The Steelers will hire Philadelphia Eagles Midwest area scout Jim Ward to their scouting staff, according to numerous reports on Wednesday.
Ward joined the Eagles scouting staff in a full-time capacity in 2017, working under now Steelers assistant general manager Andy Weidl during those years. In 2018, he was named the team’s Northeast Area scout but transitioned to the Midwest in 2020. Prior to his full-time hiring, he would work as a consultant for the team.
Ward has plenty of local ties to Pittsburgh, including the fact that he resides in Jefferson Hills. He played his college football at Slippery Rock, becoming an all-conference selection three times during his career. Growing up, Ward played his high school football at Steel Valley high school in Munhall. Ward joined the San Diego Chargers after his career but ended up in the CFL and AFL for a couple of years after that.
Known in the Monongahela Valley to most around WPIAL football, Ward has coached teams in the WPIAL as well, including South Allegheny and McKeesport. The local ties only help with his familiarity with the Steelers, but just like Weidl, this is a homecoming of sorts for Ward.
The hire comes on the heels of longtime Steelers scout Mark Gorscak calling it a career after 28 years with the team. Gorscak will still do other opportunities, but will not have to work the rigorous schedule that scouts are required to work as part of an NFL team.
The connection between Ward and Weidl is obvious, and the Pittsburgh roots within the Steelers’ front office have been apparent for years and continue to develop. Omar Khan has reshaped the Steelers’ scouting staff since becoming general manager. Now, with the graduation of Gorscak and the hire of Ward, that transformation will continue. This could be the first of a few hires Pittsburgh makes to its scouting staff this season.