We’ve seen spring football leagues before. Lots of them. There are even plans at work for Vince McMahon to restart the late, great XFL again.
But the new Alliance of American Football appears to be serious about starting next February. Reports indicate the league has already hired former college coaches Steve Spurrier for its Orlando franchise and former Colorado and UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel for a team based somewhere in Southern California.
These two teams have provided a shot of early credibility to the league. Other reports indicate that former San Francisco 49ers coach, Pro Football Hall of Famer and iconic former Baylor player Mike Singletary might be next among its coaching announcements.
This speculation led to thoughts if any former Big 12 coaches might want to restart their careers with a shot coaching in the new spring league.
Potential former Big 12 coaches for the AAFL:
Bob Stoops — C’mon, are you crazy? Stoops has the good life going with plenty of money, his family starting to carve their own football careers and his legendary status firmly in place. Still, his best friend in coaching, Spurrier, is involved. But that link wouldn’t prove strong enough to get him join this league, would it? If he ever coaches again, most speculate it will be for a much bigger college program.
Mack Brown — It’s hard to believe that Brown is too tired of his announcing gig with ESPN and ABC — yet. And new Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte is interested in getting him back more prominently in Texas’ fold. It’s hard to think he’ll be prowling the sidelines anytime soon.
Art Briles — His interest would be much more plausible. He’s been plotting a return to the sidelines ever since leaving Baylor in disgrace in 2016. Lane Kiffin said he almost hired him in 2016, but backed away because of the potential backlash. He nearly joined June Jones with Hamilton in the CFL last August, but was forbidden to coach by the league. Would the new spring league be willing to provide him a second chance to rehab his image?
Les Miles — Miles made his name in college coaching at Oklahoma State before moving to LSU. And he’s interested in a new change after considering starting an acting career a few months ago. So, would it be beyond the realm of possibility that he would consider rekindling his coaching career in the new league for a few months? Probably not.
Mark Mangino — He’s the last Kansas coach to finish with an above . 500 career coaching record. And he’s kicked around at different levels, joining Bo Pelini’s staff as an assistant at Youngstown State and working on Paul Rhoads’ staff at Iowa State in 2015 as an offensive coordinator before he was fired in the middle of the season. Mangino would provide the league with a recognizable image on its sidelines.
Bill Callahan — His hiring as a head coach makes the most sense. Callahan is 61 and probably has one more coaching adventure in him. He was fired after leading Nebraska to a 27-22 record from 2004-07. It came during the latter stages of the Cornhuskers’ Big 12 association. He’s been a respected line coach in the NFL with the New York Jets, Dallas and Washington since leaving college coaching. He’s already in pro football and a jump to the new league could be intriguing for him.