The XFL folded after just five weeks last season when the coronavirus pandemic forced the league into bankruptcy, but one of its former coaches is already looking forward to its reboot.
June Jones, who coached the Houston Roughnecks, spoke to Fox News in an interview this week, revealing that he’s been in talks with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s people regarding the former WWE star’s plans to bring back the XFL sometime in the spring of 2022.
“If I’m offered the chance to go back, I definitely will, and I’ve had that conversation with The Rock’s people, but there’s a lot of what if’s.”
Johnson partnered with Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital to purchase the league in August for $15 million. Johnson tweeted in October that the plan was to relaunch the league in the spring of 2022.
Joe Powell of the St. Louis Battlehawks returns a punt for a touchdown during the first half of an XFL game against the NY Guardians at The Dome at America Center on Feb. 23, 2020, in St Louis, Mo. (Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
“I think they are still dealing with the bankruptcy, I think, so there’s some unfinished business there, and until they get all that done I don’t know when they can get started,” Jones said. “I know last year I was the last coach that was hired and I was hired June 1, but they hired pretty much all the coaches and GM’s in March and April. So if they’re going to use that same formula, we’re cooking up on that now. So hopefully we’re gonna know something soon.”
Jones said he’s looking forward to the return of the XFL, which he says provides players a good opportunity at going pro.
“My quarterback P.J. Walker, who took us to 5-0 and is the No.1 passer in the XFL, he actually started and won a game for the [Carolina] Panthers this year. There were numerous players that did sign and there’s a majority of them right now up in Canada, as we speak.”
P.J. Walker of the Houston Roughnecks throws a pass downfield against the Seattle Dragons during an XFL game at TDECU Stadium on March 7, 2020, in Houston, Texas. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Walker said in May that they were playing “real football” in the XFL.
“Most XFL teams were really, really good. No gimmicks. No controversies. And I felt like the longer the season would’ve gone the better the league would have gotten — more intense, more competitive,” he said.
That’s a sentiment that Jones agreed with.
“I think it’s a preferable platform for the U.S. players to come to the XFL versus going to the CFL, and I think if it continues the play will just get better and better and better,” Jones said.
After the league folded, Jones joined CoachTube.com, an online platform offering instructional courses in a wide range of sports, where he teamed up with legendary coach Mouse Davis to teach a course on the famous “run and shoot” offense.
He began his NFL coaching career with the Houston Oilers and the Detroit Lions before serving as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 1994-96. He also had a short stint with the San Diego Chargers in 1998. He spent several years coaching college football at Hawaii and SMU before joining the Canadian Football League in 2017.