Dallas' XFL franchise is set to make a far bigger front-office hire than anyone could've expected when Vince McMahon's Alpha Entertainment announced plans to revive its football league in December. According to multiple media reports, the league will announce that former University of Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops will be the Dallas team's first head coach and general manager.
Stoops' hiring is expected to be unveiled as part of a press conference at Globe Life Field, the soon-to-be former home of the Rangers that will serve as the home field for the XFL team when it begins play in 2020.
Dean Blevins, the sports director at Oklahoma City's KWTV-TV, got confirmation from Stoops directly.
Bob Stoops just told me he's "excited about a new challenge," as he'll be named GM and HC of Dallas XFL franchise tomorrow in Dallas. We talked about how XFL runs business & he said, "they spread a pool of money equally. But, it's sure not "OU's pool of money!" @NEWS9 @ESPNCFB— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) February 6, 2019
While little is known about the product the XFL will put on the field as it attempts to satiate America's desire for spring and summer pro football, dragging Stoops out of retirement is a major coup for the fledgling league.
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After serving as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa, University of Florida and Kansas State University, Stoops signed on as OU's head coach before the 1999 season. Stoops won seven games his first season before going 13-0 and winning a national championship in 2000. He left Norman with a .798 winning percentage and a 190-48 record.
Despite Stoops' name coming up virtually every time a major college or NFL head coaching job came open, he stayed in Norman until announcing his retirement before the 2017 season.
The XFL is expected to begin play in 2020, the week after Super Bowl 54. League officials concede that their league will be a complement to America's most popular sports league, rather than a competitor. Its teams will be stocked with NFL has-beens and college cast-offs, players Stoops may be fairly familiar with, given the extensive scouting and recruitment he did during his time in Oklahoma.
The XFL's previous incarnation lasted exactly one season in 2001. While that league featured WWE-inspired flourishes like a race for the ball rather than a coin toss and players being allowed to select a name of their choice for their jerseys, the new XFL will focus more on football, according to league executives.