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Ranking The Eight XFL Head Coaches, From Worst To Best

Since every team now has named a head coach/GM to their franchises, we thought it would be fun to rank them. This will be a simple process, yes I will take in consideration of their overall records but for me, I base it off of gut feeling! I know a lot of people cringe when that word gets thrown around but hey, this is my ranking and everyone has an opinion whether anyone agrees or not. 

Let’s just jump right in shall we?

#8 Jim Zorn (Seattle)

February 25, 2019, the XFL named Jim Zorn their pick for Head Coach of the Seattle Franchise. CEO Oliver Luck said of Zorn, “It’s an exciting day when Jim Zorn returns to his professional football roots, Jim comes to the XFL with terrific credentials as an NFL player and coach and a reputation for innovation. As the Seahawks first quarterback, he’s well-known in the Pacific Northwest and he appreciates our vision to reimagine the game.”

If you remember the 2008 & 2009 seasons for the Washington Redskins, you’ll remember Zorn as those were his only 2 seasons as Head Coach. It started alright as the Skins had a winning season at .500 yet they were ranked 4th in the NFC East. The next season turned south for Zorn rather quickly as they fell to 4 and 12. Jim never made it to the postseason as an HC so we’ll have to wait and see if he puts a dent in the XFL.

#7 Marc Trestman (Tampa Bay)

It was March 5th when Marc Trestman was announced that he would take over the head coach position for the Tampa Bay franchise. CEO Oliver Luck said of the pick, “We are pleased to welcome Marc Trestman to the XFL and excited about the opportunity to leverage his three decades of coaching experience as we reimagine the game of football. Marc is a two-time Coach of the Year who also led his teams to three CFL Grey Cup championships. He’s just the kind of offensive-minded coach whose style will fit the up-tempo, fast-paced game we will deliver to fans when the XFL launches next February.”

Marc brings an overall record of 81-59 with the majority of those being in the CFL. He has coached his team to 3 CFL Grey Cup Championships, an AFC Championship and also an NCAA I-A National Title. He has had a decent career but we will have to see if he can get out of the CFL mindset as the differences are significant. I guess time will tell if this was a good move.

#6 Jonathan Hayes (St. Louis)

Jonathan Hayes, the former tight ends coach for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals, was named the first head coach of St. Louis’ yet-to-be-named Xtreme Football League’ franchise.

St. Louis was proud to have a name like Jonathan Hayes called on April 18th, well, to be fair, St. Louis was just proud to have professional football back!  Commissioner Luck had this to say of the hiring, “It’s an honor to provide Jon an opportunity to be a head coach for the first time after 37 years as a player and assistant coach in the NFL and at the college level. Jonathan comes with an offensive perspective that should help him thrive as we reimagine the game and engineer a style of play that’s fast and brisk. We are excited to welcome him to the XFL family.”

This was one pick I had a hard time with, though I believe Hayes will do good for the XFL, I’m still not completely sold on him. But he does have an impressive resume, as he coached under Bob Stoops in Oklahoma’s 2000 perfect season. He also named his brother Jay as his Defensive Coordinator, which was questionable but hey, it may work out for them as they know each others style. One is offensive minded while the other is defensive. 

#5 Kevin Gilbride (New York)

I was rather happy April 26th when they made this announcement. “Vince McMahon and I are thrilled that Kevin Gilbride has joined us and will guide the XFL team in New York. Kevin has 40 years of experience as a football coach at the college and pro levels, including ten years in New York with the Giants, so he is uniquely qualified to work in this market and knows the heartbeat of the local football fan. He’s an offensive-minded coach, and understands the quicker style of play we want to be a hallmark of the XFL when we launch in February.” CEO Oliver Luck said during the press conference. 

I really liked this choice as I believe Kevin Gilbride will bring an aerial attack to the XFL which I love watching a passing game over a running game. Kevin can be linked to the success of New York Giants as he helped improve Eli Manning to Super Bowl status 2 times, including the greatest upset in Super Bowl history! I’m excited to see what Mr. Gilbride brings to the table.

#4 Winston Moss (LA)

Los Angeles, May 7th, 6 of the 8 franchises has been named, until this day one of the final names read as head coach would be followed with “Winston Moss.” Here’s another pick I like, Moss does bring a lot to the table in his own way and you would tell the Commissioner of the XFL was happy to make the announcement. “We’re excited to welcome to our ranks a professional like Winston Moss, who has over 30 years of experience as an NFL player and coach.

