Houston Roughnecks XFL Draft Recap

Overall, twenty-two of the 42 players added to the Houston Roughnecks roster through the inaugural XFL Draft have been on active NFL rosters in their careers. Twelve of those players played multiple seasons in the NFL.

 

QUARTERBACK ASSIGNMENT: PHILLIP WALKER

A four-year letter winner at Temple University (2013-2016), Phillip Walker is the Owls’ all-time leader in pass attempts (1,410), completions (803), passing yards (10,273), TD passes (72), and total offense (11,100). In 2015 and 2016, the New Jersey native led TU to two of their three 10-win seasons and their first ever back-to-back bowl appearances in school history, along with their first conference title in 49 years (2016). Walker spent three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts (2017-19 practice squad).

 

PHASE 1- SKILL PLAYER DRAFT

Connor Cook: An experienced and productive college quarterback at Michigan State, Connor Cook was drafted in the 4th round by the Oakland Raiders in 2016. Cook is a well-versed pro-style quarterback who consistently displays the footwork, timing and crispiness in his fundamentals as a high quality quarterback. He has ample arm strength to finish throws on the perimeter and down the field, and has the toughness to stand tall and drive the ball regardless of pressure around him. Cook’s experience, confidence and decisiveness make him a reliable, rhythm passer for an XFL offense.

Sammie Coates: He played college football at Auburn, where he played in the 2013 SEC Championship Game and 2014 BCS National Championship Game, and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons in the NFL, including 12 games with the Texans in 2018.

Cam Phillips: Wide Receiver who played college football at Virginia Tech. Signed with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent on in May 2018. He was waived on September 1, 2018 and was signed to the practice squad the next day. He was promoted to the active roster on October 18, 2018. He was waived on November 5, 2018 and was re-signed to the practice squad. He signed a reserve/future contract with the Bills on December 31, 2018, but waived by the Bills in August 2019

Jalen Saunders: Earning All-WAC honors at Fresno State and All-Big 12 honors at Oklahoma as a slot receiver, Jalen Saunders had stints with five NFL teams before posting 1,909 receiving yards in two season in the CFL. Developing into a more multiple threat as a hybrid inside-outside receiver as a professional, Saunders’ greatest trait still remains his catch-and-run ability. With high-quality instincts and athleticism, he displays the ability to change the game with big plays on both offense and special teams.

Kyle Hicks: The first running back selected by the Roughnecks. A former TCU Frog, he was an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection in 2016.

Devin Gray: Wide receiver who played college football at Cincinnati.  Signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent on May 1, 2018. He was waived on September 1, 2018 and was signed to the practice squad the next day. On August 31, 2019, Gray was waived by the Falcons, but he was re-signed to the Falcons practice squad on October 23, 2019, making him a maybe for the start of the XFL training camp.

Andre Williams: He played college football at Boston College, where he was a finalist for the 2013 Heisman Trophy, and won the 2013 Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back. During the 2013 season, Williams became only the 16th player in NCAA history to rush for over 2,000 yards and he finished his college career ranked 5th all-time for most yards rushed in a single season with 2,177 yards. Drafted by the New York Giants in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

 

PHASE 2- OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

Cornelius Edison: Played college football at Portland State and was signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2015. Also appeared on the Falcons and Vikings roster.

Terry Poole: A former JuCo transfer, Terry Poole started 25 games at San Diego State before being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft. Spending three years in the league, Poole eventually found himself back in San Diego with the AAF, where he started eight games at tackle. Poole’s measurables and rhythm in pass protection are strengths, as are his lateral quickness and hand placement.

Demetrius Rhaney: Analysis: Best suited in a zone-blocking scheme, Demetrius Rhaney played two years at Tennessee State and was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the seventh round of 2014. After five years in the NFL with three teams, Rhaney developed into a full-time starting center in the AAF. The high-effort player generates a lot of lower body power and moves well vertically with strong, choppy steps.

Gerhard de Beer: Offensive tackle who played college football at Arizona. Signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2018. He most recently played for the Green Bay Packers.

Patrick Lewis: Center who played college football at Texas A&M. Lewis was signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2013. In the 2014 season, he played in six games for the Seahawks, who kept a 4-0 record with Lewis as starting center. Lewis was not named the starting center before the 2015 season. However, he regained the starting job from Drew Nowak prior to Week 10.  On January 12, 2019, Lewis was signed by the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football.

