Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward has been retired for eight years now, but he’s been staying very close to football. He just got his first NFL coaching job and will be on the sidelines this season.
On Monday, the New York Jets announced that they would be hiring Ward as an offensive assistant. He has spent this past summer working as a coaching intern for the team.
Speaking to the media, Jets head coach Adam Gase found that Ward has “done a lot of really good things” for the receiving corps. Ward will be working under Jets wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson.
“Hines has stayed on with us throughout the entire training camp,” Gase said. “He’s actually been added to be part of the coaching staff. He’s going to be an offensive assistant, he’s going to be working with the wideouts with Shawn so I think that’s a great addition for us…”
We've hired Hines Ward as an offensive assistant.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 2, 2019
Ward played 14 NFL seasons, making four Pro Bowls and winning two Super Bowls with the Steelers. In Super Bowl XL, Ward had five receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown, earning Super Bowl MVP honors.
He retired in 2011 with 1,000 receptions for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns – all Pittsburgh franchise records. Those marks were also top 25 in NFL history. However, despite being eligible for several years, he has never been named a Hall of Fame finalist.
Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson also seemed exciting at the prospect of working with Ward. He said he’s been learning from the Steelers legend, and expects to see him in the Hall of Fame someday.
“He’s a great resource because he’s done it at a high level consistently,” said Robby Anderson. “He’s a future Hall of Famer so what more can I ask for? I’m picking his brain, and he’s more so telling me than I’m asking him, and I’m just staying on top of him. He’s just trying to find ways to get me better in each way.”
Hines Ward now has his first NFL coaching job. But how far up the coaching ladder will he climb?