Alliance Birmingham was named as the seventh team of the Alliance of American Football, the league announced Wednesday.
Former Green Bay Packers cornerback and longtime defensive coach Tim Lewis has been hired as the team's head coach.
Lewis will join Brad Childress (Atlanta), Mike Singletary (Memphis), Steve Spurrier (Orlando), Rick Neuheisel (Phoenix), Dennis Erickson (Salt Lake) and Mike Martz (San Diego) as head coaches in the league.
"The Alliance is an opportunity for me to take the next step in my coaching career," Lewis said. "The organization's leadership team has communicated an unwavering commitment to putting high quality, professional football on the field, which immediately captured my attention and interest.
"I look forward to working closely with a group of hungry, talented players and making a mark in year one. This region produces high-caliber football players, many of whom haven't had a chance to really prove themselves on the field at the professional level. They'll get to show what they can do here with Alliance Birmingham, and I'm committed to helping them succeed on and off the field, while making a positive impact in this community."
Lewis has served as an NFL defensive coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2000-03) and New York Giants (2004-06). His last job in the league was as a defensive backs coach with the San Francisco 49ers in 2015.
The 56-year-old Lewis has coached defensive backs and the secondary in college (Texas A&M, SMU, Pittsburgh) and with six NFL teams since 1987.
Lewis played just four seasons in the NFL after being selected by Green Bay with the 11th overall pick of the 1983 NFL Draft. He recorded 16 interceptions during his 52 career games for the Packers.
His NFL playing career ended during the third game of the 1986 season as he was carried off the field on a stretcher after a head-to-head collision with Chicago Bears wide receiver Willie Gault.
"Tim's experience as a player and coach in the NFL is invaluable, both for The Alliance and the players he will be leading in Birmingham," said Bill Polian, co-founder and head of football of The AAF. "He started coaching at a very young age and has since displayed leadership qualities that make players want to win for and learn from him. He is deserving of a head coaching role, and we're pleased to have him on our sidelines competing for a championship."
The Birmingham franchise will play five home games at Legion Field, starting in February 2019.
"Birmingham is the largest city in one of the most-populated states without a professional sports team. For a market with such a passion for the game of football, we knew early on that we needed to address that and expand the football offering for fans," said Charlie Ebersol, co-founder and CEO of The AAF.
"There are a number of exciting changes happening in Birmingham that make it an ideal destination for a professional sports team, including a new stadium currently under construction. We look forward to becoming an integral part of the community and I know this community will rally around and support Alliance Birmingham."