Skip to main content

Former Iowa Player Named Head Coach Of XFL Team

an up-close look at an xfl football

3 Feb 2001: A view of the XFL football taken on the field before the game between the Las Vegas Outlaws and the New York/New Jersey Hitmen at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Outlaws defeated the Hitmen 19-0.Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw /Allsport

Iowa has produced many talented NFL tight ends over the years. One of those famous tight ends is poised to make a huge jump into the head coaching ranks.

On Thursday, the XFL announced that former Iowa tight end and Cincinnati Bengals assistant Jon Hayes would be new head coach and general manager of the St. Louis XFL team. The revived league is set to begin play in 2020.

Hayes played for Iowa from 1982 to 1984, leading the team in touchdown receptions in 1984. He was drafted No. 41 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1985 and went on to have a 12-year NFL career.

After retiring with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1996, Hayes began coaching in 1999. He spent four seasons at Oklahoma as a tight ends and special teams coach.

When Marvin Lewis was hired as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2003, he brought Hayes on as his tight ends coach.

Hayes maintained his role as tight ends coach for Lewis' entire 16-year tenure until he was fired at the end of 2018.

During his time in Cincinnati, Hayes coached two players to Pro Bowl seasons: Jermaine Gresham (2011-12) and Tyler Eifert (2015).

Hayes' hiring in St. Louis is yet another feather in the cap for Tight End U.