The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, like the Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game, is a chance for college seniors to showcase themselves in front of NFL scouts in helmets and shoulder pads one final time in advance of April’s NFL Draft.
The Collegiate Bowl, through its sponsorship with the NFL Player’s Association, also provides a stable of professional coaches that will help the players not only get through the week of practices and the game, but help to prepare them for the rest of the draft process and their professional future.
To meet that goal, there are a whopping 45 coaches between the two teams, and that coaching staff, announced on Wednesday, has plenty of familiar names to Pittsburgh football fans.
Former Ford City, Tulsa and NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte will be the offensive coordinator for the National Team. Since his retirement in 2008, Frerotte has stayed involved with the game and since 2017, has been the vice president of Coraopolis startup RC21X, a company that has developed The Roberto App to help people understand brain health and function.
Joining him on the National staff as one of two wide receivers coaches will be former Steelers wide receiver Nate Washington. Washington retired from football in 2016.
Another former Steelers wideout will coach the American Team. Plaxico Burress retired after six seasons with the Steelers in 2013. He has worked for Sportsnet New York and was a coaching intern with the Arizona Cardinals in 2017.
The list of the full staffs, which include head coaches Mike Tice and Chuck Pagano, can be found here.
The region had three players participate in the game last season: Pitt offensive linemen Brandon Hodges and Alex Officer and Duquesne offensive linemen Ben Huss.