United States Football League’s Philadelphia Stars hire former CFL head coach Bart Andrus

Photo courtesy: Toronto Argonauts

The Philadelphia Stars of the United States Football League have hired Bart Andrus as the team’s head coach.

The USFL is a new American football league owned by FOX Sports and will play its first games April 16 in one centralized location.

“To attract Mike Riley and Todd Haley, two former NFL head coaches, Bart Andrus, a former head coach in NFL Europe and CFL, plus an experienced college head coach in Kevin Sumlin, to the USFL, speaks to the quality of the league we’re building,” USFL president of football operations Brian Woods said.

“They all share our belief in high-quality spring football, and we’re honoured to have them lead their respective teams this year.”

A player selection meeting will be held February 22-23, and training camps will open March 21. Each squad will have a 38-player roster and a seven-member practice squad. The 2022 USFL regular season will begin April 16 and run through mid-June, followed by the playoffs.

There will be eight teams in the new USFL, split into two divisions –– North and South. Each team will play a 10-game schedule, with teams in the same division playing each other twice and teams in the other division once. The top two teams in each division will play against each other in the semi-finals followed a week later by the championship game.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back on the sidelines and coaching a team that I have a hand at creating from scratch,” Andrus said. “There are terrific people who I have a lot of respect for working to develop the USFL, and I expect the quality of football we present to be first-rate. I can’t wait to get started.”

Andrus was the Toronto Argonauts bench boss for one terrible season in 2009. The Argos went 3-15 under his leadership and he was fired that December. His experience as a head coach includes time with NFL Europe’s Amsterdam Admirals (2001-2007) and the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League (2012).

He served as an offensive assistant with the Tennessee Titans (1997-1998, 2008) and quarterbacks coach in 1999, before returning to the NFL in 2013 to be an offensive assistant with the St. Louis Rams.

The 63-year-old began his coaching career in 1981 and spent time in the NCAA, NFL, NFL Europe, CFL, UFL, The Spring League, XFL and U Sports. He’s compiled a 39-54 record as a head coach in the professional ranks.

Andrus spent the 2021 season as the quarterbacks coach with the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees.