s staff with the Houston Oilers. He served as the Oilers’ quarterback coach for two seasons, then joined the Detroit Lions in 1989 as the team’s quarterbacks and wide receivers coach.
In 1991, Jones reunited with Glanville at the Atlanta Falcons organization as the team’s offensive coordinator, later replacing Glanville as their head coach in 1994. As head coach of the Falcons, Jones installed the Run & Shoot offense in which quarterback Jeff George thrived, passing for 3,734 yards and 23 touchdowns in Jones’ first season, and totaling 4,143 yards and 24 touchdowns his second year. In 1995, Jones led the Falcons to the playoffs but lost to the Green Bay Packers in the first round. The following year, the team posted a 3-13 record, leading to Jones’ dismissal.
He’d take a year off in 1997 before joining the San Diego Chargers coaching staff in 1998 as their quarterbacks’ coach, later taking over as interim head coach after Kevin Gilbride’s firing before their week 7 game.
Hawaii – Head Coach
In 1999, Jones took the head coaching job at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, taking over for Fred von Appen, who was fired after losing 18 games in a row. In Jones’ first season with the Warriors, he led them to a 9-4 record and a share of the WAC Championship, making it the most prolific turnaround in the history of the NCAA. Jones’s success in Hawaii quickly made him a local hero, with some people even making “June Jones for Governor” T-Shirts and “June would throw” bumper stickers.
In his time at Hawaii, June Jones coached 5 All-Americans, 52 All-Conference performers, and 16 NFL Draft picks. In particular, Jones claims to have made a special effort to recruit local talent in his players and coaching staff. One of his most notable recruits was quarterback Timmy Chang, who became the all-time NCAA leader in passing yardage.
On December 24th, 2006, Jones became the winningest head coach in Hawaii football history with a 41-24 win over ASU in the Hawaii Bowl. Before leaving the school, Jones won the WAC Coach of the Year three times (1999, 2006, 2007), also earning Sporting News College Football Coach of the Year (1999), American Football Coach/Schutt Sports National COY (1999), and CNN/SI National Coach of the Year (1999).
Following the 2007 season, Jones decided to leave Hawaii due to countless broken promises from the school and mentioned their facilities would never be upgraded as long as he remained. Jones went 76–41 at Hawaii, including 4–2 in bowls, with his teams finishing 1st in the WAC twice and 2nd two other times.
SMU – Head Coach
June Jones signed a 5-year contract with SMU in 2008, paying him $2 million annually, making him the highest-paid coach in the C-USA. He’d lead the Mustangs to a record of 1-11 in 2008. The 2009 season closed out on a better note, ending the year with a 7-5 record, the school’s most wins in a season since the 80s. He stayed with the school through the 2014 season, stepping down as head coach at the end of the year.
After spending 2016 as offensive coordinator at Kapolei High School, Jones spent some time as the Director of Athletics at Saint Louis School in Honolulu, where he encountered future NFL quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
CFL – Head Coach
Jones was hired as an assistant head coach of the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats in August 2017. He later took over as interim head coach after Kent Austin stepped down to focus on his role as Vice-President of Football Operations. Jones took over as interim head coach with the team at a record of 0-8 but led the team to a record of 6-4 in their final 10 games. His performance in 2017 led the Ti-Cats to name Jones their official head coach moving forward, and he remained with Hamilton for two seasons.
After finishing the 2018 season with a record of 8-10, including a playoff berth, Jones stepped down from his position as head coach of the Ti-Cats.
XFL – Head Coach
In May 2019, Jones joined Vince McMahons XFL, where he led the Houston Roughnecks to an undefeated season before the league ceased operations due to the global pandemic. Additionally, Jones hand-picked former Houston Roughnecks quarterback and league MVP, PJ Walker, who’s now signed to the Carolina Panthers and performed well in a number of appearances for the NFL franchise.
