Recapping The Steelers Coaching Changes Since Mike Tomlin Arrived In Pittsburgh
On Saturday, it was reported that Pittsburgh Steelers running backs Kirby Wilson would not be back next season as he decided to take the same job with the Minnesota Vikings. Wilson now makes the 13th coach that has left or been fired since Mike Tomlin became head coach of the team in 2007.
Here now is a recap of all of the changes made to the coaching staff over the course of Tomlin’s tenure.
Tomlin kept his original staff together for three seasons before any changes were made. Following the 2009 season, however, offensive line coach Larry Zierlein and special teams coordinator Bob Ligashesky were both fired. In addition to those two changes, quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson announced that he was retiring and defensive quality control coach Lou Spanos left to become the linebackers coach for the Washington Redskins.
Tomlin then hired Sean Kugler to be the new offensive line coach and Al Everest was brought on board to coach special teams. Randy Fichtner was promoted from wide receivers coach to quarterbacks coach and Scottie Montgomery was hired to coach the wide receivers. Former Steelers linebacker Jerry Olsavsky was also hired to replace Spanos.
Following the 2010 season, defensive backs coach Ray Horton left to become the defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals and former Steelers defensive back Carnell Lake was hired to take his place. It was the only change made to the coaching staff that offseason.
Following the 2011 season, it was announced that offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was retiring, but in essence he was really fired. He was of course replaced by Todd Haley. In addition to that change, offensive quality control coach Harold Goodwin left to become the Indianapolis Colts offensive line coach and Shaun Sarrett was hired to take his place.
It appeared as though that was going to be all of the changes made heading into the 2012 season, but the team decided to part ways with Everest right before the season started. Special teams assistant Amos Jones then took over for Everest and the team decided not to hire an assistant to help him.
Following the 2012 season, Kugler left to become the head coach of the University of Texas-El Paso, his alma mater. Montgomery also returned to his alma mater of Duke University that offseason to serve as the program’s associate head coach and offensive/passing game coordinator. Jack Bicknell Jr. was hired to replace Kugler, while Richard Mann, who had been out of coaching for several seasons, was hired to replace Montgomery.
Those weren’t the only changes, however, as Jones left to become the Cardinals special teams coach and Danny Smith was then hired away from the Redskins to replace him.
That brings us to this offseason, where Bicknell was fired after just one season. Former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak was hired recently to take his place. With Wilson now gone, Tomlin will need to hire his second running backs coach since coming to Pittsburgh and that is expected to take place over the course of the next week or two.