It was reported early on Friday that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver coach Scottie Montgomery has decided to return to Duke University to become their new offensive coordinator and immediately a good portion of the black and gold fanbase started suggesting that former wide receiver Hines Ward should be hired to replace him.
Yeah, that\’s not going to happen.
Former NFL players usually cut their coaching teeth at the collegiate level or as coaching interns with NFL teams first. Sure, there are exceptions to that every now and again, but even Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake did both. Lake was a training camp intern with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009 and then spent one season at UCLA, his alma mater, coaching the defensive backs before getting his current job with the Steelers.
Ward spent a day last March at spring practice with the University of Georgia, his alma mater, to decide if college coaching is a career that he wanted to pursue. During that visit Ward gave the school an interview and was asked about the possibility of him becoming a coach there in the future.
“One day,” Ward said. “No time soon, but one day. Coaching is easy for me. For me, I think I have a lot to give back to my alma mater and I want to see the Georgia Bulldogs win a national championship. So any experience or knowledge I can give to the football team to help them to get to that goal, so be it.”
“Who knows,” Ward added. “I always said that if I ever wanted to coach this would probably be the first place I would like to do that.”
Before Ward dedicates himself to coaching he will need to get his pursuit of acting and his media endeavors out of the way first. Last season he was an analyst for NBC and will be a zombie extra this coming Sunday night on the season premier of the television show “The Walking Dead.”
Right now coaching is likely the furthest thing from Ward\’s mind. The Steelers all-time leader in receiving touchdowns, receptions, and receiving yards has been out of football all of one season now and will only turn 37 years of age in March. I would expect him to begin his coaching career at Georgia whenever the time is right for him and it doesn\’t look like that will happen this year.