Following his time with the XFL in 2020, Jones signed on with The Spring League’s Conquerors as the team’s offensive coordinator for their season.
|Playing Career – Quarterback||–|
|Atlanta Falcons – Undrafted||1977-1981|
|Career NFL Stats||–|
|Touchdowns – Interceptions||3-7|
|Hawaii – Quarterbacks||1983|
|Houston Gamblers (USFL) – Wide Receivers||1984|
|Denver Gold (USFL) – Offensive Coordinator||1985|
|Ottawa Rough Riders (CFL) – Offensive Coordinator||1986|
|Houston Oilers – Quarterbacks||1987-1988|
|Detroit Lions – Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers||1989-1990|
|Atlanta Falcons – Offensive Coordinator||1991-1993|
|Atlanta Falcons – Head Coach||1994-1996|
|San Diego Chargers – Quarterback/ Interim Head Coach||1998|
|Hawaii – Head Coach||1999-2007|
|SMU – Head Coach||2008-2014|
|Kapolei HS – Offensive Coordinator||2016|
|Hamilton Tiger-Cats – Head Coach||2017-2018|
|Houston Roughnecks – Head Coach||2020|
|TSL Conquerors – Offensive Coordinator||2020|
|Head Coaching Record||–|
|Regular Season||College: 105-81 (.565)|
NFL: 22–36 (.379)
CFL: 14–14 (.500)
XFL: 5–0 (1.000)
|Postseason||College: 7-3 (.700)|
NFL: 0–1 (.000)
CFL: 1–1 (.500)
|Career||College: 112-84 (.571)|
NFL: 22–37 (.373)
CFL: 15–15 (.500)
XFL: 5–0 (1.000)
Defensive Coordinator – Ron Zook
Another familiar face from the 2000 New Orleans Saints joins Seattle’s XFL franchise in Defensive Coordinator Ron Zook.
Zook brings 44 years of experience from the NFL, NCAA, and AAF coaching ranks. He’s gained experience as a head coach, defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator, defensive backs coach, and even spent some time as a Senior Analyst for Maryland more recently.
Before getting into coaching, Ron Zook played Division I football at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, earning himself a role as a starting defensive back and co-captain by his senior season. After graduating in 1976, Zook immediately started coaching, signing on as the defensive backs coach at Orrville High School in Ohio.
Zook landed his first collegiate coaching job in 1978 when he became a graduate assistant at Murray State University. He’d land his first defensive coordinator position with Cincinnati in 1981, holding the same position at Kansas in 1983. Zook took over as defensive backs coach for Tennessee in 1984 and held the role for 2 seasons before taking an associate head coaching role with Virginia Tech in 1987.
After serving as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for Ohio State from 1988 to 1990, Zook joined Steve Spurrier’s staff at Florida, serving as the team’s defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for 3 seasons. In 1994, Spurrier reassigned Zook, who took over as Florida’s special teams coordinator for that season. His special teams unit performed well enough in 1994 that Zook was offered the defensive coordinator position at Michigan State for the 1995 season, encouraging Spurrier to give him the title of associate head coach, which kept him at Florida.
In 1995, Florida’s defensive coordinator Bobby Pruett left the team to take over as head coach of Marshall University, with Zook getting promoted to take over his place at Florida. However, a month after accepting the position, the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers offered Zook the role of special teams coordinator, which he took. Bob Stoops would take Zook’s place on Florida’s coaching staff.
NFL – 1st Tenure
Zook served as special teams coordinator for the Steelers from 1996 through 1998, spending 3 seasons with the team before accepting a position as the defensive backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1999. In Zook’s lone season with the Chiefs, the team finished with a 9-7 record and 16th in passing yards allowed. Additionally, Chiefs’ defensive backs, James Hasty and Cris Dishman, totaled a combined 12 interceptions on the season.
In 2000, Zook was offered and accepted the defensive coordinator position with the New Orleans Saints, joining Jim Haslett and Randy Mueller on the staff. They’d finish that season with a record of 10-6, with Zook’s defense ranking 10th in points allowed. Additionally, defensive tackle La’Roi Glover led the team with 17 sacks, followed closely by defensive end Joe Johnson with 12 sacks and another 11 sacks from defensive end Darren Howard.
Florida – Head Coach
After his second season with the Saints, Ron Zook took over the head coaching job at Florida after Steve Spurrier’s resignation to pursue NFL opportunities, eventually signing with the Washington Commanders. Zook remained with Florida for 3 seasons, posting records of 8-5 in both 2002 and 2003, and a record of 7-5 in 2004, also winning the SEC Eastern Division in 2003.
