After leaving Jim Harbaugh’s staff at Michigan, it didn’t take long for Pep Hamilton to land on his feet with his first head coaching job as the leader of the XFL’s Washington, DC franchise.
After having the title of wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator at Michigan, Pep will have to rely on his few years of experience in the NFL with the Colts as well as surrounding himself with quality coaches with a wealth of different experiences to make his first head coaching stint a success in the re-started XFL in 2020.
From the looks of how his staff is shaping up, Hamilton has been able to do a lot of that already.
A number of staffers that worked with Pep in Ann Arbor are have been reported by various outlets to follow him to Washington, DC including offensive analyst Tanner Engstrand (offensive coordinator), who prior to working at Michigan had served as the offensive coordinator at the University of San Diego, and Michigan defensive recruiting analyst Brent Battle will coach the team’s receivers.
Pep has also dipped into the AAF ranks for a few guys as well. Working with the offensive line will be former Tulane head coach Chris Scelfo, who previously worked with the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football and the tackles and tight ends will be coached by Todd Washington, who coached the Orlando Apollos offensive line most recently.
Hamilton, who we understand plans to call the offense, has also added some NFL flavor to the staff in his defensive coordinator hire as former Redskins and Colts linebackers coach Jeffrey Fitzgerald is expected to call the defense, per source. Former Navy linebackers coach Napoleon Sykes Jr., who is expected to work with the team’s linebackers, is also likely to prove to be a key addition to the staff. Former Howard (FCS – Washington, DC) and Texas Southern (FCS) head coach Steven Wilson will handle the special teams duties while also coaching the defensive backs.
Between Wilson and Scelfo, the two bring well over two decades of head coaching experience to the staff already, while Battle and Engstrand bring a familiarity of Pep from their time together at Michigan and how Hamilton will want things done that is also invaluable.
As his staff continues to shape up, it will be interesting to see the experiences that the other coaches he brings in will contribute.