The Phoenix team of the Alliance of American Football was introduced Friday, and Rick Neuheisel was named its head coach. The team will play its home games at Sun Devil Stadium.
Neuheisel has coached in the college ranks at UCLA (2008 to 2011), Washington (1999 to 2002) and Colorado (1995 to 1998). He was also a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens.
He grew up in Tempe and was a high school star there before going on to become quarterback at UCLA.
“I’m really, really proud to represent my hometown here with this new alliance. This is homegrown stuff, and I think that’s the idea behind this league,” he said in an introductory news conference. “We’re thrilled. Looking forward to the challenge. Unbelievable amount of work to be done, but [where] better than to do it right here in the Valley of the Sun?
“It couldn’t be better. It’s almost like serendipity when the phone call came … that this was a possibility.”
The Alliance will feature eight teams playing a 10-week regular season beginning Feb. 9, 2019 — the weekend after the Super Bowl — on CBS. There will be two playoff rounds and a championship game on the weekend of April 26-28.
Other head coaches in the league are Dennis Erickson (Salt Lake), Mike Singletary (Memphis), Steve Spurrier (Orlando) and Brad Childress (Atlanta).