The Pittsburgh Steelers hired former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores as senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach, the team announced on Saturday.
“I am excited about Brian Flores joining our coaching staff given his history of developing and teaching defensive players during his time in the NFL,” head coach Mike Tomlin said in a press release. “Brian’s resume speaks for itself, and I look forward to him adding his expertise to help our team.”
Flores, 40 was fired as Dolphins head coach on Jan. 10 after amassing a 24-25 record over three seasons. Following his dismissal from Miami, Flores filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL and others, alleging racial discrimination in the team’s hiring and treatment of minority head coaches and executives.
A Brooklyn, New York native, Flores was a linebacker at Boston College from 1999-2002, but a career-ending injury kept him from playing in the NFL. He took to coaching starting at the age of 23 in 2004, joining the New England Patriots as a scouting assistant.
He spent 15 seasons in New England and was a part of four Patriots Super Bowl titles, moving from scouting assistant to pro scout, to special teams assistant, offensive and special teams assistant, defensive assistant, safeties coach and linebackers coach.
The Dolphins hired him in away in 2019, while the team was undergoing a significant rebuild. Flores alleged in his lawsuit that he was compensated for losing games in his first season as head coach in 2019, as the Dolphins finished 5-11 after starting 0-7.
After that, Flores led the Dolphins to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in nearly 20 years. They finished 9-8 in 2021, just on the outside of the AFC playoff picture. The team’s dismissal of Flores was widely panned in NFL circles, with Flores seen as a young coach with a promising future.
Following the filing of his lawsuit, many speculated that Flores would be unable to again secure employment in the NFL.
In Pittsburgh, Flores will replace Teryl Austin as senior defensive assistant. Austin was promoted to defensive coordinator to replace the retiring Keith Butler. Butler also served as outside linebackers coach.
The Steelers also had Jerry Olsavsky as inside linebackers coach and Denzel Martin as assistant outside linebackers coach on their staff in 2021. The team did not address their status while announcing Flores’ hire.