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PR: USFL Announces 4 New Head Coaches

100 DAYS TO KICKOFF, USFL NAMES FIRST HEAD COACHES

Former NFL Head Coaches Mike Riley & Todd Haley Back on Sidelines,

Joined by World Bowl Champion Bart Andrus & Collegiate Standout Kevin Sumlin

LOS ANGELES, JAN. 6, 2022 — The United States Football League (USFL), a new professional football league launching in 100 days on April 16, today named two former NFL head coaches, a World Bowl Champion, and a standout college head coach to guide teams during its inaugural season.

The USFL’s first four head coaches are:

Bart Andrus – Philadelphia Stars

“I’m really looking forward to getting back on the sidelines and coaching a team that I have a hand at creating from scratch. There are terrific people who I have a lot of respect for working to develop the USFL, and I expect the quality of football we present to be first-rate. I can’t wait to get started.” 

Former college quarterback Bart Andrus comes to the USFL fresh off a stint as the quarterbacks coach for the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. His experience as a head football coach includes time with NFL Europe’s Amsterdam Admirals (2001-07), the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts (2009), and the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League (2012). As Admirals’ head coach, he led his team to victory in World Bowl XIII in 2005 and was named NFL Europe Coach of the Year.

In addition, Andrus was the head football coach at Rocky Mountain College (1996), Feather River College (2014) and was a head coach in The Spring League (2018-19). Andrus spent three seasons with the NFL’s Tennessee franchise (offensive assistant, 1997–98) and quarterbacks coach during its 1999 Super Bowl XXXIV season. In 2013, Andrus was an offensive assistant for the St. Louis Rams, and in 2020, he served as head coach of the XFL’s game-ready reserve players. His collegiate coaching stops include Brigham Young University (graduate assistant), then offensive coordinator positions at Humboldt State, Montana State, and Southern Utah University. Andrus was born in Logan, Utah, and raised in North Hills, Calif.

Mike Riley – New Jersey Generals

“I’m excited personally to coach people at this level because I find them to be very hungry. Almost all of them had really successful high school and college careers, and they get into a league like this because they love to play, and they want to get better. That combination right there is one idea in general that just makes it really fun to coach.”

Mike Riley, who has 45 years of football coaching experience at the collegiate and professional levels, 27 as a head coach (17 in college; 10 pro), is one of the most respected coaches at any level of the game. Riley’s professional experience is extensive, working in the NFL, CFL, WLAF, AAF, and XFL. In 1987, he was named the youngest head coach in CFL history, taking over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at age 33, posting a 40-32 record with two Grey Cup titles in four seasons.

Riley took over the San Antonio Riders of the WLAF in 1991, spending two seasons there. His next pro job was at the top level of the sport, guiding the San Diego Chargers from 1999 to 2001. Also, in the NFL, Riley was an assistant head coach/secondary for the New Orleans Saints in 2002. In 2019, he served as head coach of the AAF’s San Diego Commanders, and in 2020 he served as offensive coordinator for the XFL’s Seattle Dragons. Riley’s vast college experience mainly came at Oregon State, spending 14 seasons there as head coach (1997-98 & 2003-14). He produced a 93-80 overall record at OSU, owning more wins than any coach in school history, and led the program to eight bowl appearances (6-2 record).

OSU ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for 28 weeks during his tenure, and Riley coached players who earned 32 All-American honors. After leaving the Beavers, he served as head coach at Nebraska for three seasons (2015-17), going 19-19 with two bowl appearances (1-1). Riley’s major college experience also includes four seasons at USC (1993-96), serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

He moved into coaching following his graduation from Alabama, making early career stops at the University of California (1975), Whitworth College (1976), and his first full-time position at Linfield College (1977-82). Riley’s first position in the professional ranks came in 1983 with the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers as the secondary coach. He returned college coaching in 1986 as defensive coordinator at the University of Northern Colorado. Riley earned his Bachelor of Social Science degree from the University of Alabama and his Master’s in Physical Education from Whitworth College (1977).

He had a successful career at Alabama (1971-74), playing for legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant. A cornerback, Riley helped the Crimson Tide to four SEC titles and the 1973 national championship. Riley and his wife Dee have two children.

Todd Haley – Tampa Bay Bandits

“This is a tremendous opportunity for me to get back into coaching at the professional level. It’s been a while since I led a team on field, and I’ve missed it. It’s also rare that a head coach, as it was once put, gets to pick all the groceries, and fix the meal. This is going to be a lot of fun, and I expect the fans to enjoy the competition.”

Todd Haley comes to the USFL with 22 years of professional coaching experience, all in the NFL, including three seasons as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs (2009-11), helping the team to the AFC West crown in 2010. Most recently, Haley was offensive coordinator for the 2018 Cleveland Browns, and before that, he spent six seasons as offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers (2012-17).

Before his stint as Chiefs’ head coach, Haley served as Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator for two seasons (2007-08), helping the team win its first division title since 1975 and earn a trip to Super Bowl XLIII. Earlier in his career, Haley had coaching stops in Dallas (2004-06) as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator for the Cowboys, receivers coach for the Chicago Bears (2001-03) and New York Jets (1997-00), helping all three teams earn postseason berths. His NFL career began as an assistant in the Jets scouting department in 1995. He spent the 2020 football season as offensive coordinator for the Riverview Rams in Sarasota. Fla.

