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Dwayne Johnson's XFL taps Texas football royalty to coach new Houston team

Texas football royalty named coach of new XFL team in Houston

Wade Phillips XFL
Houston favorite Wade Phillips will coach the Houston team. Photo courtesy of the XFL

A familiar face to Texas and Texans football fans is back in Bayou City. Longtime NFL coach Wade Phillips — son of legendary Houston Oilers coach Bum Philips — will lead the new XFL team in Houston, the league announced.

The rebooted XFL season kicks off its new season on February 18, 2023, with the yet-to-be-named Houston team calling TDECU Stadium (the UH Cougars turf) home field.

XFL chairwoman and owner Dany Garcia and Dwayne Johnson, noted superstar owner, made the kickoff date and venue announcement at an XFL Townhall event hosted at Texas Live! in Arlington, Texas. Other teams in the eight-team XFL league are Arlington; San Antonio; Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas; St. Louis, Missouri; and Washington, D.C.

Notable football names such as Hall of Fame and Super Bowl defensive back Rod Woodson (Las Vegas), Super Ball champion wide receiver Hines Ward (San Antonio), and longtime college coach Bob Stoops (Arlington) will lead the new teams. Phillips is a longtime football presence in Texas high school and college football. He is a well-respected NFL defensive coach who had a stint with the Houston Texans.

Season tickets are available now; games will be broadcast on ESPN.

“I’m psyched to reveal the cities that our players will have the chance to represent and compete in,” said Johnson in a statement. “This is another massive moment for the XFL, and I’m ready to feel the electricity our dedicated fans will bring to these iconic venues. There is great energy building within our league and there is still much more to come… and I can promise it’s going to be worth the wait.

“We have been working on fresh, new logos and uniforms – even working with some of the team names you already know – that will match the dynamic and innovative vision of our league. We see you, we hear you and your excitement fuels us to continue to bring you the absolute best. We have just under seven months until kickoff and the countdown is officially on,” Johnson added.

Promising “world-class” and global football, with “innovative” rules and a “360” and “fan-first” experience, the rebooted XFL is owned by Garcia, Johnson, and Gerry Cardinale of RedBird Capital Partners. Bringing Hollywood superpower and credentials, Johnson has been credited for delivering buzz, flash, and big names to the new league.