The Pittsburgh Steelers made headlines Wednesday when it was announced they were retaining offensive coordinator Matt Canada for the 2023 season. While this upset the vast majority of Steelers fans, it wasn’t the only coaching news of the day. In what turned to be nothing more than a footnote, the Steelers lost their first coach of the 2023 offseason.
What was originally reported by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and eventually echoed by other media members, was the Steelers losing Blaine Stewart from their coaching staff.
One member of Mike Tomlin’s staff who is departing is assistant receivers coach Blaine Stewart, who is joining the staff at West Virginia University. Stewart is a native of Morgantown, https://t.co/1YLdLydPB4., and the son of former Mountaineers coach Bill Stewart.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) January 18, 2023
For those who follow, or know about, the Stewart name and the connection with Mike Tomlin, this is actually one of those feel good stories you hear about in football circles.
Blaine was the son of Bill Stewart, who is most known for his time coaching for West Virginia University. However, the ties between the Stewart family and Tomlin run deep. In 1995, Tomlin served as the wide receivers coach for Stewart at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). It was Stewart who gave Tomlin his first shot at coaching, this after Tomlin finished up his playing career at William & Mary, playing receiver all four years.
Tomlin moved on to Memphis as a graduate assistant in 1996, but he never forgot Stewart who gave him his first shot at coaching in ‘95. After Bill Stewart died in 2012, Tomlin knew the family and looked out for his son Blaine following his graduation from James Madison University (JMU).
It was in 2019 when Blaine Stewart was added to the Steelers’ coaching staff as a coaching assistant. In other words, someone who will help when and where needed. After two years as a coaching assistant, Stewart was named assistant wide receivers coach. His duties, as detailed by Steelers.com, included, “game preparation, video analysis and scouting of opponents.”
Stewart is leaving the Steelers to return to the place where his father made a name for himself, helping to coach the Mountaineers of West Virginia University.
As for the Steelers, they now will look to fill Stewart’s position if they deem it necessary to be filled. It would be expected wide receivers coach Frisman Jackson would have a large say in if this would be necessary.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the new league year, free agency, and the 2023 NFL Draft.