Tayo Fabuluje: Offensive tackle who played in the 2012 season for TCU. He was originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears.

 

PHASE 3- DEFENSIVE FRONT SEVEN

Trenton Thompson: Defensive tackle who played college football at the University of Georgia. Thompson graduated from Westover Comprehensive High School in Albany, Georgia, where he earned All-USA Defensive Player of the Year honors by USA Today. Scouts compared him to All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. He was signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2018, but later released. Signed by the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football on January 18, 2019. After a four tackle performance in a 38-22 week 1 victory over the Salt Lake Stallions, Thompson was named by Pro Football Focus to their Week 1 AAF Team of the Week. After the AAF ceased operations in April 2019, Thompson signed with the Washington Valor of the Arena Football League, and later briefly signed by the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League, but released just prior to the 2019 season.

Edmond Robinson: A linebacker who played college football at Newberry. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the seventh round, 232nd overall of the 2015 NFL Draft. He was the first NCAA Division II player to be selected in that year’s draft. Started in week 15 in a loss against the Arizona Cardinals and was credited with one tackle and a pass defensed.  A week later in the Vikings’ blowout win over the New York Giants, he recorded five tackles despite playing just six snaps on defense. After being cut by the Vikings, and moving from the New York Jets to the Arizona Cardinals, he was signed with the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football for the 2019 season.

Davis Tull: A linebacker who played college football at University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, signed a 2.5 million dollar contract, but placed on injured reserve early in the season. Tull bounced from the Atlanta Falcons to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, to the LA Rams and finally to the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football.  In August 2019, Tull was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars, but released with an injury settlement during final roster cuts on August 30, 2019. Later, he was suspended by the NFL for four weeks beginning on Oct. 19.

Beniquez Brown: Linebacker who played college football at Mississippi State. He was signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2016, but released soon after. In 2018, Brown signed with the Birmingham Iron of the AAF for the 2019 season.

 

PHASE 4- DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD

Deji Olatoye: Cornerback who played college football at North Carolina A&T. He was originally signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2014, and appeared on the rosters of the Chiefs, Cowboys, Falcons and Buccaneers before joining the Orlando Apollos of the Alliance of American Football in 2019.

Robert Nelson: Undrafted out of Arizona State, Robert Nelson played in 20 career NFL games. He is a quick, sudden athlete with good play speed to stay in phase with receivers downfield. He shows good burst to the ball in zone coverage and flashes playmaking skills when he trusts his instincts.

Trae Elston: Safety who played college football at Mississippi. Signed by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent on May 2, 2016.  Moved through the rosters of the Bucaneers, Browns, Bills, Eagles, Dolphins and Saints.

Marqueston Huff: Selected in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL draft by the Titans. He played 41 games as a rotational safety and cornerback in the NFL. He offers good range and physicality from the backend. His aggressive play has tone-setting potential.

Ed Reynolds: A 2013 First-Team All-American at Stanford and was selected in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL draft by the Eagles. He played in 16 NFL games, including 10 starts. He is a smart, instinctive safety with above average ball skills. He is a reliable tackler in the box or in space.

Brendan Langley: A 3rd-round NFL draft selection by the Broncos in 2017. He played 16 games over two seasons in Denver, primarily as a reserve defensive back and return man. The former college wide receiver possesses good ball skills. He has desired size and speed with strong upside as a zone corner.

Deatrick Nichols: A 3-time All-AAC performer at South Florida before signing with the Cardinals. He was a member of the team’s practice squad in 2018, appearing in 2 games. He has slot corner size and traits with good ball production. He plays sticky man coverage with desired range in zone.

 

PHASE 5- OPEN DRAFT

Akrum Wadley: Running back who played college football at Iowa. He was signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2018.  In 2019, he signed with the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football.

Marquez Williams: Fullback who played college football at Mars Hill and the University of Miami. He was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft and has also played for the Cleveland Browns.

