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Former Steelers Safety, Coach Carnell Lake Lands Defensive Coordinator Job



Pittsburgh Steelers Carnell Lake
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake during an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety and defensive backs coach Carnell Lake will be returning to the UFL for a second season as defensive coordinator in 2024, the league announced on Wednesday.

Lake will be staying with the Memphis Showboats, who are making the move from the USFL to the UFL as one of eight teams in the new unified league that was formed as a merger of the USFL and XFL.

Lake served as the defensive coordinator for the Showboats in 2023 under former Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who was the team’s head coach. The Showboats went 5-5 and finished in last place in the USFL South Division.

This season, Youngstown, Ohio native, Bill DiFilippo, who had been the head coach of the New Orleans Breakers, will lead the Showboats. The Breakers were one of eight teams that were contracted as part of the merger. 

Among the players under contract with the Showboats for 2024 are former Pittsburgh Steelers draft pick and safety Antoine Brooks.

Lake, 56, spent one season in the XFL as defensive backs coach of the Tampa Bay Bandits before getting his first crack as a defensive coordinator with the Showboats. He previously served as the Steelers defensive backs coach from 2011-17. He stepped down to spend more time with his family, including his son Quentin, who attended UCLA from 2017-21 before being selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Steelers’ second-round pick in the 1989 NFL Draft, Lake became one of the franchise’s all-time greats at the safety position. He was a five-time All-Pro selection and a five-time Pro Bowler.

Lake is a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team, the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team, and the Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Honor.

He spent 10 of his 12 NFL seasons with the Steelers before finishing his career with one season each with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens in 1999 and 2001. 

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