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Pittsburgh Maulers to Hire Former Steelers RB Coach Kirby Wilson



Kirby Wilson

Former Pittsburgh Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson will be the new head coach of the Pittsburgh Maulers of the USFL, it was announced Tuesday.

Wilson, 60, was the Steelers running backs coach from 2007-13. Since then, he has been the running backs coach of the Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders.

Wilson retired from his position with the Raiders in July. Vegas prompted quality control assistant Tim Berbenich to replace him. With the Raiders, Wilson was credited with the development of Josh Jacobs into a Pro Bowl running back.

With the Steelers, Wilson coached Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall and Le’Veon Bell, all of which were 1,000-yard rushers while coached by Wilson or after his time with the team.

Wilson joins fellow former Steelers assistant Todd Haley, who was announced as the coach of the Tampa Bay Bandits on Wednesday. Wilson’s final two seasons in Pittsburgh were with Haley as his coordinator. He also worked under Bruce Arians.

FOX Sports owns the new USF. It is not affiliated with the former league, which ceased operations in 1986. All eight teams that will participate in the 2022 season will play at a single centralized location in Birmingham, Alabama.

The original Pittsburgh Maulers played in just one season in the original USFL, going 3-15 back in 1984. They are one of eight historic brands announced as part of the revival of the league. The league has not announced any plans to play games in the Pittsburgh area.

Wilson has never served as a head coach. Before his time with the Steelers, he was a running backs coach with the Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins, New England Patriots, and was a college assistant at USC and Iowa State.

He was a defensive coordinator for Southern Illinois and Wyoming before moving to the offensive side of the ball at Iowa State in 1995. Wilson played defensive back at Illinois and for two seasons in the Canadian football League. He is a Los Angeles native.

In addition to Haley, the other head coaches for the league that have been announced so far are former Auburn head coach Gene Chizik (Birmingham), former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin (Houston), former NFL Europe, CFL, UFL, XFL and The Spring League coach Bart Andrus (New Orleans), and former San Diego Chargers, Nebraska and Oregon State head coach Mike Riley (New Jersey).