UFL Secures Big Name Coaches for Premiere Season


Jim Fassel

Connecticut Sports Law has questioned, and may continue to question the UFL’s plan to play a shortened “Premiere” season.  It appears more logical to take the time to assemble a full complement of teams, build community support for those teams and reveal a more polished product.  Nevertheless, the UFL is moving forward and here are 3 major factors working in its favor:

1.  Brand Name Coaches:  The coaches of the initial four franchises will be Jim Fassel, Jim Haslett, Ted Cotrell and Denny Green.  All bring significant NFL experience, with all but Cotrell bringing extensive experience as a head coach.  Why would these established coaches want to join the UFL?  First,  it provides them with the opportunity to be a head coach, rather than a coordinator.  Second, the commitment is short-term.  No matter what these coaches tell the media, the UFL provides the opportunity of coaching this season and returning to the NFL next season.  Any major college program would be looking for a long-term commitment.   No matter the intentions of these coaches, landing such big names is a coup for the UFL.  Surely fans are thinking, “if the UFL is good enough, for these coaches, I may give it a chance.”  And if the football is good enough, the fans just might keep coming. 

2.  Television Deal:  Although its certainly not ESPN, the UFL has signed a TV deal with the Versus Network.

3.  The Economy:  The same issue that  hurt the UFL’s ability to field a full complement of teams may help the league sell tickets.  UFL tickets will cost $20 – or half the price of parking at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots.  With $20 tickets, the UFL will offer a cheap way to watch a game and provides a reason to tailgate, which appears to be growing in importance to football fans. 

ufl1The latest on the UFL playing in Hartford is that the New York team will play one game in Connecticut, presumably at Rentschler Field.  In Connecticut, it will be interesting to see if fans find the UFL enough of a value to attend, considering UConn tickets are only an additional $5.

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