Anthony Blevins Hired For XFL Vegas Vipers Head Coach

XFL Hires Anthony Blevins As Vegas Vipers Head Coach

The Vegas Vipers have seen quite a few changes over the past several months. One of those includes new Head Coach Anthony Blevins who has taken over in Rod Woodson’s absence. The XFL parted ways with Woodson a couple of months ago, and now moves to Blevins to be his replacement.

Anthony Blevins has some experience in the world of coaching. Since 2013, he has been an assistant coach in the NFL, working with the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants. Most recently, he was the assistant special teams coach for Brian Daboll in New York.

This will be the first head coaching opportunity Blevins has had in his career. For the first time across high school, college, and the NFL, Anthony Blevins will be the head coach of a football team.

The Vegas Vipers have a lot to prove in the XFL 2024 season. They finished with a 2-8 record in 2023 under Rod Woodson, never putting things together despite featuring a talented roster. It will be intriguing to watch what happens with Blevins now at the helm.

Interestingly enough, Anthony Blevins also played in the original iteration of the XFL:

Press Release

ARLINGTON, TEXAS (July 7, 2023) – The XFL announced today that Dr. Anthony Blevins has been named head coach of the Vegas Vipers. Blevins joins the XFL from his position as assistant special teams coordinator with the New York Giants.

“Following a nationwide search, we are proud to introduce Anthony Blevins as the head coach of the Vipers,” said XFL President Russ Brandon. “Our players will have an incredible opportunity to learn from a coach with NFL and NCAA experience, and we look forward to seeing his impact on the field and in the locker room.”

“Anthony’s talent and potential were evident throughout the interview process and in speaking with some coaches, staff and former players from the New York Giants, it was clear that he knows how to connect with players and staff,” said Executive Vice President of Football Operations Marc Ross. “He is a very bright coach who has made stops at every level of football from coaching high school in Atlanta to the Giants with collegiate and NFL stops in between. On top of his coaching experience, he knows what opportunity our league can provide to players and staff. Anthony intimately understands our mission, as he had an opportunity to be part of the XFL in 2001 with the Birmingham Thunderbolts. He’s a tireless worker on and off the field and that’s represented by his PhD in instructional systems and workforce development, which he earned in 2015 while serving as an assistant coach with the Arizona Cardinals. He is a great addition to lead the team and I look forward to watching his growth.”

Last season with the Giants, Blevins served as the assistant special teams coach. In 2021, he was also an assistant linebackers coach; in 2020, he was the team’s assistant defensive backs coach. He was the assistant special teams coach in his first two seasons with the Giants (2018-19).

“I’m honored to be named head coach of the Vipers,” said Blevins. “I watched the XFL last season, and I was incredibly impressed by the action on the field and the coaching on the sidelines. I’m looking forward to taking the next step in my career, and this a great opportunity to share my knowledge and experience while getting the most out of players on the field for the fans in the stands and watching at home.”

Before joining the Giants, Blevins spent five years as a coaching assistant/special teams with the Arizona Cardinals.

Blevins spent the 2012 season as the cornerbacks coach at his alma mater, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, following three seasons at Tennessee State (2009-11) coaching special teams and cornerbacks. He also worked at the University of Tennessee-Martin in 2008, coaching cornerbacks while serving as recruiting coordinator.

Blevins was a part of the NFL’s Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship Program with the Indianapolis Colts in 2011, the Cardinals in 2010, and the Chicago Bears in 2008.

A three-year letter winner, Blevins played cornerback at UAB from 1995-98. He played professionally for the Mobile Admirals of the Regional Football League (1999), the Birmingham Steeldogs of AFL2 (2000), and the Birmingham Thunderbolts in the XFL from 2000-01.

Blevins began his career as the secondary coach at Meadowcreek High School in Gwinnett, Ga. in 2003-04. From 2005-07, he was a graduate assistant at Mississippi State, working with wide receivers, defensive backs, and special teams.

A native of Birmingham, Blevins graduated from UAB in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and earned a master’s in instructional technology in 2006 from Mississippi State. In the fall of 2015, he earned a Ph.D. in instructional systems & workforce development from Mississippi State.

Blevins, who spends his offseason in the Dallas area, is a devoted husband and father to his wife Asina, daughter Allyson and stepdaughter Jalyn.

During the 2023 XFL season, the Vipers finished last in the North Division and had an overall record of 2-8. Linebacker Pita Taumoepenu was named the XFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. In the team’s ten games, Vegas was tied or leading at the half in seven games. The Vipers also finished with 18 takeaways on defense, which was good for fourth in the league. On offense, the team averaged 305.2 yards per game, which ranked fifth in the league.

BLEVINS CAREER EXPERIENCE

2005–07 Mississippi State University graduate assistant

2008 University of Tennessee at Martin cornerbacks/recruiting coordinator

2009–11 Tennessee State University special teams/cornerbacks

2012 University of Alabama at Birmingham cornerbacks

2013–17 Arizona Cardinals coaching assistant/special teams

2018-19 New York Giants assistant special teams

2020 New York Giants assistant defensive backs

2021 New York Giants assistant linebackers/assistant special teams

2022-23 New York Giants assistant special teams coordinator

ABOUT THE XFL

The XFL is a fan-first, fast-paced global professional football league with innovative rules and an enhanced 360-degree game experience. Anchored in world-class football, the XFL brings entertainment and innovation to advance the sport, expand player opportunities, and change the way that fans experience the game. The XFL has eight teams in Arlington (TX), Houston (TX), Las Vegas (NV), Orlando (FL), San Antonio (TX), Seattle (WA), St. Louis (MO), and Washington, D.C. The XFL is owned by Dany Garcia, Dwayne Johnson, and Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital Partners and launched in February 2023.

What do you think about this XFL hiring of Anthony Blevins? Will the Vegas Vipers rebound in 2024? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!