The official relaunch of the XFL spring professional league will not take place until 2020, but a major head coaching/front office announcement this week should increase excitement to a higher level than it's been since the revelation of the league's return. The Dallas XFL franchise will be naming former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops as the team's first head coach on Thursday, according to first reported by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. In addition to his on-field duties, the Youngstown, Ohio, native will also serve as the team's general manager.
Stoops appeared to confirm this to News 9's Dean Blevins; however, an on-the-record story posted by News 9 early Wednesday evening was pulled from the website and replaced with another in which Blevins simply confirms the news, according to "the source who would know best."
The XFL sent a press release Wednesday announcing a head coach and general manager announcement for its Dallas team on Thursday at 2 p.m. ET. When Stoops is announced, he will be the first confirmed coaching and GM hire of the reincarnated league.
Stoops spent 18 years as the coach of the Sooners (1999-2016), compiling an overall record of 190-48 in Norman, Oklahoma, and capturing the national championship during the 2000 season in just his second year at the helm. Shortly before the 2017 season, Stoops abruptly announced his retirement from coaching, handing over the reins to up-and-coming offensive guru Lincoln Riley. Since Stoops's departure, Oklahoma has made consecutive College Football Playoff appearances, both times seeing a premature exit in the semifinal round.
In one of the since-deleted quotes from News 9, Stoops said he expects his latest career move to be a fun challenge. "It's a different time of year. I've been limited in some of the stuff today this time of year anyway. You can only do so much golf in this period," Stoops said. "It'll be challenging for sure. If it wasn't, I wouldn't do it. And if it's not fun, I won't do it. But I respect the guys running things. But this is 'real football.' If it was something goofy or have those old goofy names, I wouldn't be associated with it."
Some expected that Stoops, 58, would return to coaching at some point following a brief hiatus, but most believed that would come in the FBS collegiate ranks to rejuvenate another program if he stepped back on the sidelines again.
However, it appears as if Stoops has been lured away from his vacation with an offer from a professional football league in need of a jolt to get off the ground in 2020.
The relaunch of WWE chairman Vince McMahon's XFL, which previously ran for just one season in 2001, was. In early December, Dallas was revealed as one of the , though no nicknames were provided at the time.
This weekend, the Alliance of American Football (AAF), a rival spring professional football league that boasts other notable college football coaches such as Steve Spurrier, Rick Neuheisel and Dennis Erickson, will begin its inaugural season. The announcement of Stoops as not only a coach in the XFL next year but a front office presence will garner some needed attention for the league one year out from its return.