Who’s in, who’s out, who returns for each coaching staff in the USFL Conference

On Wednesday, the UFL revealed each team’s coaching staffs, with the caveat that “additional coaching announcements will be posted at a later date.” Teams have a maximum of eight assistant coaches on staff, though some only have seven to this point. The USFL had eight assistants in 2023, while XFL teams had 10. Below is a look at the coaching comings and goings of each team in the USFL Conference. The position they coach(ed) is in parentheses, and for those returning to the staff in 2024, any changes in assignment are also noted.

Birmingham Stallions Coaching Staff

Birmingham Stallions

Out: Larry Kirksey (RB), Neil Callaway (OL), Marty Long (DL), Bob Shoop (DB)

In: Chris Boniol (ST/TE), Corey Chamblin (DB), Dave DeGuglielmo (OL), Bill Johnson (DL), Phillip Montgomery (co-OC/RB/TE)

Returning: Skip Holtz (HC), John Chavis (DC/LB), Mike Jones (WR), Daric Riley (Asst. DB)

Analysis: For a team that has been as successful as Birmingham, they had to surprisingly replace several assistants. Shoop was the only one of the four departing to grab another job as of press time, as he moves to Marshall as their safeties coach. The Stallions added a lot of NFL experience with Boniol (9 years), DeGuglielmo (16 years), and Johnson (17 years). Johnson worked with Wade Phillips in Houston last year, having been a part of Skip Holtz’s staff in Birmingham in 2022. Chamblin is another returnee to B’ham, stopping over last year in San Antonio as the Brahmas’ DBs coach. Montgomery may be the biggest “get” as while many coaches hired during this cycle had been out of the game or came from smaller colleges, he was the offensive coordinator and QBs coach at Auburn in 2023.

houston Roughnecks Coaching Staff

Houston Roughnecks (formerly Houston Gamblers staff)

Out: Ray Rychelski (ST/TE), Andy Townsend (OL)

In: Bob Connelly (OL), Jordan Higgins (QC)

Returning: Curtis Johnson (HC), Garrett Chachere (RB/WR/QB -> ST/RB), Kwahn Drake (DL), Brett Maxie (DB), Eric Price (OC/QB), Zach Shagi (Asst. DB/DQC -> Asst. DB), Chris Wilson (DC/LB)

Analysis: Most of Houston’s coaching staff returns for 2024. Townsend moved on to become the assistant OL coach and run game coordinator at Texas A&M-Commerce. Connelly comes from the high school ranks, having last been offensive coordinator at Little Elm High. Prior to that, he had coached at some major college programs over his 20+ year career, including USC, UCLA and Alabama. Higgins stays in the state of Texas, where he was previously the Texas Wesleyan OL coach, recruiting coordinator, and equipment manager. How’s that for a triumvirate? Houston lacks a WR coach, though that may be handled by head coach Johnson, whose background is at that position.

Memphis Showboats Coaching Staff

Memphis Showboats

Out: Todd Haley (HC), Bob Saunders (OC/RB), Yale Van Dyne (OQC/WR), Frank Gansz, Jr. (ST/TE), James Saxon (OL), Trey Jackson (DL), Brock Marion (DQC/DB)

In: John DeFilippo (HC), Kirk Doll (ST/RB), Doug Martin (OC/WR), Paul Pasqualoni (LB), Jim Turner (Run Game Coordinator/OL), TJ Vernieri (TE)

Returning: Carnell Lake (DC -> DC/DB), Steven Thompson (LB -> Asst. LB)

*DeFilippo, Martin, Doll, Vernieri, Turner all come from the New Orleans Breakers staff

Analysis: As one would expect, lots of turnover here with the new head coach, though he did end up keeping two assistants. Lake adds DBs to his plate and Thompson was demoted to assistant LBs coach, something you rarely see for a holdover. Bringing on Pasqualoni, best known as the head coach at Syracuse for 14 seasons, adds a lot of experience. Marion is the only coach to land another job so far, as he stays in conference with the Michigan Panthers. Notably, most of the coaches brought over by DeFilippo from the Breakers are on the offensive side of the ball, where DeFilippo made his bones as an NFL assistant. Memphis still has one spot on its staff open, and it could be filled by a defensive line coach, a position they currently lack.

Michigan Panthers Coaching Staff

Michigan Panthers

Out: Eric Marty (OC/QB), Steve Brown (DC/DB)

In: Marcel Bellefeuille (OC/QB), Brock Marion (DB)

Returning: Mike Nolan (HC), Collin Bauer (DL -> DC/DL), Jason Fairman (ST/WR), Tim Holt (OL), Jordan Pavlisin (RB), Christian Runza (LB), Gary Watkins (TE)

Analysis: Michigan was in the unique situation of losing both its coordinators – but that was it. They replaced Marty with Bellefeuille, who was the WRs coach of the Philadelphia Stars the last two seasons. He also spent time in the CFL as an offensive coordinator and head coach. The Panthers promoted Bauer to defensive coordinator to replace Brown. A former Big Ten grad assistant at Rutgers and Maryland, this is a big opportunity for Bauer, whose resume is thin compared to others in his position around the league. Most of the rest of the staff returns intact, with Marion being added to coach DBs.

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