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The new XFL 2023 season kicks off less than a week after the Super Bowl, on Saturday, February 18. The relaunched league, now owned by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, is looking to be more an NFL farm system than the gimmicky Vince McMahon-owned version. With that as a goal, Johnson and his business partner, Dany Garcia, went out and found some big-name XFL coaches to lead the squads. Here are the impressive names you’ll see on the sidelines of XFL games this season.

XFL Coaches 

XFL coaches, XFL, XFL 2023, new XFL
(L-R) Hines Ward, Wade Phillips, Bob Stoops | Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images; Ronald Martinez/Getty Images; David K Purdy/Getty Images

Bob Stoops, Arlington Renegades

College football fans know “Big Game” Bob Stoops well from his days in charge of the Oklahoma Sooners from 1999-2016, where he won 191 games. What many may not know, though, is that he was actually coaching the Renegades (then the Dallas Renegades) in 2020 when the last iteration of the last XFL folded.

Reggie Barlow, DC Defenders 

Reggie Barlow is the least famous XFL coach in this group of eight. The former Alabama State wide receiver played seven seasons (1996-2003) in the NFL, primarily as a punt and kick return specialist. After his playing career, Barlow coached at the high school level, his alma mater, and Division II Virginia State. The XFL 2023 campaign is Barlow’s first as a head coach at the professional level.

Wade Phillips, Houston Roughnecks 

The son of legendary Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips, Wade has been an NFL head coach for the New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, and Houston Texans. NFL fans last saw Wade Phillips as Sean McVay’s defensive coordinator with the Los Angeles Rams in 2019.

Terrell Buckley, Orlando Guardians

Terrell Buckley has a standout career as a cornerback at Florida State and followed it up with an excellent 14-year NFL career where he returned punts and picked off 50 balls. After retiring, Buckley started coaching at his alma mater and had various assistant jobs at Louisville, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss before becoming a new XFL coach.

Hines Ward, San Antonio Brahmas

Wide receiver Hines Ward also played 14 seasons in the pros and won two Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His 12,083 receiving yards are good for 27th all-time in NFL history. After his playing days ended, Ward coached with his Steelers and the New York Jets before moving to college last season and coaching WRs at Florida Atlantic.

Jim Haslett, Seattle Sea Dragons  

Jim Haslett was the 1979 Defensive Rookie of the Year as a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills and played eight seasons in the NFL. He then moved into the coaching ranks, leading defenses all over the league and becoming the head coach of the New Orleans Saints from 2000-05. The XFL will be the third professional league he has coached in, as he was also on the staff of the USFL’s Florida Tuskers in 2009.

Anthony Becht, St. Louis BattleHawks     

Journeyman tight end Anthony Becht played 11 NFL seasons for the Jets, Buccaneers, Rams, Cardinals, and Chiefs. Becht is the XFL coach with the least experience by far. Prior to taking over the BattleHawks for the XFL 2023 season, Becht was an NFL analyst for various outlets, including ESPN.

Rod Woodson, Vegas Vipers  


XFL Teams: What You Need to Know About the 8 Squads Kicking Off in 2023

The best player on this new XFL coach list is Rod Woodson. The Hall of Fame defensive back played 17 seasons, winning a Super Bowl and making 11 Pro Bowls and six All-Pro teams. Woodson’s 71 career interceptions are third all-time. Woodson has been a coaching intern for several teams in the last few years as part of the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship Program. Most recently, he was the Las Vegas Raiders cornerbacks coach in 2017.