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Behind a talented staff, Kevin Gilbride looking to lead XFL New York to the top

Before the XFL’s relaunch in 2020, Kevin Gilbride, the former New York Giants offensive coordinator, was named to lead a football team for the first time since the 1997-1998 season. As he looks to become a successful coach within the New York/New Jersey area, Gilbride has a lot of work to do. There is more to a team than the coach and the players on the field.

Luckily for him, the XFL has recruited some of the best out there to have his back.

It was already announced that Jim Herrmann would become the defensive coordinator for the unnamed team. A former defensive coordinator for Michigan, Herrmann had stints with both the Jets and Giants, winning a Super Bowl with the latter. A Frank Broyles Award winner, Herrmann’s experience within the area and on the field, along with his relationship with Gilbride, may be the spark the team needs.

Other members of the New York team include a who’s who of coaches and coordinators:

Director of Football Operations: John Peterson – In order to lead a team it would be wise to understand the ins and outs of multiple organizations. Peterson is the perfect fit, having coached in some manner from 1971-1988 before becoming an administrator from 1989 – now. As a coach for various universities Peterson has a 44-65-3 record (includes conference games). A scout for both the Seahawks and Panthers, Peterson was last seen as the Director of Football Operations for the San Antonio Commanders.

Football Operations Manager: Chris Thompson – Thompson was the 2017 NAL Coach of the Year and a six-time FCS/National Bowl Head Coach/OC. He was also the former Director of Football Operations for the Atlanta Legend of the AAF and the head coach of the AFL’s Albany Empire.

Director of Player Personnel: Alan MacCracken – While “Trip” doesn’t have as much playing experience as everyone else, his value is extremely high. An intern for the Redskins while also working at the White House, MacCracken ended up working for the NFL Management Council. A player-first mentality, “Trip” spent eleven seasons with the Cleveland Browns as a contract and salary cap negotiator. MacCracken can be very useful when it comes to future seasons of the new XFL.

Offensive Coordinator: TBD

QB Coach: G.A. Mangus – A former University of Florida QB who assisted Steve Spurrier for seven years with the University of South Carolina. He was recently an assistant coach at Kutztown University.

Offensive Line Coach: Ronnie Vinklarek – Champions cary along that success, right? Ronnie has coached champions in high school and the college level, whether with the University of Houston (1988-93), SMU (2004-2007) or Clear Lake High School (1994). Vinlarek has NFL experience, becoming a defensive quality control, linebackers and special teams coach for the Tennessee Titans around 2000. He then manned the Buffalo Bills as their offensive line coach in 2001 and 2002.

Wide Receivers Coach: Mike Miller – Since 1997, Miller has gone from college to the NFL to the CFL. From 2007-2010 he was with the Arizona Cardinals, acting as their Passing Game and Offensive Coordinator. Between shifts at Robert Morris University, the Bills, Steelers and Cardinals, Miller has a lot of knowledge that can be passed on. He also managed key players like Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, proving he can handle the pressure of working with stars.

Running Backs Coach: Jerald Ingram – Another championship-winning coach with the Giants, Ingram was the RB Coach for the Giants from 2004-2013.

Defensive Line Coach: Charles “C.J.” Ah You – A former seventh-round draft pick for the Buffalo Bills, Ah You was let go that same year before joining the Rams. The BYU and Oklahoma graduate had 41 tackles and 1 forced fumble in his short NFL career. After his playing career, he became a Special Teams Control Coach for Oklahoma (under another XFL coach in Bob Stoops) before joining Vanderbilt as the Defensive Line Coach.

Linebackers Coach: Kevin Kelly – No, not the pro wrestling announcer. Kelly has been all over the football scene, from Northeastern to Syracuse and even Tulane. He has experience as a head coach, managing the Georgetown University team from 2006-2013. His numbers aren’t sexy (24-63, only in second once), but his time as an LB coach in multiple locations help. Before joining the XFL Kelly was the defensive coordinator for Ball State University.

Defensive Backs Coach: Cris Dishman – A two-time Pro Bowler, Dishman has played both sides of the coin since 1988. Selected in the 5th round of the 1998 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers, Dishman played there until 1996. The All-Pro got the franchise tag but was later out of the Oilers’ system before he knew it. He played for the Redskins, Chiefs and Vikings before retiring following his release from the latter team. After a few stints as a DB coach in college, Dishman assisted the Chargers as a DB coach from 2008-2012. He was last seen as a Defensive Assistant for the Baylor Bears.

Special Teams Coordinator: Jeff McInerney – While the AAF folded, McInerney’s experience as an ST Coordinator and Defensive Line Coach for the San Antonio Commanders gave him some leverage to join the XFL.

Special Teams Assistant: Raymond Rychleski – With 26 years of experience as a college football coach, Raymond provides some veteran leadership. Another AAF transfer, Raymond worked with the Birmingham Iron as the TE and ST Coordinator.

As you can see, each name provides their own unique take on the game of football. With many members sharing the same field together we could see a true sense of camaraderie here.

The future of the XFL is unknown. What do we know then? New York’s team will have a plethora of experience, grit and expectations on the sideline. On paper, it looks like a successful core. When the moment arises to execute a game plan, will they be ready?

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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