The AAF (Alliance of American Football) are steamrolling their way to their opening kickoff on February 9, 2019. The brain trust behind the AAF have officially named the cities and venues each team will be playing in. They have also named the head coaches who will lead each franchise. With the head coaches now named, it is time to take a look at each coach. Ranking the head coaches of the AAF.
Ranking the Alliance of American Football Head Coaches
When ranking the head coaches of the AAF, LWOS reviewed the background of each coach. Of course, professional head coaching experience played a big part in these rankings. But success at the college level also played a part. Here is how we ranked the AAF head coaches going into their inaugural season
Mike Martz, San Diego
Martz comes in at the top of this AAF head coaches ranking. He made a name for himself as the offensive coordinator, later the head coach, of the St. Louis Rams. That offense, nicknamed “The Greatest Show on Turf”, helped lead the Rams to a Super Bowl victory in 1999. Because of the offense’s success, Martz was named the head coach when Dick Vermeil stepped away.
As head coach, Martz accumulated a 53-32 regular season record as well a 3-4 playoff record. Besides winning a Super Bowl as their offensive coordinator, he also led the Rams to a Super Bowl appearance in 2001.
Steve Spurrier, Orlando
Known as the “Head Ball Coach,” Spurrier made a name for himself in college football. He was the head coach for Duke University, the University of Florida, and the University of South Carolina. He is well-known for his time with the Gators. Spurrier was in charge of their offense, which earned the nickname “Fun ‘n’ Gun” for its high octane passing attack. Under his guidance, he led the Gators to two national championship appearances, winning one of them in 1997. He also tutored quarterback Danny Wuerfell who won the Heisman Trophy that year.
During his time at Duke, Florida, and South Carolina, he achieved a 228-89-2 record.
Spurrier also brings experience as a head coach in the pro ranks. He was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL. During his three seasons in charge of the Bandits, he posted a 35-19 regular season record.
He also coached in the NFL with the Washington Redskins. He coached the Redskins for two seasons and posted a 12-20 record.
Brad Childress, Atlanta
Childress coached the Vikings from 2006-2010 and registered a 39-25 regular season record. He also had a 1-2 playoff record as well. He helped guide the Vikings to an NFC Championship game appearance in 2009, which they lost to the New Orleans Saints.
The Vikings fired Childress 10 games into the 2010 season. After parting ways in Minnesota, he went on to become the offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns in 2012 and was an assistant under Reid with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2013-2017
Mike Riley, San Antonio
Like Spurrier, Riley is known for his work in college football. Riley spent 12 seasons as the head coach of the Oregon State Beavers. Oregon State was a dismal program before Riley arrived in 1997. But he helped engineer a massive turnaround. In his 12 seasons in charge of the Beavers, he posted a 93-80 record and helped lead the Beavers to eight bowl games.
Recently, Riley was the head coach of the University of Nebraska. He was in charge of the Cornhuskers for three seasons and posted a 19-19 record. He also led them to two bowl games, winning one and losing the other.
Although he is known for his time in college, Riley brings a vast amount of professional football experience. He has been a head coach in the NFL (San Diego Chargers), the World League of American Football (San Antonio Riders), and the CFL (Winnipeg Blue Bombers). While in charge of the Blue Bombers, he helped lead them to two Grey Cup Championships.
Rick Neuheisel, Phoenix
Although some might argue that Dennis Erickson should be ahead of Neuheisel in this ranking, we think otherwise. Although Erickson was a successful head coach in college football and has been a head coach in the NFL, he hasn’t posted a winning record since 2007.
Neuheisel has been a head coach at the Colorado, Washington, and UCLA. At those three universities, he posted an 87-59 record. He led his teams to eight bowl appearances posting a 5-3 mark in those games.
He also has spent some time in the NFL as an assistant. He was the Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach from 2005-2006 and was the Ravens offensive coordinator in 2007 before taking the UCLA head coaching position.
Dennis Erickson, Salt Lake City
Erickson has a very lengthy resume. He was the head coach at seven different universities (Idaho twice, Wyoming, Washington State, Miami, Oregon State, and Arizona State). His overall record in the college ranks is 179-96-1. He helped lead Miami to two national championships in 1989 and 1991.
He was also the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks and the 49ers. He totaled six seasons between those two teams, achieving a 40-56 regular season record. The Seahawks and 49ers never reached the playoffs under his guidance.
Mike Singletary, Memphis
Singletary was a gridiron legend as a player. The former Chicago Bears stalwart was a warrior playing middle linebacker. His play earned him a spot in Canton, Ohio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Singletary was the head coach of the 49ers from 2008-2010. During his three years, he accumulated an 18-22 record. His best season came in 2009 when he led the 49ers to an 8-8 record. The 49ers never made the playoffs during his tenure.
Along with his stay with the 49ers, he was also an assistant for the Ravens, Rams, and Vikings.
Tim Lewis, Birmingham
Lewis is the only person on this list who hasn’t been a head coach at any level.
Lewis was a former first-round pick by the Green Bay Packers back in 1983. He played in four seasons but had a promising career cut short by a neck injury.
Lewis has an extensive background as an assistant in the NFL. Along with being a defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants, he was a defensive backs coach for Carolina Panthers, the Seahawks, the Atlanta Falcons, and most recently the 49ers.
Although Lewis might not have as much experience as the others coaches listed here, he is what this league should best represent. He is a coach that is looking for an opportunity and he will get that shot coaching in the AAF.