NEW ORLEANS — The USFL on Thursday announced that NFL veteran offensive coach John DeFilippo has been hired to lead the New Orleans Breakers. He replaces head coach Larry Fedora, who recently stepped away from football to spend more time with his family. The hiring comes four months after the Breakers’ 31-17 playoff loss to the eventual USFL Champion Birmingham Stallions.
DeFilippo, 44, gets his first opportunity as a professional head coach. He takes the helm of a Breakers team that featured six All-USFL players and finished the 2022 regular season with a 6-4 record. Starting the USFL’s second season in April 2023, DeFilippo intends to bring an exciting brand of football to New Orleans Breakers fans.
"I couldn't be more fired up, honored, and humbled to be the Breakers head coach," said DeFilippo. "Our organization from top to bottom will work tirelessly to deliver a USFL championship to New Orleans fans. Our staff will be great, energetic teachers to help young men succeed at the highest level and continue their dream of playing professional football."
Born in Youngstown, Ohio, as the son of a football coach, DeFilippo’s life has revolved around the game. He quarterbacked the James Madison University Dukes from 1996-1999. During that time as a player, he interned for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts. DeFilippo began his career in 2000 when he was hired as quarterbacks coach at Fordham University. Spending his entire 22-year career as an offensive expert, DeFilippo has coached for eight NFL teams and four Division 1 colleges. Most notably, he was quarterbacks coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, winning Super Bowl LII in 2018 while guiding Carson Wentz to a single-season franchise-record 33 touchdowns. After Wentz suffered a season-ending injury, DeFilippo turned to Nick Foles, who threw for 971 yards and six touchdowns in three postseason contests and earned Super Bowl LII MVP honors against the New England Patriots. Most recently, DeFilippo was the quarterbacks coach for the Chicago Bears.
"We’re thrilled to get an accomplished leader and champion like John DeFilippo to be our New Orleans head coach," said Brian Woods, President of Football Operations. "John has a highly respected offensive pedigree, and his passion is contagious. He shares our vision for the USFL to be an exciting, dominant, stand-alone professional spring football league. I know he’ll bring entertaining play to Breakers fans and be a positive impact on his players and coaching staff."
Interviewing a talented pool of final candidates for the job, Woods was joined on the New Orleans Breakers Head Coach Selection Committee by former NFL player and current USFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Daryl Johnston, former NFL head coach and current NBC Sports analyst Jason Garrett, NBC Sports executive Jon Miller, and Pro Football Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian.
"We were blessed to be able to create a talented Selection Committee with a unique perspective into multiple arenas of football. Their wisdom and passion for this great game was essential in ultimately choosing John DeFilippo as the new Breakers Head Coach. John impressed every member of the committee with his knowledge, organization, teaching skills, and passion for the game," said Johnston, also a FOX NFL analyst. "The USFL provides players the opportunity to live their dream of playing professional football and many are still chasing that NFL dream. Like all our USFL coaches, John’s passion is developing players, finding their "why" and helping them maximize their skill set to become the best player they can be. I’m excited to see the staff he assembles for New Orleans to help the Breakers players continue their football journey."