Looking At The St. Louis Battlehawks 2024 UFL Coaching Staff | Anthony Becht

Looking At The St. Louis Battlehawks 2024 UFL Coaching Staff

The St. Louis Battlehawks are poised to take the city by storm once again, being a part of the newly formed UFL. Some great news for fans – and the league – is the return of Head Coach Anthony Becht and his staff.

In 2023, the Battlehawks were a tremendous asset to the XFL, averaging over 35,000 fans per game. The city embraced their team even more so than they did back in 2020, and clearly the fans loved the attitude and energy that the organization brought week in and week out.

Let’s take a look at who will be pulling the strings behind the scenes for St. Louis this season.

Anthony Becht | Head Coach

Anthony Becht had a warm welcome to the XFL last year, as it was his first head coaching gig of his career. Generally speaking, Becht saw a large amount of success despite missing the postseason. St. Louis won seven games, but couldn’t break into the playoffs due to such a strong Division.

Becht played in the NFL for several years as a tight end, primarily with the New York Jets. He bounced around with several different teams, and was last on a roster in 2011 with the Chiefs.

Anthony was in the Alliance Of American Football with the San Diego Fleet, serving on Mike Martz’ staff as the tight end’s coach. Now, he’s leading one of spring football’s most envied organizations, and will look to push the team to a postseason berth this year.

The team embraced his coaching philosophies, and it’s clear that the entire franchise loves what he brings to the table. WR Darrius Shepherd said he is a “players coach” on Around The UFL’s show last week.

Bruce Gradkowski | Offensive Coordinator

Bruce Gradkowski is back in the Lou. Bruce had quite a bit of success with quarterback AJ McCarron in 2023, as St. Louis featured a dynamic group offensively – one of the best in the entire XFL.

Gradkowski has loads of experience as both a player and a coach. Here’s a fun fact: Gradkowski and Becht played with each other in the NFL on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as the two connected for 115 yards and a score during the 2006 season.

Bruce was the head coach for St. Francis de Sales High School in 2021, before becoming an offensive assistant at Toledo in 2022. He has since been on Becht’s staff in St. Louis, and the two will work together once again in 2024.

Donnie Abraham | Defensive Coordinator

The NFL connections also run deep for Defensive Coordinator Donnie Abraham, who was a member of both the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, just like Becht.

Abraham began his coaching career as a defensive backs coach at Tarpon Springs High School in Florida. Since then, he’s held a variety of DB coaching positions in high school, college, and also the Arena Football League (Tampa Bay Storm). Donnie was in the AAF as well, with the Orlando Apollos.

The Battlehawks picked up a lot of defensive talent throughout the dispersal draft process – this team is loaded. Expect Abraham’s unit to dial up pressure often in 2024.

Kyle Caskey | Running Backs/Special Teams

Kyle Caskey is a new addition to the St. Louis Battlehawks staff. Caskey will serve as the Running Backs and Special Teams coach, following an extensive background in college and the NFL.

Kyle started as a Graduate Assistant at Louisiana-Monroe, before moving to Indiana State as a Recruiting Coordinator. He then transitioned to the NFL, serving as the Offensive quality control coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. Caskey was promoted to Running Backs coach for the Bengals, and remained with the organization through 2018.

After stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions over the past few years, Kyle will now take his talents to the UFL’s Battlehawks.

Phil McGeoghan | Wide Receivers

Phil McGeoghan takes over as the Wide Receivers coach in 2024, as Ricky Proehl is no longer on Anthony’s staff. Speaking of experience, McGeoghan brings a lot to the table for St. Louis.

He began his career as a wide receivers coach in Maine, after his professional playing career was over. Phil entered the NFL in 2012, as an assistant with the Miami Dolphins. He took over as the head Wide Receivers coach in 2015. McGeoghan was last in the NFL in 2020, spending three years with the Los Angeles Chargers as their WR’s coach.

Most recently, Phil was with the Colorado coaching staff in 2022, coaching their wide receivers.

Gino Gradkowski | Offensive Line

The last name is certainly a giveaway – Gino Gradkowski is the brother of OC, Bruce. Gino played in the NFL for six years with a few different teams. Most notably, he was drafted to the Baltimore Ravens in 2012 who ended up winning the Super Bowl.

Gino has since been coaching the offensive line at Rowan University, and now joins his brother in an effort to earn a UFL Championship with St. Louis.

La’Roi Glover | Defensive Line

La’Roi Glover returns to the St. Louis Battlehawks personnel group for 2024, coaching the defensive line. Glover played in the NFL for over a decade as a defensive tackle, and also played with the Barcelona Dragons for one season in 1997.

Glover was an assistant defensive line coach with the New York Jets from 2017-2018, and held the same role with the Los Angeles Chargers from 2019-2020. Now, he’s back for a second season in spring football with St. Louis.

Note: La’Roi has been in St. Louis before, as he was the Director of Player Engagement for the Rams from 2010-2016.

Chris Claiborne | Linebackers

Chris Claiborne is a former first round NFL pick, with the Detroit Lions in 1999. He played in the NFL for several years, ending his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2007.

Claiborne began his coaching tenure at Calabasas High School as their Head Coach from 2018-2019. Across those two seasons, his team went 17-6. Chris then spent some time at USC and Arizona State, before taking the role with St. Louis as their Linebackers Coach for the 2023 XFL season.

Martin Bayless | Secondary

It’s great to see Martin Bayless back in the spring football scene, as he had originally lost his job due to the USFL-XFL merger.

Bayless was with the Philadelphia Stars from 2022-2023 as their Defensive Backs Coach and Special Teams Coordinator, working with some of the top defenders in the league (i.e. Amani Dennis, Cody Brown). Martin has a plethora of experience as a coach across multiple leagues, spanning the NFL, NFL Europe, the original UFL, AAF, and XFL.

Dave Boller | General Manager

Dave Boller is now in his second year as DPP/GM of the St. Louis Battlehawks. He’s constructed an even stronger roster this time around, as St. Louis on paper is capable of doing serious damage in the UFL this year.

Dave was a Recruiting Director at the University of Louisville from 2015-2017, before moving into a DPP role with Syracuse for the next five years. He’s spent decades as a scout in college and the NFL. Boller and Becht have both done an outstanding job of attracting quality talent to their organization, and one should expect that trend to continue as the United Football League grows beyond its first season.

Final Thoughts

It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the St. Louis Battlehawks. The tickets have been flying off the shelves, as this city and community are more than ready to watch their team take the field at The Dome once again in April.

With the amount of talent and expertise on this coaching staff, there are no excuses for the Battlehawks not to perform at a high level this year.

What are your thoughts on the St. Louis Battlehawks coaching staff for 2024? Will this team make it to the Championship? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!

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