Blake Jackson: Wide receiver who played college football at Mary Hardin–Baylor. After going undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft, Jackson signed with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League, but released by the Stampeders at the conclusion of training camp. After attending The Spring League Showcase in La Jolla, California in July 2018, Jackson signed with the Cleveland Browns as a wide receiver on July 27, 2018, and elevated to the Browns’ active 53-man roster on December 28, 2018. Jackson was waived with an injury designation on August 2, 2019. After clearing waivers, he was placed on the Browns’ injured reserve list. He was later released with an injury settlement. \

Isame Faciane: A guard who played college football as a defensive tackle at Florida International and was signed by the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He went from the Vikings practice roster, to a reserve/future contract, and back to the practice roster. He was released by the Vikings on October 18, 2016 following a DWI arrest. Later, he spent time on the Bills and Dolphins rosters, and with the Iowa Barnstormers of the Indoor Football League

Kony Ealy: The former 2nd round pick had 28 sacks at Mizzou, 15 in the NFL, and holds several Super Bowl records. He was a lone bright spot in Carolina’s loss to the Denver Broncos in SB 50, with 3 sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception.

Carl Bradford: Lnebacker who played college football at Arizona State, and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He has also been a member of the San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, and Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL; the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL; and the Arizona Hotshots of the AAF.

Austin Rehkow: Punter and placekicker who played college football for the Idaho Vandals football team at the University of Idaho. He moved through the rosters of the Bills and Giants without earning a starting position before he was signed by the Salt Lake Stallions of the Alliance of American Football as a punter.

Andre Williams is a Roughneck through and through

Andre Williams (bcinterruption.com)

Houston Roughnecks running back Andre Williams’ interest in football came from watching his brother play the game.  Andre was further inspired to be a running back by professional players who appeared on his television.

“I started watching professional football. I was looking at running backs like Tiki Barber and Chris Martin and those guys, and later on, Adrian Peterson. I just always loved that position.”

Still, it was his brother that first inspired Andre. In the most powerful homage ever, Andre wears “44” on his jersey, which was the same number his brother wore.

After a spectacular High School career, Andre reportedly had offers from colleges like Temple, Akron and Vanderbilt, but he chose to committ to Boston College.

“I liked the conference,” Andre said. “Being able to play in the ACC, I figured I’d be up and down the coast… we played Clemson, we played Florida State… sometimes North Carolina and Duke.  I thought it was a great conference, and a great opportunity to go to a school like BC.”

After a lackluster season in 2012, Andre remembers that everything came together in 2013, his senior season, where he put up 2177 rushing yards at a 6.1 yards per carry average, and 18 touchdowns.  He soon found himself as one of six finalists for the Heisman Trophy that year, and finished fourth in voting.

When asked what he would do with the Heisman Trophy, if he won, Andre gave credit to his teammates by remarking he would, “Chop it up and give each of the offensive linemen a piece of the trophy.”

After college, Andre was selected in the fourth round of the NFL draft by the New York Giants. In his rookie year, he was the Giants leading rusher with 721 yards and 7 touchdowns. However, after having to share rushing duties with Rashaad Jennings in his sophomore season, his time in New York came to an end.

“Man, that was my first experience, my first love with the NFL game. And yes, you know, it came and went,” Andre said. “There is a lot of things, like the one with the roster, and with the business of football. It becomes a business.”

“You know, it’s not so much about camaraderie and it’s not so much of, you know, a great team, and win with your brothers and all that,” Andre philosophized. “It’s about entertainment, it’s about superstars, it’s about money. You know, some people get to ride it for a while. Some people get to ride it for short time. I was one of those guys that got to ride it for a short time. But, I was still able to get in there and leave my mark and, you know, continue to build on what I started.”

Andre still laments leaving the Giants, but he is able to put a positive spin on this part of his football career. “I’ve got a hole in my heart, because I thought I would be there longer,” Andre said. “But it was two years and everything happens for a reason.”

After the Giants, Andre was picked up by the Chargers. However, after damaging ligaments in his wrist, his time with the Chargers also came to an end.

After taking a year off football, Andre was invited to workout at the XFL Summer Showcase in New York. Andre eagerly jumped at the chance to show he was ready to continue his football career. He was also surprised to see how coaches and staff from the Giants were now working for the XFL.

Andre wondered if this helped his chances of being drafted, but he does feel that “everything happens for a reason.”

It was on October 15th, during the “Skilled Player” round of the XFL draft, that Andre received a call from the Houston Roughnecks.

“It wasn’t New York that called me,” Andre said. “It was Houston. I am so very thankful to be a Houston Roughneck. And if anybody really knows me… and they actually saw how I play… I only know one way to play… I’m a Roughneck through and through.”

Hear Andre Williams’s entire interview in our 20 October Podcast – “XFL Xtra Episode 7-2019 – 568 Players – Andre Williams and Mike Mitchell

 

Come meet Houston Roughnecks head coach June Jones

The Houston Roughnecks will hold a Q&A session featuring head coach June Jones on Thursday September 5th at Pitch 25, 2120 Walker St. Houston, TX, between 6-7:30pm.

