The DC Defenders of the XFL showcased its passion for the game of football during the 2020 campaign. The team was lead by Pep Hamilton, a former NFL coach for teams such as the Jets, Bears and Colts. Following the announcement that the XFL would be suspending its season due to COVID-19, players and coaches alike were headed to the NFL. Hamilton accepted a job as the Quarterbacks Coach for the Los Angeles Chargers.
DC ended its 2020, COVID shortened season with a 3-2 record. The Defenders shared three-way tie for first place in the East Division, along with the New York Guardians and St. Louis BattleHawks. After the first two weeks of the season, many saw DC as a top dog in the race for the XFLs championship. They cooled off quite a bit over its next three, but first place is first place.
The Defenders must now conduct a search for someone to fill the void left by Hamilton. Below I examine a few highly sought after coaches who could make a splash in the Spring Football world and take over the reigns in DC.
NFL HEAD COACHING RECORD – 83-69 (Including Playoffs)
Wade Phillips would be a sweet XFL Coach. A bleep ton of coaching experience, and a knack for defensive football. Phillips could bring a new level of legitimacy to the league. Plus, a defensive minded coach leading a team of “Defenders”? What more could you ask for!
Phillips has been coaching for nearly forty years. Seven of those years have seen Phillips as a head coach, and that does not count multiple instances of becoming an interim head coach within an NFL season. All in all, he has been a head coach for six NFL teams. Wade Phillips has had several Defensive Players of the year on his squads, including J. J. Watt and Aaron Donald. Most recently coaching the LA Rams in 2019, Phillips saw his defense reach the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.
COLLEGIATE COACHING RECORD – 228-89-2
Why not bring in the Head Ball Coach to the XFL? Steve Spurrier is another household name in the coaching world. Spurrier is a Hall of Fame level coach, literally. Inducted in 2017 as a coach, and 1986 as a player, Spurrier can flat out get it done.
A mainstay in the College Football world, Spurrier has also dabbled in Spring Football. First, he coached in the USFL from 1983-85 with the Tampa Bay Bandits. Fast forward a mere 25 years and you arrive at Spurrier’s second go at Spring football with the AAF. He led the Orlando Apollos to a league best 7-1 record and also took home the title of 2019 AAF champions.
Rumblings around the XFL news world have slated Spurrier headed to the XFL in some form or fashion. This will be intriguing to keep an eye on as we approach the XFL 3.0, even if it does not end up being with the Defenders.
NFL HEAD COACHING RECORD – 28-38 (Including playoffs)
I think a guy like Mike McCoy would be a great XFL Head coach. The up-tempo style plays right into McCoy’s offensive background. A longtime assistant coach in the NFL specializing in QB coach or Offensive Coordinator positions, McCoy would bring a wealth of knowledge to the league. McCoy coached the then San Diego Chargers for four seasons, going 9-7 in each of his first two seasons.
DC could use a coach like McCoy, who is similar to Pep Hamilton in that they both have extensive knowledge of the Quarterback position. This would do wonders for McCoy’s coaching career and might even get him back to the NFL someday.
As the XFL season approaches with many unknowns, DC does not have a head coach. The departure of Pep Hamilton leaves a vacancy which should be in high demand. For the above mentioned coaches, the Defenders boast a rabid fan base and a team that, in theory, returns every player from its 2020 season. I personally cannot wait to see where the DC Head coaching search takes them. If you’re an XFL fan like myself, strap on that chin strap and enjoy the ride!
DC Photo Credit
(Credit: Thomas Campbell / XFL)