Key Points:

  • UFL and NFL Experience: DeFilippo emphasizes the blend of UFL and NFL experiences shaping the Showboats’ strategies.
  • Coaching Staff Expertise: Detailed background of each coaching staff member, highlighting over 200 years of combined coaching experience.
  • Personal Resilience: DeFilippo shares his journey overcoming health challenges, inspiring both team and fans.

John DeFilippo, the new head coach of the United Football League’s Memphis Showboats, recently opened up about his plans and expectations for the upcoming season during an interview on Sports 56 Mornings. With a rich background in the NFL, including roles with the Philadelphia Eagles, Browns, Vikings, Jaguars, and as the head coach of the New Orleans Breakers, DeFilippo’s insights offer a unique perspective on the UFL’s potential.

Excitement for the Merger and Spring Football

Thrilled about the merger between the USFL and XFL, DeFilippo sees a bright future for spring football,

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this merger…I think spring football is here to stay now.”

His optimism is underpinned by his belief in the league’s stability and its appeal as a television sport.

Overwhelming Interest in the League

The interest in player acquisition is immense, with DeFilippo revealing,

“I have 1100 emails right now in my inbox from agents and players and coaches that want to be a part of this thing.”

This demonstrates the high level of enthusiasm and anticipation surrounding the league.

Challenges and Strategies in Coaching

DeFilippo also delved into his coaching philosophy, emphasizing adaptation to the unique environment of spring league football.

“It’s a lot of the same…a lot of the players that we have on our teams have been in the NFL before,” he noted, highlighting the league’s talent pool.

On forming the team’s roster, DeFilippo mentioned the process’s fluidity,

“It’s going to be a process all the way up until when we report,” underlining the dynamic nature of team building in the league.

Personal Journey and Health Challenges

His personal health struggles, specifically his battle with an autoimmune disorder, ankylosing spondylitis, add a poignant and inspiring layer to his story, showcasing his resilience in the face of adversity.

I have an autoimmune disorder called ankylosing spondylitis…I was still limping when I left the season last year, but I’m walking now. Good.

Building a Strong Coaching Staff

DeFilippo introduced his coaching staff, a blend of experienced and talented individuals, boasting over 200 years of collective coaching experience. His staff includes:

  • Cornell Lake: Retained from the previous season for his outstanding work with the Showboats’ defense.
  • Paul Pasqualoni: Bringing a wealth of experience as linebackers coach, Pasqualoni has been a head coach and a defensive coordinator in the NFL, including roles with the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys under Bill Parcels.
  • Cornell Brown: A former first-round draft pick for the Baltimore Ravens and Virginia Tech player, Brown will coach the defensive line.
  • Doug Martin: Joining as offensive coordinator, Martin has been a longtime head coach at New Mexico State and Kent State.
  • Jim Turner: With experience as a line coach at Texas A&M, Miami Dolphins, and Cincinnati Bengals, Turner will coach the offensive line.
  • Kirk Doll: Collaborating with DeFilippo for the fourth time, Doll will serve as running back coach and special teams coordinator.
  • TJ Veneri and Hunter Hughes: As quality control guys, both bring continuity and familiarity with DeFilippo’s coaching style.

John DeFilippo’s insights and the caliber of his coaching staff signal an exciting season ahead for the Memphis Showboats. The team’s preparations, combined with DeFilippo’s experience and leadership, make them a compelling watch in the UFL’s upcoming season. Fans can look forward to a dynamic and competitive team under his guidance.

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author avatar
Mark Perry Editor
Mark Perry, a devoted sports journalist and founder of UFL News Hub, has been a key figure in XFL, USFL and UFL coverage since 2018.

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