OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City’s brand new semi-pro football team has high hopes as it prepares to kick off its first season in the spring.

The Oklahoma City Wranglers held a press conference Thursday to discuss their vision for a winning season.

Oklahoma City Wranglers. Image KFOR.
Oklahoma City Wranglers. Image KFOR.

“We want to bring a title to OKC,” said former Sooner fullback J.D. Runnels, who will serve as head coach for the team.

Oklahoma City was one of fourteen cities chosen for a franchise team under the United Football League.

“We’re going to put together a great roster of players and we’re going to be exciting to watch,” he added.

Other spring football teams have called Oklahoma’s capital city home in the past, including the Oklahoma Wranglers in the early 2000s and the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz, that competed in the city for five seasons. 

The newly announced coaching staff said the upcoming season symbolizes hope for the future of football and the community.

“If my staff is gelling, if my players are gelling, if we’re all having a good time, we’re going to be successful [and] yes, we want to dominate. Yes, we want to win every game,” said Runnels.

Runnels has already added several members to his equipment and coaching staffs, including Offensive Coordinator Jarvis Pitts, Defensive Coordinator Dominique Franks, and Defensive Line Coach Jimmy Wilkerson, whom he says are joining the team with a wide range of coaching experience.  

The team’ spring 2023 launch is part of the latest game plan to revitalize South OKC’s Crossroads Mall. A temporary stadium will be erected in a vacant lot on the southside of the shopping mall and the team says it eventually expects it to be replaced by a 10,000 seat stadium as part of a multi-year construction agreement.

The coaching staff said tryouts will be held in January, practices will begin in mid-March, and the first game of the season will kick off at the Wranglers Memorial Stadium on April 1st.