In the XFL’s 2020 reboot, we saw some coaches who proved they have what it takes to be the head coach of a professional football team. However, we also saw coaches that, quite frankly, struggled to understand how to coach in the XFL. In this article, we will break down which coaches the league should try to bring back when it returns, and the coaches who should be replaced.
June Jones | Houston Roughnecks
Quite obviously, the undefeated Houston Roughnecks coach is someone the XFL should absolutely bring back. Houston finished the season 5-0, and it was because of the team that June Jones put together. He had a solid handle on the league’s style of play from the get go, and utilized the talents of XFL stars like PJ Walker and Cam Phillips in every game. His team boasted one of the best defenses in the league, as Houston created game winning turnovers in multiple games they played. He embraced the XFL, it’s players, and it’s fans – and he also gave us some hilarious sound-bites during the season.
With Jones’ experience in the NFL, CFL, and multiple college teams, it wasn’t a surprise to see him in the XFL. Considering how well he performed, it would be a shame to not see him back in the league. He has already expressed a desire to come back to the XFL, so Houston fans can remain hopeful that their undefeated coach will return.
Jonathan Hayes | St. Louis BattleHawks
Going into his first head coach stint of his career, people didn’t really know what to expect from Jonathan Hayes. He served as the tight ends coach for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2003-2018. Before that, he was the tight ends coach for the Oklahoma Sooners, under Bob Stoops. While he had plenty of experience, people weren’t sure how he would fare in his debut as a head coach. With that being said, Hayes did an excellent job in St. Louis, proving that he could coach professional football.
The St. Louis BattleHawks ended the season 3-2 as one of the best teams in the league. Jonathan Hayes created a smashmouth atmosphere with his St. Louis team. They boasted one of the best run games in the league, which greatly contributed to their success. Because of Haye’s leadership and presence, the Battlehawks were poised to make a championship run. When the XFL returns, it would make sense to see Jonathan Hayes come back.
Kevin Gilbride | New York Guardians
Kevin Gilbride, who won two Super Bowl’s as the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants, had retired in 2013 from coaching professional football. However, he decided to throw his hat back in the ring by joining the XFL as the New York Guardians head coach. Considering he had been in New York for much of his career, it made sense to see him coach the Guardians. While he saw a mixture of failure and success in his XFL debut, his team ended the season on a two game winning streak, ending 3-2.
The Guardian’s biggest struggle surrounded their quarterback debacle. Matt McGloin obviously wasn’t their go to guy, but neither was Marquise Williams. The team finally found their stride with Luis Perez, and were also in a position to make a playoff run. As the season went on, Kevin Gilbride would have gained more confidence in his team, and the Guardians would’ve had a good chance at making the playoffs. When the XFL returns, Gilbride should be someone the league looks to bring back.
Winston Moss | Los Angeles Wildcats
The Los Angeles Wildcats were a team that showed a lot of potential throughout the XFL’s 2020 season, despite their losing record. Winston Moss, in his first head coaching gig, had his team in a decent position even though they were 2-3. While it was a rough start to the year dropping their first two games, and firing DC Pepper Johnson in the first week, Moss got his team under control and they had a lot of momentum going into the second half of the season.
Since the league shut down, Moss has talked about his desire to coach in the XFL again multiple times. While the Wildcats did not have a winning record, Winston had his team moving in a good direction. Considering he did not get a full season to prove himself, he deserves another chance in the XFL.
Bob Stoops, the Oklahoma Sooner legend, retired from coaching college football in 2016. Despite his long career, he never coached professional football. That changed when he decided to join the XFL as coach of the Dallas Renegades. It was a great find for the XFL, as he brought a lot of attention to the league.
In his first XFL season, the Renegades ended the season 2-3, on a two game losing streak. While it wasn’t the best professional debut for Stoops, he had to deal with an injured Landry Jones the entire year, which hurt the team’s potential. When the league comes back, Stoops should get another chance. He brings the XFL more attention, and has proved his excellence as a football coach plenty of times already. If he gets a healthy quarterback, the Renegades could be a very dangerous bunch in the XFL.
Jim Zorn | Seattle Dragons
Jim Zorn found a home in Seattle with the Dragons. It was a good fit, considering he was the Seahawks quarterback a few decades ago. However, his XFL debut did not go as well as planned, as the Seattle Dragons finished in last place in the XFL West with a record of 1-4. To be honest, Zorn really struggled at the head coaching position.
For most of the season, he started Brandon Silvers over BJ Daniels, which many Seattle fans were disappointed with. When Daniels was in, the team’s offense fared much better. BJ finally got the start in week 5, but by that point it was too late. Zorn also seemed to have a hard time understanding the XFL’s rules, making some questionable play calls throughout the season. Granted, he was missing his OC practically the entire season. That being said, Jim Zorn should probably be on the chopping block when the league returns.
Marc Trestman | Tampa Bay Vipers
Another head coach who had a rough debut in the XFL was Marc Trestman. He had bounced around between the CFL and NFL the last couple of decades, before being brought in by the XFL for their first season. He coached the Tampa Bay Vipers, and they finished in last place in the XFL East with a record of 1-4.
Even though the team showed some promise throughout the season, they just couldn’t seem to put it together when they needed to. While Marc Trestman isn’t completely to blame for this, he was the head coach, and had a hard time getting his team in a winning position. They squandered an 18 point lead in the last week, which was a fitting way for the team to end the short season. When the XFL comes back, they would do themselves a favor by finding a new head coach for the Tampa Bay Vipers.
Of course, this is all just speculation. We do not know who will end up returning to the league, or who the league actually plans on bringing back. Which coaches do you want to see back in the XFL? Let us know in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!