Holtz to Take Birmingham Stallions Reins; Wilson Will Lead Pittsburgh Maulers
LOS ANGELES, JANUARY 20, 2022 — The United States Football League (USFL), a new professional football league launching Saturday, April 16, today announced it has filled two more head coach positions.
Skip Holtz, who has a coaching resume dating back to 1987 that includes 22 years as a college head coach, will take the reins of the Birmingham Stallions. Kirby Wilson, a head coach for the first time in his 36-year career, 24 in the NFL, will lead the Pittsburgh Maulers. The pair join Bart Andrus (Philadelphia Stars), Todd Haley (Tampa Bay Bandits), Mike Riley (New Jersey Generals), and Kevin Sumlin (Houston Gamblers), all named to their positions earlier this month.
Filling two more head coach positions is another huge step forward for the league as we move towards kickoff,” said Brian Woods, USFL President of Football Operations. “In Skip and Kirby, we’ve secured two outstanding professionals, who, like the coaches already announced, have decades of experience either in the NFL or college, a love of coaching, and a commitment to the quality league we’re building.”
The USFL will hold a player selection meeting from Tuesday, Feb. 22 through Wednesday, Feb. 23, and training camps will open on Monday, March 21. Each USFL team will carry a 38-man active roster plus a seven-man practice squad, and players will receive base compensation in addition to being eligible for victory bonuses.
The USFL will launch with eight teams split into two divisions playing in one location. In addition to the Stallions, New Orleans Breakers, Gamblers, and Bandits in the South Division, the North Division features the Michigan Panthers, Maulers, Generals, and Stars. Each team will play a 10-game schedule, followed by semifinals between the top two teams in each division, and a championship game between division winners. The USFL has multi-year agreements with NBC Sports and FOX Sports, establishing both networks as official broadcast partners, with plans to nationally televise every game on either NBC, USA, Peacock, FOX, or FS1.
In addition to Woods, a USFL co-founder, serving as President of Football Operations, former Dallas Cowboys standout and longtime NFL on FOX game analyst Daryl Johnston is Executive Vice President, Football Operations. Additionally, former NFL Vice President of Officiating and FOX Sports’ NFL and college football rules analyst Mike Pereira is Head of Officiating, and FOX Sports’ Edward Hartman, serves as Executive Vice President, Business Operations.
The USFL is a new, independent football league controlled by FOX Sports through USFL HoldCo, LLC, a new business entity, and it is not associated or affiliated with the USFL of the 1980s or its owners. For more information, visit http://USFL2.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
See below for thumbnail biographies for each head coach announced today.
“I’m thrilled to be coaching in the USFL, and I can’t wait to get started. The opportunity to build a new league from scratch, with the support we have, is unique. I’m also really excited about having the chance to build something in Birmingham, a great city that I know will embrace the USFL and the Stallions.” Skip Holtz, 1/20/22
Skip Holtz, the head coach of the Birmingham Stallions, comes to the USFL with 22 years of experience as a college head coach and a coaching resume dating back to 1987. As an FBS head coach, he guided his schools to 12 bowl appearances in 16 seasons, posted 11 wins over Power 5 programs, and notched eight conference or divisional championships. Holtz’s career as a head coach began at the University of Connecticut, spending five years in the Atlantic 10 (1994-98), compiling a 17-7 in his last two seasons. In 1998, the Huskies went 10-3, making it to the NCAA Division I-AA quarterfinals. Holtz then moved to the University of South Carolina, where he spent six seasons (1999-04) as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach/assistant head coach under his father, the legendary Lou Holtz. Holtz returned to the role of head coach in 2005, spending five seasons at East Carolina University. At ECU, he posted four consecutive winning seasons, made consecutive bowl appearances, won two Conference USA championships, and was CUSA Coach of the Year in 2008. Holtz then moved to the University of South Florida in 2010, serving as head coach for the Big East school. After three seasons and one bowl appearance in Tampa, Holtz was named head coach of Louisiana Tech University in December 2012 and remained there through the 2021 season. He posted six consecutive bowl victories and three consecutive nine-win seasons during his nine seasons leading the Bulldogs. Holtz also led his team to its first ten-win season in 35 years and was named CUSA Coach of the Year in 2016. In addition to his time at South Carolina as a position coach/coordinator, Holtz served as the receivers coach at Colorado State University (1989) and Notre Dame University (1990-91), where he also served as offensive coordinator (1992-93). His coaching career began as a graduate assistant at Florida State University in 1987). Louis “Skip” Holtz was born in Willimantic, Connecticut, while his father was UConn’s top football assistant (1964-65). He was a prep quarterback at Fayetteville (Ark.) High School, while his father was the head coach at the University of Arkansas. Holtz attended Holy Cross Junior College in South Bend, Ind., before transferring to Notre Dame in 1984, earning a B.S., Business Management in 1986, and was a football letter winner that same year, appearing in all 11 games, playing special teams and backup flanker. He, and his wife Jennifer, have two sons and a daughter.
Kirby Wilson Head Coach, Pittsburgh Maulers
“I’m excited to have this opportunity to be a head coach for the first time. I didn’t believe it at first, but now that that moment is inching closer and closer, I’m super excited about being a head coach in the USFL. I can’t wait to get out on the field, in the grass with my players and the coaches, and start building a championship football team.” Kirby Wilson, 1/20/22
Kirby Wilson is a head football coach for the first time in his 36-year coaching career. He comes to the USFL with 24 seasons of experience as a running backs coach in the NFL with eight different franchises. He held that position for the New England Patriots (1997-99), Washington Football Team (2000-01), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2002-03), Arizona Cardinals (2004-06 & 2018), Pittsburgh Steelers (2007-13), Minnesota Vikings (2014-15), Cleveland Browns (2016-17), and Las Vegas Raiders (2019-20). In addition, Wilson coached at Pasadena City College, Los Angeles Southwest College, Southern Illinois, Wyoming, USC, and Iowa State at the college level. Wilson played at the University of Illinois after transferring from Pasadena City College. He also played two seasons in the Canadian Football League as a defensive back and kick returner for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts between 1983 and 1984. He obtained a B.A. degree from Eastern Illinois University in 1989.