ICYMI: Michigan Panthers Name Jeff Fisher Head Coach
The Michigan Panthers of the reformed United States Football League (USFL) named former Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans and St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher (pictured) as the franchise's first head coach on Thursday.
Fisher coached the Titans to the AFC title in 1999 before they lost to the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV (34) 23-16 in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.
After his tenure in Tennessee ended in 2010, he then coached the Rams for four seasons from 2013-16.
Fisher was also a reserve defensive back on the legendary 1985 Chicago Bears team that won Super Bowl XX in New Orleans.
The original USFL existed from 1983-1985 and the Panthers won the inaugural USFL championship over the Philadelphia Stars 24-22 in 1983.
There had been talk periodically over the years to reform the league, as many fans were disappointed that the league went away in 1986 when it "won" its antitrust lawsuit against the National Football League, but was awarded only $1 in damages (later trebled to $3.76).
The league was memorialized with a pair of books: The $1 League: The Rise and Fall of the USFL (written by Jim Byrne) and Football For a Buck (written by Jeff Pearlman). And also by the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary "Small Potatoes: Who Killed The USFL?"
The Michigan Panthers are one of eight USFL teams that will be reborn this spring when the league plays their games in Birmingham, Alabama.
The others are: Philadelphia Stars, Pittsburgh Maulers, New Jersey Generals, Houston Gamblers, Tampa Bay Bandits, Birmingham Stallions, and the New Orleans Breakers. All of those teams existed in the original league at one point in the 1980's.