As the 2024 San Antonio Brahmas start training camp for their first season in the UFL, they have seen many changes since going 3-7 during the 2023 XFL season. The UFL has taken shape after the XFL/USFL merger to start in 2024; the Brahmas have aggressively worked to improve their roster and prepare to have a chance to compete at a championship level. Along with making significant changes to improve their roster, they have also worked to build a coaching staff capable of assembling a championship team.

This week, the UFL officially announced the coaching staff for all eight UFL teams, including the new coaching staff for the San Antonio Brahmas.

Head Coach – Wade Phillips

At the start of the merger, the Brahmas made their first change on their coaching staff by hiring head coach Wade Phillips. During the 2023 season, Phillips coached the Houston Roughnecks of the XFL and led the Roughnecks to a 7-3 record and a playoff berth in the XFL playoffs. Phillips has worked to improve the Brahmas roster and coaching staff by bringing many players and coaches who helped the Roughnecks succeed in 2023.

Before coming to the XFL, Phillips had a long career as an assistant coach and head football coach for several teams in the NFL. As a head coach in the NFL, Phillips had the opportunity to lead the Denver Broncos (1993-1994), the Buffalo Bills (1998-2000), and the Dallas Cowboys (2007-2010). Along with his head coaching experience, Phillips spent several seasons as a defensive coordinator, including helping the Denver Broncos win Super Bowl 50.

General Manager – Marc Lillibridge

Brahmas general manager Marc Lillibridge comes to San Antonio after working with head coach Wade Phillips as the Houston Roughnecks Director of Player Personnel during the 2023 XFL season. Before coming to the XFL, Lillibridge had the opportunity to work in the front offices for the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs. The relationship between Phillips and Lillibridge has been evident as both have worked to add players to the Brahmas roster that fit Phillips’ vision for a championship team in San Antonio.

Offensive Coordinator – AJ Smith

AJ Smith is another carry-over from the 2023 Roughnecks teams that have joined Phillips in San Antonio. Smith is known for designing and implementing an explosive pass-heavy offense that works to put opposing defenses on their heels and put points on the board. During the 2023 season, the Brahmas struggled offensively; Smith’s ability to get former Orlando Guardians quarterback Quinten Dormady in sync with his offensive philosophy will determine how successful the Brahmas will be during the 2024 UFL season.

Defensive Coordinator – Will Reed

On the defensive side of the ball, Phillips has brought defensive coaches outside of the Roughnecks to Brahmas pipeline. Will Reed joins the Brahmas coaching staff to run the San Antonio defense after establishing himself as a defensive coordinator at the college level. Most recently, Reed has been the defensive coordinator for Southern Arkansas University.

Due to Phillips’s history as a defensive coordinator, Reed and Phillips will work together to build a strong defense for the Brahmas. In 2023, the Brahmas’ defense was the most vital part of the team, and with the new additions to the Brahmas’ defense, they could have a chance to be the best defense in the UFL. Reed will need to quickly adjust from his time as a college defensive coordinator to running a defense in the UFL.

Offensive Line Coach – Andre Gurode

Andre Gurode joins the Brahmas staff after serving as the offensive line coach for the Roughnecks during the 2023 XFL season. Before starting his coaching career, Gurode played offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, and the Oakland Raiders. The pre-existing relationship between Gurode and AJ Smith should help the Brahmas offense hit the ground running.

Special Teams/Wide Receiver Coach – Payton Pardee

Payton Pardee is another coach joining Wade Phillips from the 2023 Roughnecks coaching staff. Pardee, the grandson of NFL legend Jack Pardee, is assigned to get a fleet of new receivers to execute the dynamic passing game AJ Smith is known for implementing. Pardee will also have the opportunity to lead a group of specialists, some of the top special teams players in the UFL.

Defensive Line Coach – Chris Achuff

Chris Achuff is a new addition to the XFL after spending several seasons coaching the defensive line for the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL. In addition to coaching with the Cardinals, Achuff has coached the defensive line for several college football teams. Achuff’s NFL experience will allow him to help improve a Brahmas defensive line with three All-XFL players from 2023, and it should be one of the best units in the UFL.

Linebacker Coach – Derrick Berry

Brahmas linebacker coach Derrick Berry comes to the Brahmas with defensive coordinator Will Reed from Southern Arkansas University. Having experience working with Reed should make for an easy transition for both Reed and Berry. Linebackers are another position group of exceptionally talented players for the Brahmas, and they should have a chance to make the Brahmas front seven one of the best in the UFL.

Running Backs/Offensive Quality Control – Marvin Williams

Marvin Williams is another coach for the Brahmas offense from the 2023 Roughnecks. While at Houston, Williams held a quality control position for the Roughnecks offense. In San Antonio, Williams is responsible for coaching the Brahmas running backs. Like the other assistant coaches on offense, Williams’s experience with AJ Smith and his offense should be a massive advantage as the Brahmas coaches attempt to have the most improved offense out of all the UFL teams.

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author avatar
Aaron Sauter
Aaron Sauter is a 23-veteran high school football coach that is also an fan of all levels of football. He is especially interested in alternative football leagues like the CFL, UFL, and IFL. Aaron enjoys analyzing innovative schemes on offense and defense during his free time.

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