Former Idaho State offensive lineman Brian Fineanganofo has a new shot at a professional football career.
The former all-Big Sky Conference and FCS All-American left tackle was selected Tuesday in the XFL draft, as the No. 43 overall offensive lineman, by the New York Guardians.
The fresh start comes after Fineanganofo was waived by the Cleveland Browns on Aug. 31. He played at ISU from 2014-18 and was signed by the Browns in May after going undrafted. He played in all four preseason games as a backup offensive lineman, logging 40 snaps on offense and 14 snaps on special teams.
Fineanganofo is one of 10 offensive linemen selected by the Guardians. The team’s quarterback is Matt McGloin, the former Penn State signalcaller who played 13 games over four seasons with the Oakland Raiders.
The Guardians’ head coach and general manager is Kevin Gilbride, the former New York Giants offensive coordinator who won two Super Bowls and coached football and women’s basketball at Idaho State from 1974-75.
Gilbride was hired to be the Guardians’ head coach and general manager in April.
He previously retired from coaching in 2013 after spending 21 years in the NFL, mostly as an offensive coordinator. He was last a head coach in 1998 with the San Diego Chargers.
“So here comes this chance to be a head coach and general manager, and have a very strong imprint on the development of the franchise that I was going to be associated with,” Gilbride, 68, told Forbes in September.
Gilbride was the New York Giants’ offensive coordinator from 2007-13, winning Super Bowls in 2008 and 2012 — beating the New England Patriots both times. He coached linebackers at ISU from 1974-75, and was the school’s first women’s basketball head coach in 1974.
Gilbride returned to Pocatello last fall for an ISU women’s basketball alumni game.
The XFL is set to start its second iteration in February 2020. The pro league existed for one season in 2001 before folding.