Reggie Barlow currently leads the only unbeaten team in the XFL after the D.C. Defenders claimed a 37-26 win over the Houston Roughnecks on Monday night to tally a 6-0 start.
Barlow is one of four Black coaches in the eight-team XFL. The longtime HBCU coach credits his success to the playing and coaching experience at Alabama State.
“It’s important to me that we are in this position, and we know, hopefully, this will give other people, other African Americans, minorities an opportunity to get that chance to coach in the National Football League.”
During a recent appearance on ESPN’s First Take, the former ASU standout had this to say about how his alma mater:
“I am who I am because of HBCU, because of Alabama State giving me an opportunity to come there to play college football. Also, giving me the opportunity to come back and be the head coach. I learned so much from Alabama State, that experience, and then I was able to go on to Virginia State, which is a fine university that gave me an opportunity to continue to be a better coach, to continue to learn my craft.”
Lead by the best#DefendDC | @reggiebarlow pic.twitter.com/X5I4RGJvNQ
— D.C. Defenders (@XFLDefenders) March 24, 2023
In his playing days at Alabama State, which spanned from 1992-95, Barlow caught 133 passes for 2,536 yards and 17 touchdowns. During his senior year, he hauled in 58 passes for 1,267 yards and 12 scores.
Despite his fifth consecutive winning season, the Alabama State Board of Trustees decided not to retain Barlow after the 2014 season.
In 2016, Barlow became the head football coach at Virginia State University and over his tenure, he guided the Trojans to a 34-15 overall record.
In 2017 he led VSU to their first undefeated season, going 10-0, winning the CIAA championship and earning a berth in the NCAA Division II Playoffs.
“As I mentioned, I am who I am because of HBCUs,” said Barlow. “They’ve been outstanding to me, and I’m grateful for them.”
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