Everyone is welcome!

Introducing the Houston Roughnecks

YouTube video

The XFL has named their Houston franchise, the Houston Roughnecks.

“Resolute. Rippling with heat. Railing against fatigue. Unceasing and often unseen, they labor deep in the trenches. Mercenaries in the muck. Brawlers in blackened dirt. Not just for three hours. Not just when the lights are bright. These are the scratching, grinding, never-bending few. The Houston Roughnecks. Going to work for you. February 2020.”

Under head coach June Jones, the team will begin play in TDECU Stadium in February 2020.

XFL bolsters its ranks with new staff hires including former AAF Director of Player Personnel

The XFL bolstered its ranks with new staff hires, including a league-wide director of player administration, heads of communications in their Los Angeles, Tampa Bay and Houston franchises, and a head of partnerships in LA.

Russ Giglio has joined as Director of Player Administration. Russ spent over eleven years at the NFL working in the Player Personnel and Football Operations departments, and most recently was the Director of Player Personnel at the former AAF. In his role at the XFL, he will be charged with overseeing Player Personnel policies and procedures, including the draft and waiver wire, and report to Doug Whaley, Senior Vice-President of Football Operations.

Lisa Milner Goldberg joins the league as head of communications for XFL Los Angeles, after eleven years working at Swanson Communications, a PR agency with a focus on boxing, individual athletes and live events. Allen Barrett will head up communications for XFL Tampa Bay after 11 years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he most recently served as Senior Communications Manager.  Charles Hampton comes to Houston as head of communications for XFL Houston, where he spent eight years with the Houston Texans before heading up the athletic communications team at Grand Canyon University for the past four years.

Jim Baral also joins XFL Los Angeles as the Senior Director of Partnerships, after consulting for the Los Angeles Chargers for the past year and a half. A native of Los Angeles, Jim led media sales and marketing for Univision Networks and Cox Communications on the west coast for over 20 years.

XFL Houston hires Jennifer Germer as Marketing Director

Jennifer Germer, the former Vice President of Marketing for the Houston Astros, is now the new marketing director for XFL Houston.

Brian Michael Cooper, XFL Houston team president, today announced his first team business hire in former Houston Astros executive Jennifer Germer who has joined his team as the team’s marketing director. In her new position, Germer will lead XFL Houston’s marketing and community relations including integrated marketing functions, brand marketing, digital and social marketing, fan engagement and activations locally.

Most recently, Germer served as the Chief Operating Officer for RMH Marketing & Media, where she was responsible for streamlining the business and marketing operations strategy and building the operational framework, processes, and technology.

Germer served as the Astros’ Vice President of Marketing from 2008-2011 and Senior Director of Marketing from 2006-2008. Prior to joining the Astros, Germer spent seven seasons working in the marketing departments for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2000-06) and Anaheim Ducks (2000-02).  She also served as the sports marketing and event manager for Elite Racing, Inc.

Germer graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science with an emphasis in sport studies, health, and wellness.

XFL Names June Jones Houston Head Coach

June Jones has been named head coach and general manager of the XFL team in Houston.

Houston, TX., May 20, 2019 – The XFL today announced that June Jones, a former coach for the NFL’s Houston Oilers and USFL’s Houston Gamblers, and a former head coach in the NFL, CFL and at the major college level, has been named head coach and general manager of the XFL team in Houston.

The Houston team will play at TDECU Stadium when the league kicks off in February 2020. Brian Michael Cooper, who previously served as Senior Associate A.D. at Rice University and President of the NBA G-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers, was named President of the XFL football team in Houston last week.

“We’re extremely proud to add Coach Jones, a man with four decades in football, as an XFL head coach,” said XFL Commissioner & CEO, Oliver Luck. “June has coached the game in three different pro leagues, including the NFL, as well as major college and high school football. The experience he’s gained at every stop along the way will no doubt serve him well as he helps us reimagine the game and build our Houston team into something special.”

