Former Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann has resigned as the athletic director at his alma mater USC.
“Lynn has been a leader on and off the field at USC for nearly five decades, and he will forever be a valued member of the Trojan family,” USC president Carol Folt said in a press release.
Swann, 67, had been the Trojans’ athletic director since 2016. The USC football team had a rocky 2018, with the school’s first five-win finish since 2000 coming on the heels of back-to-back New Year’s Day bowl game appearances under Clay Helton in 2016 and 2017.
Swann’s decision to stick with Helton for 2019 was unpopular in some circles. USC started its season 2-0 with wins over Fresno State and then-No. 23 Stanford at home in Los Angeles.
Swann was previously the co-owner of the Pittsburgh Power of the Arena Football League from 2011-14. He was the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania in 2006 and was the chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport from 2002-05. Swann was a broadcaster for ABC sports from 1976-06.
He retired from the Steelers and the NFL at the end of the 1982 season. The team’s first-round pick in the 1974 NFL Draft, he amassed 5,462 yards and 51 touchdowns over nine seasons and won four Super Bowls.
Former Steelers Coach Woody Widenhofer Dies at 77
Former Steelers assistant coach and Butler, Pa. native Woody Widenhofer died at the age of 77 on Sunday, his son told the Tennessean.
Widenhofer coached the Steelers linebackers from 1973-78 and was the team’s defensive coordinator from 1979-83, winning four Super Bowls with the team.
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of Woody Widenhofer,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a press release. “Woody played an important role coaching our famed Steel Curtain defense when he helped us win four Super Bowls in the 1970s.
“He coached some of the best linebackers in NFL history during his time in Pittsburgh and was later elevated to defensive coordinator, where he guided the defense in our Super Bowl XIV victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
“A native of Butler, Woody will be missed by those who knew him and played under him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Widenhofer family.”
After his time with the Steelers, Widenhofer became a head coach in the USFL and with Missouri and Vanderbilt. He also served as defensive coordinator with the Detroit Lions, Southeastern Louisiana and New Mexico State and was linebackers coach with the Cleveland Browns.
Widenhofer retired from coaching in 2007. He is the second member of the 1970s Steelers coaching staff to die this year. Offensive and defensive line coach Dan Radakovich died in February.
Steelers to Face Cowboys in Hall of Fame Game
Officially announced today, The Steelers and Cowboys, two of the league’s most legendary franchises, will face off in this year’s preseason Hall of Fame game at Tom Benson HOF Stadium in Canton Ohio, August 06, 2020 at 8:00 PM.
Tickets will go on sale this Friday (3/13) at 10am ET. pic.twitter.com/uMSFIPWf3X
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) March 10, 2020
Tickets will go on sale starting Friday at 10 AM.
This will be each team’s seventh appearance in the Hall of Fame game, tied for the most of any franchise. Both teams also hold a 3-3 record in the glorified preseason game.
The last time the Steelers participated in the Hall of Fame game was 2015, the year running back Jerome Bettis was enshrined.
It comes as no surprise that the Steelers and Cowboys were selected for the Hall of Fame game considering the iconic figures they will each have inducted this year.
The Steelers will have head coach Bill Cowher and safety Troy Polamalu enshrined as a part of the Centennial Class of 2020, while the Cowboys will send former head coach Jimmie Johnson to Canton. Former Steelers safety Donnie Shell will also be inducted later as a part of the Hall of Fame Centennial Celebration in September.
Steelers and Cowboys is one of the NFL’s most storied rivalries. The franchises have met in three Super Bowls, with Pittsburgh taking the series edge 2-1.
Cowher to Receive Rooney Award, Name HOF Presenter
Former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher has set a date to announce his Pro Football Hall of Fame presenter, the same night he will receive an award named after Dan Rooney, according to Teresa Varley of Steelers.com.
Cowher will announce his presenter on March 17th at the Ireland Funds America Pittsburgh Gala. He will also be honored with an award inspired by the late Steelers owner.
Bill Cowher will announce his @ProFootballHOF presenter when he is honored on March 17 at the Ireland Funds America Pittsburgh Gala where he will receive a new award named after Dan Rooney.
— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) February 25, 2020
Over his 15 years as head coach, Cowher led the Steelers to eight division titles, six AFC Championship game appearances and a victory in Super Bowl XL.
Cowher will officially be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the 2020 Centennial Class, along with two other Steelers in safeties Troy Polamalu and Donnie Shell.