First-time head coach Anthony Becht takes control of the XFL’s St. Louis team for the 2023 season and is already embracing the role.
Becht has proven to have a successful professional football career when it all began as a first-round pick in the 2000 NFL Draft with the New York Jets. He would play five seasons with the Jets before spending three more seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His last three seasons in the NFL was with the St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals, and the Kansas City Chiefs. He finished with 188 receptions for 1,537 yards and 21 touchdowns in eleven seasons in the NFL.
Fans saw Becht join the broadcasting world starting in 2013 and has worked on television and radio covering the NFL and college football. Where his coaching career comes in is his experience working as a draft prep tight end coach at IMG Academy and NFLPA Collegiate Bowl tight end coach. Becht has experience in spring football as he was the tight ends coach for the San Diego Fleet of the AAF in 2019. He also served as offensive coordinator for Wiregrass Ranch High School.
Before joining the XFL, Becht had his sights on being a part of the league from the moment Dany Garcia, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Gerry Cardinale, and RedBird Capital bought it in August of 2020. His goal was to get in front of either Garcia or Johnson to get his foot in the door.
I had a list of names. I started with people in the old XFL. I didn’t know if some people were going to carry over. I heard that Russ Brandon was going to be involved somewhere, somehow, but he was kind of being a liaison at that point. I said, ‘Okay, well, we got common people that we have good friends with.’ And I got on the phone with him early.Anthony Becht, St. Louis XFL Head Coach
XFL President Russ Brandon worked on getting Becht’s resume to the league members. Becht stayed patient as he worked with the Jets when XFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Marc Ross was in Hoboken, New Jersey, and had a three-hour conversation with Becht regarding the XFL. For Becht, when he did get his moment, he knew the timing was right to join the XFL as a head coach.
I think a lot of our vision was in line and from day one, though, when it happened, it just triggered my mind and the timing was right for me as well. My son just went off to college. My daughter is getting ready to go to school as well in a year. So now I can put my full foot forward and do something and commit to something long term like this.Anthony Becht, St. Louis XFL Head Coach
After being an assistant coach for multiple years, the opportunity to become a head coach is something Becht has been working on for a long time.
Being that this is an opportunity for me to get into the coaching space in a full time level where I’ve been kind of working my way around all the things that I’ve been doing, putting that in the bucket, ready for an opportunity like this. As soon as they signed on and bought the league, I was all in trying to get in part of it, so I’m excited about it. I think it’s going to be something special and I can’t wait to get started.Anthony Becht, St. Louis XFL Head Coach
During Becht’s NFL playing career, he played under seven head coaches and has coached under coaches like Marvin Lewis and Mike Martz. Those experiences helped him learn, but also wants to lead the St. Louis team in his own way.
I’ve learned collectively, even from Marvin Lewis, who I’ve worked with with the NFLPA Collegiate All Star games, Mike Martz with his staff at the Fleet in the AAF, those guys took me under their wing and I just listened and learned. And then also just kind of the structure covering college football for the last seven years, saw how the coaches were doing it, saw how that game was. All those players were evolving. It’s a changing kind of generation players, how different coaches now kind of get through these guys. So I would say this, I still do a lot across the board from every coach, but it is going to be my way at the end. I have a good plan in place and we’ll see how it goes.Anthony Becht, St. Louis XFL Head Coach
When speaking about the message he has for the fans of St. Louis, Becht shared his excitement to fill The Dome stadium with fans. Another portion of his message is to embrace the past football players and coaches who were associated with St. Louis to tie them and himself into the community.
For me to go back to a place I actually played in that city, a lot of the great players from St. Louis, the Torry Holts, Orlando Paces, the Kurt Warners, I played with those guys. They’re excited for me and I want to get them back. I want to bring them back. Mike Martz already called me once. He wants to come back to the game. These guys are going to come and support me and they’re going to be back in front of their fan base. So I can’t wait to do it. And I’m excited to meet them, be a part, shake their hands, get into the city and just kind of embed myself in the community and get ready for the season.Anthony Becht, St. Louis XFL Head Coach
It’s clear that Becht already has a pulse on the city and will make an immediate impact. His passion for the game and being a first-time head coach make him the perfect example of the type of people the XFL wants working for them. It’s a chance for Becht to prove he deserves to lead a franchise to a title game and show the fans the same energy they felt in 2020.
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