“I’ve spent a few years coaching in Houston, and having a chance to return to be a head coach in the XFL is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” said Jones. “I had a really great time coaching in the CFL, but this new fresh opportunity to build a team from the ground up is extremely rare in this game, and I’m looking forward to working with Brian Cooper and our coaches to give football fans in Houston a team that’s truly exciting to watch and worthy of their support.” “June Jones is one of the most accomplished and well-known football coaches, and it will be an honor to work side-by-side with him,” said Cooper. “I have no doubt that his love of the game and commitment to excellence on-field will dovetail perfectly with our effort to engage Houston sports fans in new and exciting ways.”

Jones joins Kevin Gilbride (New York), Pep Hamilton (Washington, D.C.), Jonathan Hayes (St. Louis), Winston Moss (Los Angeles), Bob Stoops (Dallas), Marc Trestman (Tampa Bay) and Jim Zorn (Seattle) as the XFL’s head coaches when the league kicks-off in February 2020.

Jones comes to the XFL after two seasons with the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Hired as the team’s assistant head coach in 2017, he was elevated to interim head coach after an 0-8 start that year. The Tiger-Cats went 6-4 under Jones, and he was appointed head coach for 2018, and took the team to the second round of the playoffs. In December, he stepped down to become associate head coach and offensive coordinator, clearing the way for the promotion of his successor.

Jones is entering his 35th season as a football coach at the high school, college and professional levels. In addition to the Tiger-Cats, he has held head coaching positions at Southern Methodist University (2008-14), the University of Hawaii (1999-2007), and with the NFL’s San Diego Chargers (Interim – 1998) and Falcons (1994-96). While leading SMU, Jones was named Conference USA Coach of the Year by The Sporting News in 2009, and Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1999, 2006 and 2007 while the head coach at Hawaii. In his first season as head coach of the Rainbow Warriors, he led the team to a 9-4 record and a share of the WAC championship. Having finished the prior season 0-12, it was the most significant single-season turnaround in NCAA football history.

After three seasons as the Falcons’ offensive coordinator (1991-93), Jones was named head coach in 1994. Despite taking over one of the NFL’s worst teams, and having no first or second-round draft picks in his first two years, the Falcons made the playoffs.

In addition to his three seasons as an NFL assistant coach in Atlanta, Jones served as Detroit Lions’ quarterbacks and wide receivers coach (1989-90) and Houston Oilers’ quarterbacks coach (1987-88). During his 13 years as a coach at the professional level, he worked with Hall of Fame quarterbacks Brett Favre (1991), Warren Moon (1987-88) and Jim Kelly (1984).

Jones began his coaching career in 1983 as quarterbacks coach at Hawaii. After a season, he moved to the United States Football League as wide receivers coach of the Houston Gamblers (1984) and offensive coordinator of the Denver Gold (1985). In 1986, Jones was a co-offensive coordinator of the CFL’s Ottawa Rough Riders, joining the team after the USFL folded.

Before coaching, Jones played quarterback for the Falcons for five years (1977-81) and the Argonauts for one season (1982). A Portland, Oregon native, he signed with the Falcons as a free agent out of Portland State University after earning All-America honors, leading the nation in passing and total offense.

XFL to officially introduce June Jones as Houston Head Coach on Monday

June Jones will be the eight and final Head Coach hired by the XFL prior to their inaugural season kickoff in February 2020.
The XFL has announced they would introduce the new Head Coach/GM of the Houston franchise on May 20th at 11:30 am CT, at TDECU Stadium Club at the University Of Houston. The candidate, former Falcons and Chargers head coach June Jones, has widely been made known prior to the official unveiling, as it was originally tweeted by John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

In the past, the 66-year-old Jones has spent three years as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, and acted as interim head coach of the San Diego Chargers. More recently, he served as Head Coach  of the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the past two years.

Jones also has some local experience, since (as a young football coach) he was wide receivers coach of the USFL’s Houston Gamblers. Later he served as quarterbacks coach for the Houston Oilers. In these roles, he had a hand in the careers of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Warren Moon.

Jones will be the eight and final Head Coach hired by the XFL prior to their inaugural season kickoff in February 2020.

Brian Michael Cooper named President of XFL team in Houston

Brian Michael Cooper named President of XFL team in Houston

Stamford, Conn., May 14, 2019 – The XFL today announced that Brian Michael Cooper, previously Senior Associate Athletic Director at Rice University and President of the NBA G-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers, has been named President of the XFL football team in Houston.

The Houston XFL team will take the field in February 2020 for its inaugural season and play its home games at TDECU Stadium.

Cooper, who most recently served as a partner in the Houston and Denver offices of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP and as a member of the firm’s Entertainment, Media and Sports Practice, will be responsible for the team’s fan engagement and business operations, including ticket sales, corporate partnerships, marketing, content, communications, community relations, and the game day experience.

