Former Bucs tight end Anthony Becht ready for second year with UFL's Battlehawks

TAMPA, Fla. - Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Anthony Becht didn't take the usual route to becoming a head coach. He served as a tight end coach with the San Diego Fleet in 2018 and as a volunteer coach at Wiregrass Ranch High School.

So when Becht approached the XFL about becoming a head coach for the league's reboot in 2022, he understood his chances of landing the job were slim.

"I was not on their radar," Becht admitted. "But, to anyone in life, but be determined in what you want to do."

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And, Becht wanted to be a head coach.

Just because he had never held the position before didn't mean the 12-year NFL veteran didn't understand the gist of the job.

"Twelve years in the league, five organizations, seven different head coaches with two firings in between," Becht counted. "I learned a lot of good and bad from the coaches I've been around."

What Becht saw in himself, the XFL eventually saw too. The former player was named the head coach of the St. Louis Battlehawks.

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Becht was ready to dawn the coach's headset for the first time.

"I think the main thing for me in year one was to build a culture that guys will believe in," he said.

Becht's Battlehawks wound up making believers of football fans, not just in St. Louis, but across the country as he led them to the second-best record in the XFL.

"I proved last year that I was a worthy candidate, and this year I want to win a championship. That's the quick rise that I want," said Becht.

He isn't the only one ready to rise as the two spring football leagues – the XFL and USFL – officially merged to create the United Football League this Spring.

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"To have one uniform league, now, it is nice to have different leagues for guys, but to have success long term for spring football, it has to be one uniform league," said Becht.

Success, however, isn't just about wins and losses to Becht. It is about the success of his players and that means the long-term success of the UFL.

"To have that sustainability, it has to be great on the field, it has to be great on TV, and hopefully, every year more and more continue to buy in," he said.

Now, as the UFL gets ready to kick off on Saturday, Becht continues to aim high.

"Again, we're looking to getting over that hump and winning a championship," he said.

Saturday, that championship run starts on FOX 13 when St. Louis plays the Michigan Panthers at 4 p.m.

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