The first season of the new XFL kicks off tomorrow afternoon, featuring eight new teams in eight cities. While most teams are led by head coaches with years of experience in the pro or college ranks, other head coaches are seeing their first experience in a leadership position this season.
Dallas Renegades - Bob Stoops
The highest-profile head coach to be lured to an XFL team leading up to the new league's launch, Big Game Bob has a track record at Oklahoma that can't be debated - 190 wins, more than any other Sooners head coach, as well as a national championship and wins in the Orange, Rose, Fiesta, and Sugar Bowls. This season will prove whether or not his two-year layoff from coaching has dulled Stoops' edge.
Houston Roughnecks - June Jones
Another former college football head coach, Jones may not have the accolades of Stoops, but he pulled off an impressive feat in 2009 by leading SMU to their first bowl game since their infamous "death penalty" in 1987. In 1999, Jones also turned around a dismal Hawaii team and led them to a joint WAC title, earning Coach of the Year honors in the process. Jones also had the misfortune of being the quarterbacks coach for the San Diego Chargers during Ryan Leaf's rookie season in 1998.
Los Angeles Wildcats - Winston Moss
One of three XFL first-time head coaches, Moss's new position comes after over a decade of relative career stability. Since 2007, Moss had a solid position on Mike McCarthy's coaching staff in Green Bay, first as a linebackers coach, then as assistant head coach. He has a Super Bowl ring to show for it, but was dismissed along with McCarthy after the Packers' dismal start to the 2018 season.
Seattle Dragons - Jim Zorn
Zorn has ties to the Seattle area, having once played quarterback for the Seahawks. This could help to explain the otherwise perplexing hire, as Zorn has been out of coaching since 2012. Before that, he had bounced around the NFL mostly as a quarterbacks coach. His one head coaching gig came in 2008 with the Washington Redskins, where he had the uneasy task of succeeding the legendary Joe Gibbs. Zorn failed to make the playoffs in either of his two seasons in Washington.
D.C. Defenders - Pep Hamilton
The youngest head coach in the new XFL by a long-shot (age 45), Hamilton played a key role in the development in Andrew Luck as a top-of-the-line pro quarterback, dating back to their shared 2010-11 seasons at Stanford. In 2013, Hamilton took an offensive coordinator role with the Colts, rejoining Luck. Hamilton was the second head coach hired to the XFL, after Stoops, breaking off a four-year contract with the Michigan Wolverines to take the job.
New York Guardians - Kevin Gilbride
Like Zorn, Gilbride is making his return to football coaching through the XFL after several seasons of retirement in a city he's made himself known in earlier in his career. New York is where Gilbride won a Super Bowl ring as offensive coordinator of the Giants under Tom Coughlin. Before then, his most infamous moment in coaching was during his tenure with the Houston Oilers in 1993, when he exchanged a punch with Oilers defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan. His one NFL head coaching opportunity ended when the Chargers fired him five games into the 1998 season. Coincidentally, they replaced him with his assistant and now-fellow XFL coach...June Jones.
St. Louis BattleHawks - Jonathan Hayes
Speaking of coincidences, Hayes spent four years with the Sooners as an assistant under now-Roughnecks head coach Bob Stoops. In 2003, he joined Marvin Lewis' staff in Cincinnati as a tight ends coach, where he would stay for the next 16 seasons. His one bit of head coaching experience came from leading the East team in the 2018 East-West Shrine Game.
Tampa Bay Vipers - Marc Trestman
Since the 1980s, Trestman has bounced around the NFL as an assistant, even reaching a Super Bowl with the Raiders in 2002 as their offensive coordinator. His brightest days came north of the border, as he led the Montreal Alouettes to two straight Grey Cups in 2009 and 2010. He was unable to replicate that success as head coach with the Bears from 2013 to 2014, missing the playoffs both years he was in charge, though he won a third Grey Cup with the Toronto Argonauts in 2017.