While he experienced a decent bit of success at the school, it was not well received by Florida fans, who were not satisfied after what they’d experienced under the tenure of Spurrier. For comparison, Zook lost 6 home games in his 3 seasons at Florida, while Spurrier lost only 5 home games in 12 years at the school. However, Zook did accomplish something that Spurrier never did, which was defeating Florida State at Tallahassee, leading Gators fans to refer to Bobby Bowen Field as Ron Zook Field from then on.
Zook was also known as a quality recruiter, with Urban Meyer praising him for recruiting the large class of seniors who played in the Gators’ victory over Ohio State in the 2007 BCS National Championship. Zook recruited 22 of Florida’s 24 starters in that game.
Illinois – Head Coach
The University of Illinois hired Zook in 2005 to replace head coach Ron Turner. Zook took over a program that had been a disaster in recent seasons, winning only 9 games in the previous 3 seasons before his arrival. Zook’s first season with the team ended with a record of 2-9, going 0-8 in Big 10 games.
The team didn’t see much success on the field over the next two seasons, but the quality of play improved, and so did the talent level the school was able to recruit. One source mentions Zook’s 2006 recruiting class was among the 30 best in the country despite their on-field struggles.
His success in recruiting began to pay off in 2007, with his team ending the year with a record of 9-3, going 6-2 in conference games. As the second-ranked team in the Big Ten, Illinois received a bid to play in the Rose Bowl.
The team’s improvement over the 2006 season was the most significant increase of any Division I team, earning him a $1.5 million contract extension in October 2007. Zook’s success in recruiting also continued, with Illinois having the 17th-ranked recruiting class in 2008. He’d earn Big Ten Coach of the Year on November 20th, 2007, and the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award after the 2007 season.
Illinois dropped off a bit after 2007 and Zook was fired in November 2011, ending his time at the school with a record of 34-51.
NFL – 2nd Tenure
After his time with Illinois, Ron Zook spent 2 years off from coaching, joining the CBS Sports crew as an analyst and taking an executive position at a bank in Florida.
He’d rejoin the coaching ranks in 2014 when offered a position to become an assistant special teams coordinator for the Green Bay Packers. Zook was promoted to special teams coordinator in 2015. However, he was not retained after the 2018 season.
Alliance of American Football
In February 2019, Zook joined the Salt Lake Stallions organization in the Alliance of American Football as the team’s secondary coach and special teams coordinator. Unfortunately, the league folded before completing its inaugural season.
After the collapse of the AAF, Maryland head coach Mike Locksley hired Zook in 2019 as a senior analyst. Locksley previously worked under Zook at Illinois as his offensive coordinator, and at Florida as his running backs coach and recruiting coordinator. In 2021, Zook was promoted to associate head coach and special teams coordinator, before accepting the offer to join Jim Haslett’s staff for the XFL’s 2023 season.
|Murray State – Defensive Backs||1978-1980|
|Cincinnati – Defensive Coordinator||1981-1982|
|Kansas – Defensive Coordinator||1983|
|Tennessee – Defensive Backs Coach||1984-1986|
|Virginia Tech – Associate Head Coach||1987|
|Ohio State – Defensive Backs||1988-1990|
|Florida – Defensive Coordinator & Defensive Backs||1991-1993|
|Florida – Special Teams Coordinator||1994|
|Florida – Associate Head Coach & Special Teams Coordinator||1995|
|Pittsburgh Steelers – Special Teams Coordinator||1996-1998|
|Kansas City Chiefs – Defensive Backs||1999|
|New Orleans Saints – Defensive Coordinator||2000-2001|
|Florida – Head Coach||2002-2004|
|Illinois – Head Coach||2005-2011|
|CBS Sports – Analyst||2012-2013|
|Green Bay Packers – Special Teams Assistant||2014|
|Green Bay Packers – Special Teams Coordinator||2015-2018|
|Salt Lake Stallions (AAF) – Special Teams Coordinator & Secondary||2019|
|Maryland – Senior Analyst||2019-2020|
|Maryland – Associate Head Coach & Special Teams||2021|
|Head Coaching Record||–|
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