Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward missed out after being a finalist for a college head coaching job.
Ward had reportedly been a finalist to be the next head coach at Texas Southern, but the Tigers have instead moved forward by hiring former Houston Oilers cornerback and XFL defensive coordinator Cris Dishman.
Texas Southern University has named Cris Dishman Head Football Coach pic.twitter.com/lYmUKUAX3m
— HBCU Premier Sports & More (@HBCUSports1) January 12, 2024
Ward had been the head coach of the San Antonio Bahamas of the XFL was pushed out 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 for Ward 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 according to a report by Texas Football, Ward was a candidate for the head coaching job at Texas Southern. Now that he’s missed out on that job, Ward’s future is once again uncertain.
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.
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.