This is quite the shakeup ahead of the USFL–XFL merger. The Memphis Showboats are a team that are essentially set to remain in the new league, with zero indication of the organization being shelved.
Recent reports also infer that all eight USFL teams will be safe in the merger. Regardless of how that plays out, Todd Haley will not be a part of the league moving forward, having stepped away several weeks ago.
Todd Haley joined the USFL in 2022 as one of the original head coaches. He spent the first season with the Tampa Bay Bandits, who were a talented team that underperformed en route to a 4-6 record. They were eliminated from playoff contention in week nine, falling to the New Orleans Breakers 17-6.
Tampa Bay got off to a relatively hot start, finishing the first half of the season at 3-2. However, in the final five games the team could not close out games strong, with a 1-4 record during that stretch. QB Jordan Ta’amu jumped to the XFL after the 2022 season, leaving Todd Haley, Dave Razzano, & Co. with decisions to make at the position.
During the offseason, the organization saw a major shift as the USFL rebranded to the Memphis Showboats, and the city became an official hub in 2023. Haley remained as the HC, and rolled into the new year with Brady White as QB1.
The 2023 season was an up and down campaign for Todd and the Showboats. After an 0-3 start, Memphis won five straight games, led by the likes of Cole Kelley and a ferocious defense.
However, the team would ultimately fold during the final two games of the season. The Breakers smoked Memphis 34-3 in week nine, which involved a nearly 3-hour rain delay. Then, a week ten loss to Birmingham sealed their season’s fate.
In the USFL, Todd Haley was 9-11 as a head coach, missing the postseason both years. Now, the organization will be heading in a different direction in 2024.
In 2023, Todd Haley had a couple of rather interesting moments with other coaches after losses. In week two, he had some choice words for Skip Holtz after the Stallions came away with a 42-2 win.
Memphis Showboats HC Todd Haley seemed upset that Skip Holtz ran up the score in tonight's #USFL game.
I asked Haley about this in the post-game presser. His response: "They kicked our ass. They had our number all night…they can do whatever they want."pic.twitter.com/61XeHlNlCn
The early word is that the Showboats are considering promoting current defensive coordinator, Carnell Lake, to head coach. This has yet to be confirmed, though, as the position is still open.
In addition, the USFL-XFL merger structure could also play a part in deciding who ends up filling the role. If there is an XFL coach who is left without a job after the merger is complete, there is a chance that they could be placed in Memphis. Anthony Blevins is a name that comes to mind, having recently been hired by the Vegas Vipers – a team that is essentially guaranteed to fold in a new league.
Additionally, the entities could look at an entirely new candidate for the position. Someone to keep an eye on would be Jarren Horton, who won Assistant Coach of the Year in 2023 as DC of the Pittsburgh Maulers. His resume in the USFL has been quite impressive so far, and is deserving of an opportunity to be a head coach at some point.
The Todd Haley era in the USFL is officially over. Despite some of the team’s struggles, Haley was a key piece to the league’s return in 2022, and will always be a part of the USFL’s legacy. Love him or hate him, we are certainly going to miss moments like…this: