For hard core football fans all the names on this list should be somewhat familiar. The UFL has gone with heavy NFL experience in hiring their Head Coaches. While all four of these men could, and really should be, on the short list for NFL gigs, they are the men who will start to define what this new league will be. With that being said here is a look at the Head Coaches for each UFL team:
California Redwoods- Dennis Green- Dennis is a great football coach, and is usually a great sound bite. Most of us will remember his famous “They are who what we though they were” blast while Head Coach of the Arizona Cardinals. However many forget that Denny was also the coach of the Minnesota Vikings team that went 15-1 and came within a missed field goal of appearing in the Super Bowl. He is also a disciple of Bill Walsh and the West Coast offense.
Many fans think that Denny should be the head guy for the Oakland Raiders, or the Detroit Lions, and while he is certainly talented enough for those positions, those are really too bad jobs with a low rate of success. In the UFL, Denny will have the chance to write the next chapter of his legacy himself. Expect the Redwoods to run some variation of the Walsh West Coast offense with Green at the helm.
Las Vegas Locomotives- Jim Fassel- Of the four coaches of the UFL none of as much experience in new leagues as Jim Fassel. Fassel was a QB for the Hawaii Hawaiians of the World Football League when he was cut then rehired as an Assistant Coach. Then after completing a few years as an assistant Coach at Stanford, he was hired as the offensive coordinator of the New Orleans Breakers of the USFL.
However it is his work with a few great NFL QB’s that has made Fassel’s career. While QB’s coach with the New York Giants he worked with Phil Simms, wile offensive coordinator with the Denver Broncos he worked with John Elway, and while Head Coach of the Giants he mentored Kerry Collins to a Super Bowl birth.
Look for Fassel to help revitalize the career of former Buffalo Bill’s QB JP Losman. Much like Green, Fassel was rumored to be in line for many NFL head coach jobs including those of the Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders. However he to will look to write the next chapter of his legacy with this new league.
Florida Tuskers-Jim Haslett- Unlike the other already mentioned Haslett has made his name in pro football for his defense acumen. Haslet was the defensive rookie of the year in 1979 playing for the Buffalo Bills and has served on the staff’s of the Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams, and Pittsburgh Steelers. He has been the Head man for the Saints, and the interim head man for the St. Louis Rams.
Haslett was the NFL Coach of the year in 2000 and led the Saints to their first ever post season win. However, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and the unusual circumstances his Saints team was put into following that storm he was fired from the Saints.
Haslett’s NFL career was further hurt by the Rooney Rule, after the Rams fired Scott Linehan they gave Haslett a contract as interim coach that promised him the permanent job if the team could win six games. The NFL ruled that was a violation of the Rooney Rule, not that it really mattered since the Rams won only two games. Haslett now enters the UFL with something to prove, and this is always good motivation.
New York Sentinels- Todd Cotrell-Ted may be the most unknown of these four men, but football fans should know who this guy is. He is the main innovator of the 3-4 defensive scheme that is all the rage in the NFL right now. For the last two years he has been the master of the San Diego Chargers defense that led the leauge in take aways, interceptions, and Pass defense. This guy is a defensive guru and he will have Simeon Rice on his defense with the Sentinels.
Before coming to the Chargers Cotrell served on the staffs of the Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Kansas City Chiefs. Like the other on this list is, has been rumored for many head NFL gigs with the San Francisco 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings.