18 October 2000

Dick Butkus elevated to key XFL League position; Ron Meyer named new Enforcers head coach

Chicago, IL, October 18- Dick Butkus has been elevated to the position of XFL Director of Football Competition, Basil V. DeVito, Jr., XFL President, announced today.

DeVito also announced that Ron Meyer, a two-time NFL AFC Coach of the Year and current TV analyst, will replace the legendary Butkus at the helm of the Chicago Enforcers.

Among Butkus’ new duties are monitoring and enforcing XFL rules; reviewing and monitoring team staffing to ensure fairness and consistency among and within teams; representing the league at games, training sessions, mini-camps and tryouts; and participating as a member of the XFL rules committee. Butkus’ role will be similar to that played by Frank Robinson at Major League Baseball.

"The XFL has been designed, and our rules have been written, to promote an exciting brand of football while at the same time creating an equal playing field and environment for all of our teams,” said DeVito. “Who better than Dick Butkus to focus on this aspect of our game?”

Said Butkus, "I look forward to the challenges of my new job and I am committed to the XFL and delivering the kind of football I’ve always been associated with."

As Butkus’ successor, Meyer brings with him a long, successful career in coaching on the professional, collegiate and high school levels, including stints with the Indianapolis Colts (1986-91) and New England Patriots (1982-84). In 1987, Meyer led the Colts to their first division title in more than a decade, and earned AFC Coach of the Year. Meyer was also named AFC Coach of the Year following the 1982 season, when he guided a Patriots team that had been 2-14 the previous year to a 5-4 record in a strike shortened season. Meyer has also served as head coach of the CFL’s Las Vegas Posse.

A defensive back at Purdue University, Meyer began his coaching career at the high school level in the Hoosier State before moving on to his college alma mater as an offensive assistant. During his tenure in West Lafayette, the Boilermakers recorded a rare Rose Bowl victory. As a collegiate head coach, Meyer won national coach of the year honors twice by turning around programs at UNLV (1973-75) and SMU (1976-81).

Since leaving the coaching ranks, Meyer has worked as a television broadcaster, and is currently NFL analyst for CNN/Sports Illustrated.

"Ron Meyer has been a winning coach at every level of the game," said DeVito. "Adding someone of his stature to the XFL further demonstrates our commitment to providing fans with the highest level of football excellence."

"I’m ecstatic about the opportunity to return to coaching, especially with a new entity like the XFL and all it promises,” said Meyer. “My plan is to hit the ground with both feet running so that I can deliver to the fans of Chicago the exciting football they expect.”

The XFL, which kicks off its inaugural season February 3, 2001, is jointly owned and operated by World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. (NMS: WWFE) and NBC.