Haley’s father, Dick, played six seasons in the NFL and later served as the Steelers’ director of player personnel for 21 years. Haley earned a degree in communications from the University of North Florida and received the school’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. A native of Atlanta, Ga., he and his wife Chrissy have five children.

Kevin Sumlin – Houston Gamblers

“A new league like the USFL provides opportunities for coaches as well as players, and I’m very excited to have this opportunity to be a head coach at the professional level. I love coaching football players, it’s in my blood, and there are many, many athletes who are hungry to play high-quality football. I can’t wait to build my team and work with them this spring.”

Kevin Sumlin, a three-time national collegiate Coach of the Year finalist, brings a career record of 95-63 as a collegiate head coach, with nine bowl appearances, to the USFL. Before his stint as head coach for the University of Arizona (2018-20), Sumlin went 86-43 in 10 years at Texas A&M University and the University of Houston. He went 51-26 at Texas A&M from 2012 to 2017, with a school-record of six bowl appearances and three victories. At Houston from 2008 to 2011, he amassed a 35-17 record and three bowl appearances. Sumlin’s final Cougar squad set a school record with 13 victories in 2011 and notched the program’s highest finish in the Bowl

Championship Series standings. He went to Houston after seven seasons as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator in the Big 12, working five seasons at the University of Oklahoma under head coach Bob Stoops and two at Texas A&M under R.C. Slocum. Sumlin’s coaching career has also seen stops at his alma mater Purdue, Minnesota, and Wyoming. A four-year letterman as a linebacker at Purdue from 1983-86, he finished his career as one of the top tacklers in Boilermaker history.

As a freshman, Sumlin was named to Sports Illustrated’s All-America walk-on list after leading Purdue with 91 tackles. He earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors as a senior while ranking fifth in league with 114 tackles. The Indianapolis native graduated from Purdue in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice.

In addition to leading a team’s on-field strategy, USFL head coaches will also be responsible for player evaluation and selection. Each team will also have a Director of Football Operations who will have player personnel duties and assist the head coach with roster management.

“Today is a monumental day for the new USFL as we hit the 100 days to kickoff mark,” said Brian Woods, USFL President of Football Operations. “To attract Mike Riley and Todd Haley, two former NFL head coaches, Bart Andrus, a former head coach in NFL Europe and CFL, plus an experienced college head coach in Kevin Sumlin, to the USFL, speaks to the quality of the league we’re building. They all share our belief in high-quality spring football, and we’re honored to have them lead their respective teams this year. We can’t wait to hit the field!”

The USFL will hold a player selection meeting on Feb. 22-23, and training camps will open on Monday, March 21. Each USFL team will carry a 38-man active roster plus a seven-man practice squad, and players will receive base compensation plus be eligible for victory bonuses. 

The USFL will launch with eight teams split into two divisions playing in one location. In addition to the Birmingham Stallions, New Orleans Breakers, Gamblers, and Bandits in the South Division, the North Division features the Michigan Panthers, Pittsburgh Maulers, the Generals, and Stars.

Each team will play a 10-game schedule, semifinals between the top two teams in each division, and a championship game between division winners.

The USFL has multi-year agreements with NBC Sports and FOX Sports, establishing both networks as official broadcast partners, with plans to nationally televise every game on either NBC, USA, Peacock, FOX, and FS1.

In addition to Woods, a USFL co-founder, serving as President of Football Operations, former Dallas Cowboys standout and longtime NFL on FOX game analyst Daryl Johnston is Executive Vice President, Football Operations. Additionally, former NFL Vice President of Officiating and FOX Sports’ NFL and college football rules analyst Mike Pereira is Head of Officiating, and FOX Sports’ Edward Hartman, serves as Executive Vice President, Business Operations.

The USFL is a new, independent football league controlled by FOX Sports through USFL HoldCo, LLC, a new business entity, and it is not associated or affiliated with the USFL of the 1980s or its owners. For more information, visit http://USFL2.com and follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

The New Jersey Generals will be coached by Mike Riley. His coaching resume spans nearly five decades at all levels of football. His longest stint came at Oregon State where he went 93-80 overall and won six out of his eight bowl appearances.

Most recently, he served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach of the Seattle Dragons in the XFL.

Kevin Sumlin will lead the Houston Gamblers. Sumlin has been a major football figure in Texas. He went 35-17 as head coach of the University of Houston before moving on to Texas A&M where he went 51-26.

The Tampa Bay Bandits will be under the leadership of Todd Haley. His head coaching resume left much to be desired during his stint in charge of the Kansas City Chiefs. But, he’s known as an offensive guru who helped propel the Arizona Cardinals to an appearance in Super Bowl XLIII while serving as the offensive coordinator.

Finally, the Philadelphia Stars will be coached by Bart Andrus. He’s probably not well known to American football fans but European and Canadian fans are sure to recognize Andrus.

He led the Amsterdam Admirals to the World Bowl XIII championship and later spent time as coach of the Toronto Argonauts and Omaha Nighthawks.

The new USFL is not associated or affiliated with the USFL of the 1980s or its owners. FOX Sports is an official broadcast partner of the USFL and will air games on a weekly basis.

All games in the inaugural season will be played in a single host city. League officials hope to play games in future seasons in the teams’ home markets.

NOTE: Rumored head coach Gene Chizik has not signed with the USFL yet.

Mark is the founder and editor of USFL News Hub. The site was started in February of 2022. He is an expert on all things spring football related. Contact him directly by emailing mark.perry@usflnewshub.com

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