DC Defenders Hire Sean Kugler As Offensive Line Coach

DC Defenders Hire Sean Kugler As Offensive Line Coach

The DC Defenders and offensive line coach Russ Ehrenfeld were forced to part ways this past week. Ehrenfeld is dealing with serious health issues that will not allow him to coach at the level he prefers at this time, per sources close to the situation.

Ehrenfeld has been with the Defenders since HC Reggie Barlow’s coaching staff was named in 2022. His background with Tennessee State for three seasons as an OL coach opened up the door in DC, where he now departs after one and a half seasons. Ehrenfeld’s success with the offensive line in DC weighed heavily on the rushing attack, as Ehrenfeld’s unit led the way last season for the XFL’s leading rusher, Abram Smith. Without Smith this season, the run-game has been dull at times, and is clearly missing Smith along with other former key contributors to the offense.

In turn, the Defenders hired former Arizona Cardinals OL coach, Sean Kugler, as the team’s new offensive line coach. Kugler spent two and a half seasons with Arizona as the offensive line coach and run-game coordinator. Kugler was dismissed from the team in November 2022, when he was accused of off-field issues in a team trip to Mexico City. Prior to Kugler’s time in Arizona, he was the head coach at University of Texas at El Paso from 2013 to 2017.

Final Thoughts

Kugler’s first game as Defenders OL coach was this past week vs. San Antonio, where the team had their highest rushing total in a game this season, with 115 rushing yards. DC running backs also had the most combined yards in a game than they’ve had all season, with Harris, Hagans, and White all getting a piece of the action against San Antonio. The Defenders also had three new starters last weekend, with Jarrid Williams elevated to RT, Lamon Gaillard sliding in at LG, and Yasir Durant moving from LG to LT. Gaillard spent time with Kugler in Arizona, and the relationship is already benefiting both parties.

Russ Ehrenfeld is in our thoughts and prayers at Pro Football Newsroom, and we hope for a quick return to the sidelines!

What are your thoughts on the coaching change for DC? Do you think Kugler was a good fit for DC? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!