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  • Writer's pictureNoah Beausoleil

The Hidden Heroes; An In-Depth Look at UFL's Special Teams Coaches

Updated: Apr 1

Spring leagues open up plenty of opportunities, for both players and coaches alike. With the start of the United Football League, familiar faces and new talent will be spotlighted on the coaching front. Let's discuss the often-overlooked role of the Special Teams coaches across the league;

 

Arlington Renegades

Special Teams Coach - Scott Spurrier


Scott Spurrier's name will resonate with many football enthusiasts as he is the son of legendary Hall of Fame college head coach Steve Spurrier. He played for the University of South Carolina as a wide receiver before joining their coaching ranks as an assistant on his father's staff. Notably, Scott also joined his father when he was the head coach of the AAF Orlando Apollos in 2019. The Renegades head coach, Bob Stoops, worked with Steve Spurrier at the University of Florida for several years and decided to bring in Scott as the tight ends coach during his first year with the Dallas Renegades during the 2020 XFL Season. When Stoops was re-signed by the Arlington Renegades ahead of the 2023 XFL Season, he stuck with the Spurrier name, bringing Scott back to split special teams coaching duties with the 2x XFL Champion (2001, 2023) Jonathan Himebauch. After the UFL merger, the Renegades announced Scott would take on the role of the team's special teams coach while Himebauch will focus on the offensive line.

 

Birmingham Stallions

Special Teams Coach - Chris Boniol


Chris Boniol is a former NFL Kicker with six seasons under his belt and has been the Stallion's dedicated special teams coach since the 2023 USFL Season. After his career kicking the ball, Chris honed his coaching skills across several NFL teams before securing a spot on the 2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an assistant to the Special Teams Coordinator. He would go on to win his first Super Bowl as a coach alongside Tom Brady and the Bucs in 2021. Joining Birmingham in 2023, Boniols leadership aided the Stallions on the road to their second USFL Championship title. His experience with special teams in the big leagues will be vital in ensuring the Stallions continue their track record of fielding elite special teams units.

 

DC Defenders

No Special Teams Coach Rostered


The absence of a designated special teams coach on the Defender's roster may raise some eyebrows, however, Head Coach Reggie Barlow's experience should offer fans some comfort. Barlow was a special teams star and record-breaking returner in his playing days and that's not all. Alongside him is wide receivers coach Sean Anderson who has also coached special teams in the past and is expected to contribute to the special teams unit in 2024. With all this said, I believe that the Defenders will have more than enough experience on their coaching staff to make up for the lack of a dedicated special teams coach.

 

Houston Roughnecks

Special Teams Coach - Garret Chachere


Garret Chachere's journey from player to coach spans over two decades, when began his coaching career back in 1999 with his alma mater Tulane University, where he was the linebackers and special teams coach. The former running back continued to coach special teams units at the collegiate level for 14 years before transitioning to various coordinator positions. In 2023, the USFL Houston Gamblers head coach, Curtis Johnson, hired Chachere as the offensive quality control coach, while also overseeing running backs and wide receivers. With Johnson coming back as the head coach for the UFLs Houston team, Chachere will return alongside him.

 

Memphis Showboats

Special Teams Coach - Kirk Doll


 Kirk Doll will be the special teams captain for the Memphis Showboats. The former ECU defensive end has coached for almost four decades and has immense experience as a Special Teams Coach. Doll's expertise was acknowledged in 2004 when the NFL Denver Broncos hired him as their special teams coach. He was even contacted back in 2010 to be the special teams coach for the UFL Omaha Nighthawks; however, no season was ever played. He was hired in 2022 by John DeFilippo and the USFL's New Orleans Breakers and coached both the running backs and special teams units for the next 2 years. When DeFilippo was hired as a head coach by the Showboats, he retained the majority of his NOLA staff, including Kirk Doll, who will coach running backs and special teams in Memphis during the 2024 season.

 

Michigan Panthers

Special Teams Coach - Jaron Fairman


  Jaron Fairman will assume the role of wide receivers coach and special teams coach for the Michigan Panthers during the 2024 UFL season. He was a wide receiver and special teams contributor in college at Fresno State and has been coaching special teams in some capacity since 2008. Fairman was signed by the Panthers following the conclusion of the 2022 USFL season to replace Jeff Imamura and bolster the Michigan coaching staff.

 

San Antonio Brahmas

Special Teams Coach - Payton Pardee


Payton Pardee is another name that should be familiar to veteran spring football fans, with Payton's grandfather being John Perry Pardee, who was the head coach of the USFL Houston Gamblers in 1984. Payton, a former wide receiver for the Houston Cougars, started coaching at Texas A&M Commerce and remained with the team for several years. In 2023, Wade Phillips, a friend of Payton's grandfather, was hired as the Head Coach of the XFLs Houston Roughnecks and decided to give the young Pardee a chance to coach the wide receivers and special teams unit. Unfortunately for both coaches, the Roughnecks would only last one season. The San Antonio Brahmas hired Wade Phillips as their head coach for the upcoming UFL season, and Wade has once again brought in Payton Pardee for his second year with the coaching staff.


 

St. Louis Battlehawks

Special Teams Coach - Kyle Caskey


Kyle Caskey will round out the roster of special teams coaches in the UFL. The former Texas A&M tight end began his coaching career as an intern with Ole Miss. The majority of his coaching experience comes from him being the Quality Control and running back coach for the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals. Caskey was most recently with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021 and will be brought into St. Louis as the Running back and Special Teams Coach.

 

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