Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward might be back in coaching quickly after losing his gig as the head coach of the San Antonio Brahmas.
Ward was pushed out of the XFL after the league merged with the USFL and contracted, forming the eight-team UFL for the 2024 season. Wade Phillips, who had been the head coach of the Houston Roughnecks team that was contracted by the league, is taking over in San Antonio.
That made Ward a free agent, and had some speculating that he might return to the Pittsburgh Steelers as a wide receivers coach. Ward was a coaching intern with the Steelers in 2017 and spent two years with the New York Jets as an offensive assistant before moving to FAU and then the XFL.
But it seems that instead of coming back to Pittsburgh, he may be returning to the college ranks. According to a report by Texas Football, Ward is candidate for the head coaching job at Texas Southern.
Texas Southern is an HBCU located in Houston, Texas that plays in the all-HBCU Southwestern Athletic Conference. That’s the same conference that Jackson State plays in, where Dion Sanders coached before moving to Colorado. Former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson is the coach at Grambling State and ex-NFL linebacker Eddie Robinson coaches at Alabama State in the SWAC, as well.
TSU did not renew the contract of previous head coach Clarence McKinney, who led the Tigers to a 3-8 record in 2023, his fifth season on the job.
It’s not clear who else Texas Southern is considering, but Ward would fit the conference’s profile as a place that is attracting young former players to become head coaches.
Ward is a Forest Park, Georgia native and played his college ball with the Georgia Bulldogs before being selected in the third round by the Steelers in the 1998 NFL Draft. He finished his 14-year career with 12,083 yards, 85 touchdowns and has been an eight-time Hall of Fame semifinalist.