“Vince McMahon, Oliver Luck and I are all proud to announce Brian as President of our team in Houston,” said Jeffrey Pollack, XFL President and Chief Operating Officer. “He is a seasoned sports business leader who knows and loves Houston and will help us connect authentically.”

“It’s an honor to help launch the XFL’s team in Houston,” said Cooper. “One measure of our success will be how well we engage the community. Another measure will be how effectively we tap into Houston’s passion for football. In both instances, I look forward to planting firm roots for the XFL by building a passionate, loyal fanbase for our Houston team.”

Cooper has more than 20 years of experience as a sports attorney, agent, executive and advisor, guiding clients through all aspects of sports business transactions, and is a four-time Super Lawyers Texas Rising Star. Before returning to his law practice in 2017 at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, he served as Director of Sports Programming for DISH Network. Cooper served as Senior Associate Athletic Director at Rice University from 2010-2013, and as President of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers from 2008-2010. The Vipers are the NBA G-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets.

Before joining the Vipers, Cooper spent six years as an attorney at Haynes Boone LLP in Houston from 2002-2008, where he worked on matters for the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation. For his work in Houston sports, he received the Outstanding Service Award from the Houston Bar Association’s Entertainment and Sports Law Section in 2009 and 2012, along with the HBA ESL Chairman’s Award in 2014. Cooper began his legal career at Proskauer LLP in New York, where his clients included the NBA, NHL, ATP, and MLS.

A graduate of Cornell University, the Harvard Kennedy School, and Columbia Law School, Cooper has served on the boards of Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts and Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston. An avid runner, he also has completed five New York City Marathons and two Houston Aramco Half Marathons.

Cooper lives in The Woodlands, Texas with his wife Jacqueline and their daughter Kendall.

XFL Announces Eight Inaugural Home Cities

XFL Announces Eight Inaugural Home Cities
XFL Announces Eight Inaugural Home Cities

The XFL today announced the eight cities and venues its teams will call home when the league launches the weekend of February 8-9, 2020.

  • Dallas – Globe Life Park
  • Houston – TDECU Stadium
  • Los Angeles – StubHub Center
  • New York – MetLife Stadium
  • St. Louis – The Dome at America’s Center
  • Seattle – CenturyLink Field
  • Tampa Bay – Raymond James Stadium
  • Washington, DC – Audi Field

The announcement was made today by XFL Commissioner & CEO Oliver Luck at a press conference held at MetLife Stadium, which included representatives from all eight markets.

“After months of research and consideration, we’re thrilled to announce the cities and venues of the XFL’s eight inaugural teams,” said Luck. “We are committed to being ingrained in the local community and extremely fortunate that our teams will have world-class facilities to call home.”

Beginning today, fans can go to XFL.com to reserve their season tickets, which will provide them with early access to select their seats and purchase season tickets before the general public.

The new XFL will deliver a fan-centric, innovative experience, including fast-paced games and a family-friendly environment, complemented by cross-platform viewing options and real-time fan engagement.

About the XFL

The new XFL will reimagine football for the 21st century when the league kicks off the weekend of February 8-9, 2020.

Football is America’s favorite sport boasting over 85 million fans but the traditional season is just too short. Seeing a tremendous opportunity to fill the void, Vince McMahon, XFL Founder and Chairman announced on January 25, 2018, the launch of a new league, which he is personally funding. McMahon is building the XFL with the same commitment and resolve that he has demonstrated building WWE into a global media and sports entertainment powerhouse.

Delivering authentic, high energy football for the whole family at an affordable price, the XFL will offer fast-paced games with fewer play stoppages and simpler rules. The league will launch with eight teams, 45-man active rosters, and a 10-week regular season schedule, with a postseason consisting of two semifinal playoff games and a championship game. The XFL will also establish a health, wellness and safety program that meets the needs of today’s athletes.

The XFL will embrace the latest on and off-field technology, providing live game coverage, content and real-time engagement across multiple platforms, giving fans greater access than ever before. We will build strong grassroots relationships with local organizations in our Host Cities through social responsibility partnerships, and the XFL will enjoy the support of WWE’s many extraordinary resources and promotional capabilities.

For more information, please log on to XFL.com and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Media Contact: Stephanie Rudnick – XFL Stephanie.rudnick@xfl.com