With NFL training camps opening in little more than a month, the coaching staffs for most teams are set for the upcoming season. Last year, I spotted over 50 coaches with some tie to Pittsburgh within the NFL coaching ranks. Here is last October’s report on Burgher Influence in NFL Coaching Ranks.
What a difference a year makes. This year, I could only find 40 coaches with links to the Burgh. Former Steelers player Mike Vrabel was named head coach of the Tennessee Titans but Mike Mularkey, Bob McAdoo, John Fox, Jim Caldwell & Bruce Arians were all dismissed. This drops the number of Burgher head coaches from nine in 2017 to five in 2018. There is also five offensive coordinators and one defensive coordinator.
Last year Arizona Cardinals led the way with eight Burgher coaches. Tennessee Titans followed with seven then Green Bay Packers with five and the Cincinnati Bengals with four. In 2018, Green Bay leads with six coaches, and Arizona & Cincinnati are tied at four.
I do stretch it a little by including some subBurghers who are a generation removed from their Black & Gold roots. I estimate that about 6.5% of all NFL coaches have some Burgher roots. Not bad when you consider that Pittsburgh’s metropolitan population is less than 1% of the national total.
There are probably several gaps – let me know who I missed.
|Buffalo||Bills||Bob Babich||LB Coach||Burgher (Aliquippa) Pitt coach|
|New England||Patriots||Bill Belichick||Head Coach||subBurgher (Father from Monessen)|
|New York||Jets||Kevin Greene||LB Coach||Steeler player 1993-95|
|Baltimore||Ravens||Bobby Engram||WR Coach||Penn State player/Pitt Coach|
|Cincinnati||Bengals||Marvin Lewis||Head Coach||Steeler coach 1992-95 Burgher (McDonald)|
|Cincinnati||Bengals||Alex Van Pelt||QB Coach||Burgher; Pitt QB; Steeler roster 1993|
|Cincinnati||Bengals||Jonathan Hayes||TE Coach||Steeler player 1994-96 Burgher (S. Fayette)|
|Cincinnati||Bengals||Jim Haslett||LB Coach||Steeler DC 1997-99 Burgher (Pittsburgh)|
|Cleveland||Browns||Todd Haley||Off Coordinator||Steeler Ball Boy & OC 2012-17|
|Cleveland||Browns||Amos Jones||Special Team Coach||Steeler coach 2007-12|
|Houston||Texans||Bill O’Brien||Head Coach||Penn State HC 2012-13|
|Indianapolis||Colts||Ray Ventrone||Special Team Coach||Burgher Chartiers Valley|
|Jacksonville||Jaguars||Tom Myslinski||Strength/Condition||Steeler player 1996-97, 2000|
|Tennessee||Titans||Mike Vrabel||Head Coach||Steeler player 1997-2000|
|Denver||Broncos||Sean Kugler||Interior OL coach||Steelers OL coach 2010-12; UDFA 1989|
|Los Angeles||Chargers||Ken Whisenhut||Offense Coordinator||Steeler coach 2001-06|
|Los Angeles||Chargers||John Lott||Strength/Condition||Steelers player 1987|
|New York||Giants||Hal Hunter||OL Coach||Burgher (Canonsburg) coached at Pitt/IUP|
|New York||Giants||Deshea Townsend||DB Coach||Steeler player 1998-2009|
|Philadelphia||Eagles||Duce Staley||RB Coach||Steeler player 2004-06|
|Washington||Redskins||Matt Cavanaugh||Offense Coordinator||Pitt QB & coach|
|Washington||Redskins||Jim Tomsula||DL Coach||Burgher (Homestead)|
|Chicago||Bears||Kevin Gilbride||TE Coach||subBurgher son of Steeler OC Kevin Gilbride|
|Detroit||Lions||Hank Fraley||OL Assistant||Robert Morris player, Steelers UDFA 2000|
|Detroit||Lions||Al Golden||LB Coach||Penn State player 1987-91|
|Green Bay||Packers||Mike McCarthy||Head Coach||Burger|
|Green Bay||Packers||Jim Philbin||Offense Coordinator||W&J player, Allegheny coach|
|Green Bay||Packers||Frank Cignetti Jr||QB Coach||IUP/Pitt coach Burgher|
|Green Bay||Packers||Jim Hostler||Passing Game||Burgher, IUP player/coach|
|Green Bay||Packers||Mike Pettine||Defense Coordinator||Pitt Grad Assistant 93-94|
|Green Bay||Packers||Ron Zook||Special Team Coach||Steeler coach 1996-98|
|Minnesota||Vikings||Kennedy Polamalu||RB Coach||subBurgher Troy’s uncle|
|Carolina||Panthers||Jerricho Cotchery||WR Coach||Steeler player 1011-13|
|Tampa Bay||Buccaneers||Brentson Buckner||DL Coach||Steeler player 1994-96 intern 2010-12|
|Arizona||Cardinals||Byron Leftwich||QB Coach||Steeler player 2008, 2010-12|
|Arizona||Cardinals||Kirby Wilson||RB Coach||Steeler coach 2007-13|
|Arizona||Cardinals||Larry Foote||LB Coach||Steeler player 2002-08, 2010-13|
|Arizona||Cardinals||Buddy Morris||Strength/Condition||Pitt strength coach 1980-89, 97-01, Burgher|
|San Francisco||49ers||Jeff Zgonina||DL Coach||Steeler player 1993-94|
|Seattle||Seahawks||Brian Schottenheimer||Offense Coordinator||SubBurgher, son of Marty Schottenheimer|
In the 2018 Memorial Day Weekend: Steelers Friday Night Five Questions, I committed to play songs that Steelers Depot respondents had suggested might be the new Steelers anthem if Renegade by Styx was ever replaced. Here is entry three of 45 from Iandan Woodard: Wicked Garden by Stone Temple Pilots.