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Tanks For The Memories: XFL Coach, Former ESPN CFB Analyst Anthony Becht Explains This Photo Spread

If West Virginia alum Becht resorts to "old school" training methods as depicted in a 1999 ESPN The Magazine pictorial he was featured in, his St. Louis Battlehawks have been warned

No doubt, St. Louis Battlehawks Head Coach Anthony Becht has done all he can to prepare his team for its 2023 XFL season opener Sunday, Feb. 19, against the host San Antonio Brahmas (ABC and ESPN+, 3 p.m. ET).

But if Becht needs to inspire his Battlehawks a bit further, he can point to a 1999 ESPN The Magazine feature as proof that he was willing to push himself – if not a 56,000-pound tank – to the limits.

Former Florida State star Peter Warrick was the cover subject of the 1999 ESPN The Magazine issue that featured Becht. (Piotr Sikora for ESPN The Magazine)

In its “College Football’99” issue, the Magazine featured the West Virginia All-Big East tight end and his Mountaineer teammates in a multi-page spread (see magazine galley below) about unconventional college football training techniques.

During a recent visit to ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters, Becht discussed what he remembered about the Magazine shoot in the video above.

The tank shoot might have been an early indicator of Becht’s durability. The 11-year NFL veteran played 152 consecutive games, which in 2010 ranked behind only Brett Favre and Peyton Manning.

Becht was an ESPN college football analyst from 2013-20. Also in the video above, he discusses how that experience helped him scout talent for the Battlehawks.

Sunday, he’ll coach in the Alamodome opposite fellow former NFL star Hines Ward.

Spencer T. Jackson produced the video above
Watch West Virginia Athletics’ 1999 profile of Becht
For more on ESPN’s XFL programming, visit ESPN Press Room

Anthony Becht (center) and his West Virginia teammates tried with all their might to move this tank for ESPN The Magazine’s 1999 College Football Preview issue. (Gregory Heisler for ESPN The Magazine)
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