28 September 2000

XFL's Demons hire Jim Skipper as First Head Coach

Former assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator of NY Giants secured for San Francisco Team for 2001 Kickoff

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Jim Skipper, former assistant head coach of the NFL’s New York Giants, has been selected to guide the XFL’s premiere season in the Bay Area as head coach, San Francisco Demons Vice President and General Manager Michael Preacher announced Thursday.

Skipper assumes the reins with the Demons after coaching 14 years in the National Football League with three different franchises and three successful seasons with the Philadelphia-Baltimore Stars in the United States Football League in the mid-1980s.

"Jim Skipper’s coaching philosophy is extremely conducive for the smash-mouth, aggressive style of football we promise to play in the XFL," Preacher said. "Simply, Jim will be trying to score on every play and nothing can be more exciting for the fans.

"Add to that an abundance of experience as an offensive coordinator and running backs coach and he is a natural for our club," the Demons’ GM added. "To give up being the No. 2 man on a successful team in the biggest market in the NFL to join the Demons speaks volumes of the credibility the XFL has attained and we are extremely fortunate to have landed Jim Skipper."

Skipper launched his coaching career in his home state of California and established his coaching reputation in the Bay Area during stints at San Jose State (1977-78) coaching the secondary and the next season at Pacific tutoring the running backs. He has worked on offense each year since.

"It was not in my wildest dreams to think I would leave the New York Giants any time in the near future," Skipper said. "But, this opportunity to be a head coach in the XFL and return to the Bay Area was far too attractive to pass up. I had to go."

After a three-year term in the Pacific-10 Conference at Oregon, Skipper embarked on his professional coaching career with three seasons in the USFL, helping the Stars to post-season appearances in each season.

Skipper also was involved in playoff action four times during a 10-year commitment with the New Orleans (1987-90-91-92), including a 1991 NFC Western Division championship, and once strategizing with the New York Giants in 1997.

Throughout his successful tenure in the NFL Skipper has mentored Pro-Bowl running backs Reuben Mayes and Dalton Hilliard, 1,000-yard back Gary Brown, and current Oakland Raiders star Tyrone Wheatley. Most recently, Skipper coached and developed the skills of one of the most dynamic tandems in Tiki Barber and Ron Dayne.

Football receives a high priority in the Skipper family. Jim and wife Elmarie have three sons: Kelly, 33; Tim, 22, and Courtney, 19, all who have or are currently attending Fresno State. Kelly instructs running backs at UCLA and Tim is the Bulldogs’ three-year starting middle linebacker as a senior who was selected as the Western Athletic Conference defensive player of the week following last Saturday’s 17-3 victory over California.

Skipper, a native of Brawley, Calif., holds a B.A. degree in physical education from Whittier College and began his coaching career at Cal Poly-Pomona during the 1974-76 seasons. He was an all-conference selection at Imperial Valley College (1968-69) and led the league in kickoff returns before transferring to Whittier where he paced the conference in punt returns during his 1970-71 career.

The Demons are one of eight teams in the newly formed league co-owned by World Wrestling Federation Entertainment (NMSL: WWFE) and NBC. The XFL begins play Feb 3, 2001 in eight teams, including New York/New Jersey Hitmen, Chicago Enforcers, Orlando Rage, Las Vegas Outlaws, Los Angeles Xtreme, Birmingham Thunderbolts and Memphis Maniax.

PERSONAL FACTS

Born James Augustine Skipper on January 23, 1949 in Breaux Bridge, La.

Family - Wife Elmarie, Sons Kelly (7-25-67), assistant football coach, UCLA; Timmy (4-15-78), senior linebacker at Fresno State University, and Courtney ( 3-29-81), sophomore at Fresno State University.

Education B.A. Whittier College, 1973 (Physical Education); A.A. Imperial Valley Junior College, 1971.

Professional Chronology - Cal Poly-Pomona, 1974-76, secondary; San Jose State, 1977-78, secondary, running backs; Pacific (1979), running backs; Oregon, 1980-82, running backs; Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars (USFL), 1983-85, running backs; New Orleans Saints (NFL), 1986-95, running backs; Arizona Cardinals (NFL), 1996, running backs; New York Giants, 1997-2000, assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and running backs.