Thursday, January 27, 2022

Former Chiefs head coach, Steelers OC Todd Haley named coach of USFL’s Tampa Bay Bandits

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A former NFL head coach will lead a USFL franchise this spring. Todd Haley, whose time in the NFL included three seasons as the Kansas City Chiefs‘ head coach, was named the coach of the Tampa Bay Bandits on Thursday. 

Haley was one of four coaching hires that were announced by the league. Mike Riley was named coach of the New Jersey Generals, Kevin Sumlin was tabbed by the Houston Gamblers and Bart Andrus will lead the Philadelphia Stars. 

The league said the remaining four head coaches — for the Michigan Panthers, Pittsburgh Maulers, Birmingham Stallions and New Orleans Breakers — would be announced at a later date. The league is set to kick off April 16.

The son of former Steelers director of player personnel Dick Haley, Todd Haley broke into the NFL in 1997 as a member of Bill Parcells’ coaching staff with the Jets. He later served as Parcells’ receivers coach/passing game coordinator with the Cowboys before joining the Cardinals as the team’s offensive coordinator in 2007. In 2008, Haley helped the Cardinals reach the franchise’s first Super Bowl behind the play of quarterback Kurt Warner and receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin

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Despite a 10-6 record in 2010, Haley was fired in Kansas City after a 5-8 start to the 2011 season. He quickly resurfaced in Pittsburgh, where he was the offensive coordinator from 2012-17. Under Haley, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger enjoyed some of his most prolific passing seasons. Four of Roethlisberger’s six Pro Bowl selections came under Haley, who did not have his contract renewed after the 2017 season despite the success of Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offense. Haley lasted less than a season in Cleveland before he was relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator during the 2018 season. 

With the Bandits, Haley will look to bring credibility to a league that enjoyed success in its original run from 1983-85. While they didn’t win a USFL title during that era, the Bandits were one of the league’s most successful teams, led by coach Steve Spurrier, owner John F. Bassett and general partner/Hollywood star Burt Reynolds.

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