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What You Need To Know for USFL in 2022: Four Head Coaches Announced

January 6, 2022 - United States Football League (USFL) News Release

We're officially 100 days away from the kickoff of the new United States Football League.

On Thursday, the USFL announced its first four head coaches on "The Herd," revealing that two former NFL head coaches, one veteran college coach and a World Bowl champion will lead franchises.

Mike Riley, who boasts 27 years of experience (10 in the NFL and 17 in college) as a head coach, was named the coach of the New Jersey Generals.

Todd Haley, a professional coach for 22 seasons, including three as the Chiefs head coach, will patrol the sidelines for the Tampa Bay Bandits.

Kevin Sumlin, who posted a 95-63 record in 13 seasons at Arizona, Texas A&M and Houston, has agreed to become head coach of the Houston Gamblers.

Bart Andrus, a longtime head coach in NFL Europe and the CFL, will lead the Philadelphia Stars.

"Today is a monumental day for the new USFL as we hit the 100 days to kickoff mark," USFL President of Football Operations Brian Woods said. "To attract Mike Riley and Todd Haley, two former NFL head coaches, Bart Andrus, a former head coach in NFL Europe and CFL, plus an experienced college head coach in Kevin Sumlin, to the USFL, speaks to the quality of the league we're building.

"They all share our belief in high-quality spring football, and we're honored to have them lead their respective teams this year. We can't wait to hit the field!"

The USFL, a new American football league owned by FOX Sports, will play its first games April 16 in one centralized location.

The league plans to announce its remaining four head coaches at a later date.

A player selection meeting will be held Feb. 22-23, and training camps will open March 21. Each squad will have a 38-player roster and a seven-member practice squad.

Here's everything you need to know about the new USFL:

How many teams will be in the league? How will the league be formatted?

There will be eight teams in the new USFL, split into two divisions –– North and South. Each team will play a 10-game schedule, with teams in the same division playing each other twice and teams in the other division once.

The top two teams in each division will play against each other in the semifinals followed a week later by the championship game.

When will the season begin?

The 2022 USFL regular season will begin April 16 and run through mid-June, followed by the playoffs.

Who are the USFL head coaches?

The first four head coaches for the USFL were announced Thursday. The list includes Kevin Sumlin (Houston Gamblers), Mike Riley (New Jersey Generals), Todd Haley (Tampa Bay Bandits) and Bart Andrus (Philadelphia Stars).

Sumlin posted a 95-63 record in 13 seasons as head coach at Houston (2008-11), Texas A&M (2012-17) and Arizona (2018-2020), and was twice named the Conference USA Coach of the Year (2009 and 2011) and was SEC Coach of the Year in 2012.

Riley boasts 27 years of coaching experience (10 in the NFL and 17 in college), including stints at the helm of the Oregon State (1997-98, 2003-14) and Nebraska (2015-17) programs, and serving as head coach of the then-San Diego Chargers (1999-2001).

"I'm excited personally to coach people at this level because I find them to be very hungry," Riley said. "Almost all of them had really successful high school careers and college careers, and they get into a league like this because they love to play, and they want to get better. That combination right there is one idea in general that just makes it really fun to coach."

Haley has spent 22 seasons in the professional ranks, including three as the Kansas City Chiefs' head coach, and has also served as offensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals (2007-08), Pittsburgh Steelers (2012-17) and Cleveland Browns (2018).

"This is a tremendous opportunity for me to get back into coaching at the professional level," Haley said this week. "It's been a while since I led a team on-field, and I've missed it. It's also rare that a head coach, as it was once put, gets to pick all the groceries and fix the meal. This is going to be a lot of fun and I expect the fans to enjoy the competition."

Andrus' experience as a head football coach includes time with NFL Europe's Amsterdam Admirals (2001-07), the CFL's Toronto Argonauts (2009), and the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League (2012). He served as an offensive assistant for the Tennessee Titans (1997-98, 2008) and quarterbacks coach in 1999, before returning to the NFL in 2013 to be an offensive assistant with the St. Louis Rams.

"I'm really looking forward to getting back on the sidelines and coaching a team that I have a hand at creating from scratch," Andrus said. "There are terrific people who I have a lot of respect for working to develop the USFL, and I expect the quality of football we present to be first-rate. I can't wait to get started."

How can fans watch? On what days will games be played?

FOX Sports will carry 22 of the 43 games, with 12 broadcast on FOX and 10 on FS1. NBC Sports will be the home of the other 21 games, with eight on NBC, nine on USA Network and four on Peacock.

"We're thrilled to have NBC Sports join FOX Sports as an official media partner of the new USFL," said FOX Sports CEO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks, who will serve as Chairman of the USFL's Board of Directors. "Like FOX, NBC has a reputation for excellence in football production, and the exposure both companies have committed to the USFL, including a combined 20 games on broadcast television, will provide fans unprecedented access all season long."

Added NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua, "We're excited to partner with the USFL and FOX Sports to present this new era of professional football. With our multiple platforms across broadcast, cable, and streaming, football fans throughout the country will be able to experience the USFL's opening season this spring."

Games will be played both Saturday and Sunday, with special broadcasts on specific Fridays and Mondays.

Where will games be played?

In the inaugural season of the USFL, all eight teams will play in one location, which will be announced soon. In the future, the USFL expects teams to play in their own markets.

What are the team's city affiliations and nicknames?

In late November, fans got their first look at the eight teams.

In the North, the USFL will have the Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals, Philadelphia Stars and Pittsburgh Maulers.

The Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers and Tampa Bay Bandits will comprise the South Division.

Who will oversee the new USFL?

Brian Woods - the founder and CEO of The Spring League from 2017 to 2021 and a co-founder of the new USFL - will serve as the league's President of Football Operations.

Three-time Super Bowl champion and former Dallas Cowboys fullback Daryl "Moose" Johnston will serve as Executive Vice President of Football Operations.

Joining the new USFL as Head of Officiating is former NFL Vice President of Officiating and FOX Sports' NFL and College Football Rules analyst Mike Pereira. And FOX Sports' Edward Hartman will serve as Executive Vice President of Business Operations.

"We are extremely fortunate to have this extraordinary team of experienced executives to guide the new USFL's development as we move toward launch this spring," Shanks said.

"I am confident Brian, Daryl, Mike and Edward have the passion, experience, and commitment we need to get the job done, so come April, we will offer a compelling, high-quality game of professional football that fans will embrace."

Plans are progressing quickly, and additional announcements will be made in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

What is the USFL's partnership with Strategic Education?

The USFL is partnering with Strategic Education, Inc., a leader in online education, to offer its players and league staff a tuition-free, debt-free college degree program.

USFL players and staff can enroll at Strategic Education's Strayer University and Capella University, both institutionally accredited universities that support busy working adults in achieving their academic goals. Staff and players will be able to undertake tuition-free coursework online through Capella University or online and in-person at Strayer University, giving them the flexibility to pursue associate, bachelor's, or master's degrees in business, healthcare, IT, and education, among others.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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