As a young athlete, Winston won a national championship with the University of Miami and, as an assistant coach, he helped the Green Bay Packers win Super Bowl XLV. These are two remarkable accomplishments, and we look forward to seeing what he has in store for the fans of Los Angeles.” Mr. Luck was obviously sold on Moss from the get-go as Moss does have a solid resume. 2 championships in two leagues is a nice feat, to say the least. This is another one I’m anxious to see play out.

#3 June Jones (Houston)

The final coached named was Mr. Jones for the inaugural 2020 season of the XFL. CEO Oliver Luck had this to say, “We’re extremely proud to add Coach Jones, a man with four decades in football, as an XFL head coach. June has coached the game in three different pro leagues, including the NFL, as well as major college and high school football. The experience he’s gained at every stop along the way will no doubt serve him well as he helps us reimagine the game and build our Houston team into something special.”

June Jones recently coached the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats and has been a supporter for Johnny Manziel to play for him in the XFL (which I believe we will see Manziel play next year) even though he didn’t get a chance to coach him for long as Manziel was traded to the Montreal Alouettes.

June does, however, seem to favor Manziel. Mr. Jones also brings with him 2 WAC championships and an overall record of 142-138, which isn’t impressive by no means but he did go 7 and 2 for bowl games. I do feel that Jones will be a great addition to the XFL and will most likely see the Houston franchise in the playoff race.

#2 Pep Hamilton (Washing D.C.)

February 21, 2019, the Washington D.C. franchise got their head coach as Pep Hamilton was announced. CEO Oliver Luck had this to say, “We are thrilled to welcome Pep Hamilton to the XFL family. Pep, through hard work and dedication, has climbed the coaching ladder in the college and pro ranks and has earned this opportunity to become a head coach for the first time in his career. It’s meaningful that Pep will lead our team in Washington, where he played quarterback and began his coaching career at Howard University.”

I can already hear people scratching their heads with this one, why did I rank him so high? Well, like I said, to begin with, I have a gut feeling about Pep, I really believe he is going to open the XFL to a new look and feel of game style and play.

Hamilton coached under the great Jim Harbaugh at Michigan and he shined. While on staff for the Wolverines he left them with an 18 – 8 record. Both years they went to a bowl game but eventually lost both of them with pretty embarrassing losses. So maybe I did rank Pep a little higher than I should have but I still think it will end well for Pep at the end of the 2020 season.

#1 Bob Stoops (Dallas)

On February 7th, the XFL made a major announcement on naming Bob Stoops the head coach/GM of the Dallas franchise. Oliver Luck, the CEO of the XFL had this to say about Stoops, “We’re incredibly excited to have an individual as accomplished as Bob Stoops join the XFL family, Bob’s achievements at Oklahoma are legendary, and he’s the perfect person to lead our team in Dallas. Having a coach as successful as Bob shares the XFL’s vision to reimagine the game is energizing and further validates our mission.”

This pick I don’t think anybody would argue with as it’s the biggest move the XFL made in staffing the teams. Stoops is undeniably a great coach and will help make the Dallas franchise into a solid rounded team.

With a whopping 190 – 48 overall record is saying a great deal, he also won all 9 of his bowl appearances and also the national title game in 2000. Stoops has made some pretty impressive moves since becoming the HC/GM with the addition of longtime friend Hal Mumme. I look forward to seeing what Bob Stoops does with the Dallas franchise and wouldn’t be surprised if the first champions will be crowned “Dallas,” but that, of course, is a long way off!

Well, that’s my take on the coaching picks, how do you think I did? I know a couple of my picks might not be what some expected but this is what my gut is telling me. Let me know if you think I totally messed this up or if I got it right (for the most part 🙂 ) or if you have a better line up, I’m all ears!

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jonathan Flora

    July 13, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Thanks for being open account or opinions and I have no problem going with your gut when the league hasn’t even announced its rosters let alone team names. But hard to argue with your list. I’m excited for the XFL to return, the rule changes that I’ve heard so far are intriguing and overall I think this is great for the sport of professional football!

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