As word broke of Sean Kugler's signing with his former alma mater to be their new head coach, the Steelers began their search for a new offensive line coach.
With the unfortunate scheduling differences between life in the NFL and the NCAA, the Steelers have found a new hoop to jump through as they continue to fight their way through the 2012 season.
Sean Kugler, the Steelers offensive line coach for the past 2.75 seasons, is moving on to become the new head coach of the University of Texas, El Paso. As the offensive line attempts to start another different line combination in week 14, the news of Kugler's imminent departure will not do much to encourage the continuity the unit so desperately needs.
Immediate questions abounded about who Kugler's replacement would be, especially should he leave before the end of the Steelers 2012 season. In an effort to restore some of that lost continuity, the Steelers will most likely look inward when selecting a new, and possibly immediate, replacement. The process of hiring outside of the organization is a time-consuming process best dealt with during the off-season.
Back in February of 2012, the Steelers hired Shaun Sarrett as their new offensive assistant/quality control coach. He had served in the same role for the Duke University Blue Devils since 2008. Prior to Duke, he also spent time at Marshall University; and also as a high school offensive line coach, in Streetsboro, Ohio. Sarrett played guard for Kent State, lettering 3 seasons. He could be an emergency interim decision based on his experience both as a coach and positionally, should Kugler leave sooner rather than later.
If the Steelers go outside the organization, they still have another "inside" choice. Former Steelers center Jeff Hartings is currently coaching offensive line for Avonworth High School, coincidentally with former Steelers defensive tackle Chris Hoke. While Hartings speaks fondly of his experience coaching younger players, and being involved in the school community, which his children are a part of; he does leave the door open on returning to the NFL to coach.
While Sarrett is the most likely choice, Hartings staying active in football and coaching make him a viable option to consider through the future.