Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

New year, new Brahmas

Brahmas kick off inaugural UFL season under new management

The San Antonio Brahmas inaugural season in 2023 was underwhelming, to say the least. The Brahmas were one of the worst teams in the XFL last season, ending the season 3-7 under first-time head coach Hines Ward. 

Since their season finale loss to the D.C. Defenders, the team has experienced an extreme makeover. With spring football’s ever-changing nature, the future is in constant jeopardy. Last October, the XFL and competing league, USFL, announced that the two leagues would merge for the upcoming season.  

“[The UFL] is a life-changing opportunity for these guys,” Executive Vice President of football operations for the UFL Daryl Johnston said. “We want to make sure this league is here for a long, long time.” 

Both leagues bolstered ten teams each, and in a cost-cutting measure to keep the viability of the newly formed league, eight teams were dissolved. The Brahmas were one of four XFL teams spared in the merger. In December, it was announced that Ward would not be returning as the Brahmas head coach. Replacing him will be Houston Roughnecks head coach Wade Phillips, who had a successful 7-3 year last season. 

“It is a great opportunity to coach, it’s what I’ve done for most of my life,” Philips said. “It’ll give me the opportunity to work with the players and coaches and do what I’ve done for a long time.” 

Phillips will bring valuable NFL coaching experience to the Brahmas, being the only coach in the league to have coached in the NFL. Last season, Phillips led the Roughnecks to a berth in the XFL South Division title, where they lost to the eventual XFL champions, the Arlington Renegades. 

In the UFL dispersal draft, San Antonio picked up many of Phillips’ players from his Roughneck team, notably All-XFL center Alex Mollette. The Brahmas also picked All-XFL wide receiver Cody Latimer. Last season, Latimer led the Orlando Guardians receiving corp in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. 

The Brahmas received the first pick in the UFL Super Draft. The team picked former Guardians quarterback and local Boerne standout Quinten Dormadyr. In the ninth round, San Antonio was able to snag Roughneck safety A. J. Hendy. Hendy was a starter on the Roughnecks secondary, finishing last season with 36 tackles. 

In a similar fashion to the initial dispersal draft, the Brahmas selected six additional former Roughneck players, bringing the team’s total to 24. Additionally, the Brahmas have a couple of recognizable names on the roster. Wide receiver Kade Warner, son of Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, kicker Donald De La Haye, known professionally on Youtube as Deestroying, and quarterback Tom Flacco, the younger brother to the NFL’s Cleveland Browns quarterback, Joe Flacco.

Despite the massive turnover, San Antonio fans will get the opportunity to see a couple of familiar faces from last season. Wide receiver T.J. Vasher, who appeared in nine games for the Brahmas, and punter Brad Wing will both return for the 2024 season. 

“We are building a very good roster,” Phillips said. “Our base of the San Antonio Brahmas players that played here last year and guys we brought in from different teams.”

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About the Contributor
Nicholas Kingman, Assistant Opinion Editor
Nicholas is a freshman CAP student who joined The Paisano in Summer 2023. He is a San Antonio Native and is excited to stay home for another year.

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    Amber PFeb 20, 2024 at 8:06 pm

    It should be noted that the gentleman in the picture is Cuero TX Native, Caeveon Patton, who played for the Orlando Guardians. He racked up 13 solo tackles and 27 assists.