Former Steelers Hines Ward and Rod Woodson were named head coaches by the XFL for when they return to the field in 2023, the XFL announced on ESPN.
While it is not known what teams they will be coaching, the presence of both in the league as head coaches makes sense given both have plenty of coaching experience to back up their playing days on their resumes.
Woodson coached defensive backs with the Oakland Raiders in 2011, and then in a second stint from 2015 through 2017. When he played in the NFL, Woodson was a Super Bowl champion, six-time first-team All-Pro, part of the 1990s All-Decade team and a Pro Football Hall of Famer. He was also inducted into the Steelers Hall of Honor in the inaugural 2017 class.
Ward caught on with the New York Jets as an offensive assistant prior to the 2019 season. He stayed there through the 2020 season and was hired by Florida Atlantic University in 2021 to become their wide receivers coach. That leaves Ward as a relatively young coach, but the XFL can be a proving ground for him.
The XFL tried to play in the Spring of 2020, but they suspended play halfway through the season. Shortly thereafter, it filed for bankruptcy, but Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia partnered with Redbird Capital to buy the league and revive it in late 2020. It is expected to re-launch in the spring of 2023.