For the second year in a row, a startup spring football league shut down prematurely. Like the AAF before it, the XFL has declared bankruptcy amid some big debts, including a seven figure deal with Dallas Renegades head coach Bob Stoops.
The former Oklahoma coach was perhaps the biggest name to enter the XFL coaching ranks in this year’s relaunch. Stoops was a few years removed of stepping down at Oklahoma, handing the reins to Lincoln Riley. Stoops had been floated for a number of other jobs in the years after, but none gained traction before the XFL announcement that he’d lead a franchise. It was definitely a surprise, as Stoops’ early retirement was fueled at least in part by the fact that his father, a lifelong high school coach, died from a heart attack just after coaching a game. He was just 54.
Re-entering the profession in a start-up league seemed like an interesting choice. Leading an XFL franchise would not be the same 12 month grind that building and developing a college program is, though. The league’s bankruptcy also reveals that Stoops was paid handsomely, and was the highest-paid coach in the nascent league.
On Monday, the XFL filed for bankruptcy on behalf of Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment. All XFL operations and play were officially suspended on Friday, after the season had been halted due to the ongoing public health crisis. All league employees were laid off. Per the filing, the salaries for head coaches was revealed, led by Bob Stoops, who was making over $1 million per year.
— Mac Engel (@MacEngelProf) April 14, 2020
Stoops was the only coach to crack $1 million. Marc Trestman of the Tampa Bay Vipers was due $777,000, while other coaches were in the $600,000 range, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Among the notables listed to be paid in the filing is Renegades head coach Bob Stoops. According to the bankruptcy filing, the former Oklahoma Sooners coach was paid more than $1 million by the XFL. The list of credits states that the XFL owes Stoops exactly $1,083,333.33. He would have been the highest-paid coach in the XFL.
The XFL appeared to be on more stable ground than its springtime rival, the AAF, which did not face an international crisis when it folded last year. The football itself was definitely received better, and a lot of the experimental rules that the league offered were legitimately popular and forward-thinking. Still, filing for bankruptcy rather than punting on the rest of the year signals that it is extremely unlikely that we have an XFL 2.0 season in 2021.
Stoops’ Renegades were just 2-3, but in second in the XFL West, behind the 5-0 Houston Roughnecks, who were the best team in the sport before play shut down.