Birmingham, AL/Stamford, CT, - BIRMINGHAM, Ala./STAMFORD, Conn., August 1, 2000 The XFL, a new professional football league jointly owned and operated by World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. (NMS: WWFE) and NBC, announced today that Birmingham, Alabama will be home to an XFL team when the league begins play in February 2001. The XFL also announced today that Tim Berryman will be the teams Vice President and General Manager, Gerry DiNardo will be the Head Coach, and Bob Gates will serve as Player Personnel Director. The Birmingham franchise, which will be named at a later date, will play five regular-season home games at Legion Field.
Birmingham has been left out of the professional football mix for much too long. We believe that it is a strong football market and were excited about having the XFL play here, said Basil V. DeVito, Jr., President of the XFL. Birmingham has knowledgeable fans that know their football, and were confident that they will enjoy and appreciate the product that we put on the field.
Tim Berryman joined the XFL from Arkansas Sports Entertainment where he was Co-founder, Co-owner, and General Manager of the Arkansas RiverBlades (East Coast Hockey League) and the Arkansas Twisters (arenafootball2). There he wrote business plans, commissioned market feasibility studies, and oversaw all aspects of the Twisters launch including facility lease, ticket pricing, marketing, and budgets. From 1995 1998, Berryman was the Co-founder, Co-Owner, and Vice President of Entertainment Ventures Associates, the company that brought the Louisiana IceGators of the East Coast Hockey League to Louisiana in 1995. From 1984 1995, Berryman held various marketing and executive positions with Americas Research Group and Xerox Corporation. A former linebacker for the Canadian Football Leagues Ottawa Rough Riders and Toronto Argonauts, Berryman was the first player selected in the Canadian Football League draft in 1976.
Gerry DiNardo was the Head Coach at Louisiana State University from 1995-1998. There he took the Tigers to three straight Bowl victories from 1995-1997. Prior to his four years at LSU, DiNardo was the Head Coach at Vanderbilt from 1991- 1994, where he was named SEC Coach of the Year and Kodak Regional Coach of the Year in 1991. From 1982-1990, DiNardo was the Assistant Coach at Colorado University, which won the National Championship in 1990. In addition to winning a National Championship as an Assistant Coach, DiNardo also won one as a player for University of Notre Dame in 1973. He was an offensive guard for the Fighting Irish from 1972-1974.
Pro Personnel Director Bob Gates brings 37 years of football experience on all levels of competition to the XFL. Most recently, Gates held the position of Football Operations Manager with the London Monarchs of NFL Europe. Prior to that he served as Assistant General Manager of the Birmingham Fire of the World League of American Football. Gates has also served as a scout for both the National Football League and Canadian Football League.