Houston Gamblers Hire USFL Head Coach Curtis Johnson

Houston Gamblers Hire Curtis Johnson As USFL Head Coach

The USFL is seeing another head coaching change ahead of season two. This time, it’s the Houston Gamblers who are bringing in Curtis Johnson to take the reins in Houston.

This comes after the news broke yesterday that Kevin Sumlin was headed to Maryland. It seems that Sumlin wanted to get back into the college scene, and has been hired as a co-offensive coordinator for Maryland.

Sumlin coached the Gamblers in season one, and led the team to a 3-7 record. The USFL franchise will be looking to improve upon that record this year, and now they have a new leader to help them accomplish that goal.

Curtis Johnson has plenty of experience as a coach. He’s won at both collegiate and NFL levels. In fact, Johnson was a Wide Receivers coach for the New Orleans Saints when they won their title back in 2009.

Johnson is excited to coach in the USFL. He is ready to bring a new attitude to the organization. At the same time, he’s ready to prove to NFL franchises that he’s head coach material.

I’m going to bring football that is exciting and fast by airing it out while also running the ball. On defense, the Gamblers will always be focused on being physical and creating turnovers. I’m excited to get to work building a winner for Houston football fans.

The Houston Gamblers will be kicking off their season on April 16th, against the Michigan Panthers. Fans will likely see an entirely new brand of Houston football this year, given the coaching changes.

What do you think of Curtis Johnson being hired by the USFL for 2023? Did the Houston Gamblers make the right move? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!

You can read the full press release from the USFL below:


Former Assistant Coach With Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints Succeeds Kevin Sumlin

HOUSTON  (Feb. 15, 2023) – The USFL today announced that NFL veteran offensive assistant coach and former Tulane Head Coach Curtis Johnson has been hired as the new head coach of the Houston Gamblers. Johnson immediately assumes duties from Kevin Sumlin.

We’re very excited for Coach Johnson to bring his 35 years of experience improving players at the professional and collegiate levels to the USFL family as the new Houston Gamblers Head Coach,” said Daryl Johnston, Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “Coach Johnson has been on the USFL head coach radar, so when Coach Sumlin recently informed us that he would be stepping down, I immediately called Curtis. We’re thrilled that he enthusiastically embraced the challenge to be the Gamblers Head Coach. As a former assistant coach for the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints team, Coach Johnson knows what it takes to build a winner, so Houston fans should be excited about the brand of football he will bring to the USFL.”

Johnson, 61, returns to professional football after two separate stints with the Saints as a wide receivers coach and senior offensive assistant. In 2009 he coached on the team that won Super Bowl XLIV. In addition to being the Chicago Bears’ wide receivers coach, he held the same job at several universities including California, San Diego State, SMU, Idaho, and Miami, where he helped the 2001 Hurricanes win the National Championship. Johnson’s first head coach job was at Tulane from 2012-2015. He takes over a Gamblers team that will be hosted in Memphis, Tenn., for the upcoming 2023 season.

This is a tremendous opportunity to serve Houston, their fans, and our players. I want to make the city of Houston proud about our team and the USFL,” said Johnson. “As a former wide receivers coach, I’m going to bring a brand of football that is exciting and fast by airing it out while also running the ball. On defense, the Gamblers will always be focused on being physical and creating turnovers. I’m excited to get to work building a winner for Houston football fans.”

Johnson succeeds former head coach Sumlin.

We’re grateful to Coach Sumlin for his time and effort standing up the Houston Gamblers and helping the USFL become the first major professional spring football league in nearly 40 years to complete a successful inaugural season and return for Season 2,” said Johnston.

USFL Season 2 kicks-off in April at four host cities in Memphis, Birmingham, Ala., Canton, Ohio, and Detroit.

About the United States Football League (USFL):

Fun, fast, and physical, the USFL is a fan-first, stand-alone major professional spring football league. Run by experienced football leaders, the USFL’s successful first season finished July 3, 2022, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame stadium in Canton, Ohio, with the Birmingham Stallions winning the championship by defeating the Philadelphia Stars, 33-30. FOX Sports and NBC Sports are official media partners, presenting all 43 regular- and postseason games for the 8-team league. Former NFL Dallas Cowboys player and current FOX NFL analyst Daryl Johnston is USFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. Former NFL Vice President of Officiating and current FOX NFL analyst Mike Pereira is USFL Head of Officiating. “United By Football” for fans of America’s favorite sport, USFL Season 2 kicks off April 15, 2023. For scheduling and ticketing information, visit theUSFL.com and follow on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.


USFL Media Contact & League Spokesperson:

Darryn James // [email protected]