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Mike Tomlin Details Reasons for Replacing Steelers Strength and Conditioning Staff



Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers equipment at practice on Aug. 26, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

ORLANDO, Fla., — Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made a big change in his strength and conditioning staff this offseason, replacing several longtime members of his coaching team and bringing in some fresh blood.

Tomlin explained that decision on Monday at the 2024 NFL owner’s meeting, saying that as the team gets younger and continues the rebuild that started in earnest two years ago, that it made sense to make the switch to a new generation of strength coaches.

Phil Matusz, a Greenville, Pa. Native and 2009 graduate of Villanova University, joined the staff as the new head strength and conditioning coach, his first NFL posting. Matusz had previously worked at Boston College as head strength and conditioning coach, and before that was an assistant as Ohio State.

He replaced Marcel Pastoor, who had spent 23 years with the Steelers, first as the team’s assistant strength and conditioning coach before the his promotion in 2021.

“I just thought it was time,” Tomlin said on Monday. “I just thought we got so many talented young kick people. I wanted to put some fresh expertise into their growth and development. As an organization, you know, we own the development of our young players. And so, I’m just really excited. The acquisition of young talented players like Broderick (Jones) or Keeanu Benton is just a component of it. Their growth and development over the course of a 12-month calendar is equally as important as their talent. And so, I’m excited about the moves that we made there and in the fresh vision that we’re going to have in terms of some of our player development.”

The Steelers landed three starters in their 2023 NFL Draft class in Benton, Jones and Joey Porter Jr., and have hopes to repeat that effort with four picks on the first two days of the 2024 NFL Draft this year. 

With tackle, center and defensive tackle among the team’s top needs, Matusz’s hire could be immediately impactful for a team looking to center its rebuild in the trenches.

In addition to Matusz, the Steelers also replaced their assistant strength and conditioning coach, hiring Justus Galac, who previously worked at Temple, and for the first time, have hired a sports science coordinator, Roderick Moore.