After a dismal 1-9 season, the Houston Roughnecks announced they have replaced GM Lionel Vital with former San Antonio Brahmas Director of Player Personnel, Will Lewis. A native of Quakertown, PA, the 66-year-old Lewis will be taking over immediately to begin the rebuilding process in Houston.

Lewis brings plenty of NFL executive management experience to the position, including a two-year stint as VP Of Football Operations for the Seattle Seahawks from 2010 to 2012. Following his tenure with the Seahawks, Lewis spent four years with the Kansas City Chiefs executive team as their Director Of Pro Scouting.

In addition to his pro football management expertise, Lewis previously played in the NFL as a kick return specialist. After joining the Seahawks in 1980 as an undrafted free agent, Lewis signed with the Chiefs. He played for the USFL Houston Gamblers from 1984 to 1985, and the Canadian Football League from 1986-1989.

After executive management positions with several CFL teams, Lewis joined the XFL Houston Gamblers in 2020. His most recent executive management role was with the XFL Brahmas from 2022-2023, as the DPP for former Head Coach Hines Ward. When Ward refused to take a pay cut and resigned due to the USFL/ XFL merger, Lewis found himself out of a job.

Lewis now takes over as the Roughnecks’ third GM since 2022. Before Lionel Vital, Robert Morris was the GM for the local XFL Houston franchise. Following the UFL merger and the rebranding of the team as the Roughnecks, Head Coach C.J. Johnson brought in Vital as the General Manager. In an ironic twist of fate, Johnson is not necessarily going to be coaching the Roughnecks next season.

As announced earlier this week, all of the UFL head coaches have been officially relieved of their contractual obligations. According to Mike Mitchell of, all UFL head coaches have become free agents, via the expiration of their one-year contracts on June 30.

Per Mitchell, “Even if they return, work doesn’t begin until January 1, 2025. They’re basically seasonal employees, paid for part of the year and otherwise not paid, and not employed.”

Looking ahead as the new General Manager of the Roughnecks, Lewis will be on hand for the UFL draft and scouting talent at the upcoming UFL Player Showcases that begin next week in St. Louis. Field goal kicker J.J. Molsen had a strong season with 15/18 FGs including a 62-yard kick, but Lewis will have the opportunity to improve other positions on the team.

Although quarterback Reid Sinnett performed reasonably well after taking over for injured starter Jarrett Guarantano, both the offense and defense have definite coverage gaps. One of the biggest areas needing improvement is the Roughnecks ground game. Lewis will need to find a productive running back. One thing is certain, with a 1-9 record and unhappy fans, Lewis has his work cut out for him in Houston.

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author avatar
Sue Levine
Sue Levine spent the past five years creating and producing a successful weekly health and wellness podcast starring a wonderful iconic woman as the program host. As part of Sue's responsibilities, she scripted every episode and discovered a genuine love of writing. When the podcast ended late last year, she shifted the focus of her writing to covering pro sports. A passionate fan of NFL and UFL football as well as fantasy, she is delighted to be able to share her articles with other football fans.


  • Posted July 7, 2024 12:41 pm 0Likes
    by Ken Granito

    Hi Sue , Two things.
    1. When Robert Morris was GM it was of the then USFL Gamblers who have since changed their name to the Roughnecks, not to be confused with the XFL Roughnecks.
    2. I find it confusing when it is reported that people took or didn’t take a paycut. I think it is important that it be reported they are taking or not taking the reported paycut from the XFL to what the UFL’s payscale is. This is important as we try to build up the salary for the UFL. We live in a capitalist society, not a socialist one. I am not saying we should pay salaries that are too high for the league to sustain, but Skip Holtz should be paid higher than Anthony Becht for example. Not saying it should be a great deal more, but Holtz is entering his 4th season, Becht his 3rd and Holtz has 3 Championships. The UFL seems to have a base for the job and this is a plus, but should also have a way for players and coaches who have been loyal/able to show their ability should have a small reward for doing so.

  • Posted July 7, 2024 1:21 pm 0Likes
    by scott A farley

    Good article. I take it the coaches do not have a salary cap? So Holtz must be making more than the current Houston Coach? Why are the UFL Coaches seasonal. Makes it hard to build a team in the off season.

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