Oklahoma

OKC Wranglers Inaugural Season Starts In April

Football fans across the state can look forward to cheering on another team in Oklahoma City.

Several new announcements were made about the Oklahoma City Wranglers on Wednesday.

The Wranglers are part of the United Football League (UFL) and play a spring season from April through July. The makeshift stadium is located outside of the Crossroads Mall and the first game of the season begins on April 1st.

This is the first UFL team in Oklahoma. Their head coach said they hope the Wranglers will continue the high standard of football in the state.

The team’s new head coach will be JD Runnels, a member of the OU football team in the early 2000s who later played in the NFL and UFL.

Runnels then trained in the UFL for her team in Houston and was most recently back in Oklahoma where he coached the UCO bronchos.

“I’ve played football for 23 years and the most fun I’ve ever had was at the UFL,” Runnels said.

Runnels said as they work to fill the roster and coaching staff, they are immediately looking for local talent.

“We’re going to find the best talent locally, in Texas, in Kansas and then nationally who just want to play football,” Runnels said.

He said he wants to look at players from OU, OSU, Tulsa and other colleges across the state.

“Some of the players that I’ve been in contact with are real deals and they’re really good football players that didn’t make it into the NFL, the XFL or the USFL and I’m going to give a spotlight to those guys,” Runnels said .

He said he knew the rules and the game were different than most college and NFL folks, but he hoped people would embrace the new team.

“I’m just excited. I know a lot of people are like, ‘Oh, it’s 8 men,’ ‘Oh, it’s that, it’s that’ — give it a chance, just give it a chance,” Runnels said.

The UFL consists of 14 teams. The game is played with eight players instead of eleven and has slightly different rules than other leagues.

UFL Commissioner Joe McClendon also traveled to OKC on Wednesday to attend the press conference. He said he has high hopes for the UFL in Oklahoma.

“We know this is football country, we know there is a great opportunity for sporting entertainment for residents here in Oklahoma City,” McClendon said.

He said he wants this team to become a permanent part of OKC and hopes it stays here for the long haul. “I want our teams to be long term and engage franchises in the communities that they are in,” McClendon said.

To learn more about the OKC Wranglers, view their schedule, or purchase tickets, click here.

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