Former Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ head coach June Jones is committed to a bench boss job in the XFL.
Jones was the general manager and head coach for the Houston Roughnecks who were 5-0 when the coronavirus shutdown the league in April.
“The XFL formula that Vince McMahon had would’ve lasted had COVID not happened. They did everything right, from the drafting to the development of the teams, the players. I’m really excited because The Rock has bought the league, and we’re gonna wait through this pandemic and go again in 2022,” Jones said on CBS radio.
“I’m going to be honest with you, it’s going to work. There is a place, they know how to do it, they got the TV contract, so it’s going to happen. Yes, [I will still be involved as a head coach], you’ve got it here first.”
A key part of Houston’s success was the stellar play of quarterback P.J. Walker — the Ottawa Redblacks own his CFL negotiation rights. Walker threw for an XFL-leading 1,338 yards with 15 touchdowns against four interceptions while completing 65 percent of his passes. That earned him a contract with the Carolina Panthers and Walker started his first career NFL game in Week 11, a win over Detroit.
“We were the No. 1 offence. [Walker]’s a great kid. The XFL provided that opportunity for him and now he has live game film as a starter,” Jones said.
Jones stepped aside in December 2018 to allow Orlondo Steinauer to take over the top job in Hamilton. He took over an 0-8 team in 2017 and led them to six wins in their final 10 games, then guided the team to an 8-10 record in 2018. The Tiger-Cats finished second in the East and reached the division final before losing to Ottawa.
“I do things different, and we win, that’s what makes it great,” Jones said.
The 67-year-old has 13 seasons of NFL coaching experience and 16 years at the NCAA level including seven years as head coach at Southern Methodist University. He served as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 1994-1996 and was the interim head coach of the San Diego Chargers in 1998.