Sources tell FootballScoop that Bart Andrus will be the ninth head coach in the XFL — a league that has eight teams.
Dubbed Team 9, the team Andrus will lead serves as a league-wide practice squad, keeping 35 to 40 players in game shape in the event of injury on any of the league’s eight active rosters.
“What we want to try to avoid is our teams having to sign players off the street,” XFL commissioner Oliver Luck said last year. “Example, Dez Bryant signed with the Saints this past NFL season, the first ten minutes of . . . that particular practice he tears an Achilles [tendon]. And so we want to avoid that. That’s quite honestly a costly Workers’ Compensation claim, so we want to have a group of guys that will be based in Dallas who basically are staying in shape. . . . We think that because of our 25-second play clock our game is going to require quite honestly a little bit better conditioning than what some of these guys may be used to in the NFL or the CFL. So it’s important that these guys are in shape, and it’s hard to stay in football shape on your own. That’s been one of my beliefs. You need to be around others.”
According to sources, players on Team 9 will move to active rosters by Week 6 (the XFL plays a 10-week regular season with two playoff rounds) and will then be replaced by new players on Team 9.
Andrus is a well-traveled veteran of the coaching profession, first coaching at St. Patrick High School in California in 1981. From there, Andrus coached at multiple levels of college football, the NFL and as a head coach in NFL Europe, the CFL and the now-defunct United Football League.
Other coaches will be hired to assist Andrus on Team 9, but those coaches have not signed contracts yet, the source tells FootballScoop.
He last coached at Feather River College in California in 2014, according to his Wikipedia page.
The XFL’s Team 9 will be based in Dallas.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.