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2 former Steelers slated as XFL head coaches for 2023

Hines Ward and Rod Woodson are scheduled to make their head coaching debuts in 2023.

Atlanta Falcons v Pittsburgh Steelers

With the USFL set to make its grand return this weekend, more news of the XFL’s return in 2023 has also been announced. According to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, the head coaches for the eight XFL teams were announced on Wednesday. Among the names are two former Steelers players in wide receiver Hines Ward and defensive back Rod Woodson.

Drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 10th overall pick in the 1987 NFL draft, Rod Woodson spent 10 years in Pittsburgh where he was a seven-time Pro-Bowler and five-time first-team All-Pro cornerback. With 38 interceptions, five of which were returned for touchdowns, Woodson was also the 1993 Defensive Player of the Year. Woodson played an additional seven years in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, and Oakland Raiders where he added four more Pro Bowls and another All-Pro honor. Woodson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

Woodson began his NFL coaching career as an intern with a Cincinnati Bengals in 2010. After one season as the Oakland Raiders cornerbacks coach in 2011, Woodson was an intern coach with the Steelers in 2013. Woodson returned to the Raiders in 2015 for three seasons working with the defensive backfield but was not retained when the Raiders hired head coach John Gruden.

After playing 14 years with a Pittsburgh Steelers in which Hines Ward appeared in 217 regular season games, he had exactly 1,000 receptions for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns with Pittsburgh. Ward was a four-time Pro Bowler and won two Super Bowls with a Steelers as well as being the MVP of Super Bowl XL. After his playing career, Ward got into coaching where he was an offensive assistant for the New York Jets in 2019 before becoming their wide receivers coach in 2020. Ward spent the 2021 season at Florida Atlantic University as a special assistant to the head coach and wide receivers coach.

Which XFL franchise Hines Ward and Rod Woodson will be coaching when the league returns in 2023 has not been announced at this time.

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