Two familiar faces will be part of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ coaching staff this summer. The team announced Tuesday morning they’ve officially hired William Gay and David Johnson on an intern basis for 2019.
We have hired William Gay and David Johnson as coaching interns.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 4, 2019
Both players, of course, are former Steelers. Gay was part of Mike Tomlin’s first ever draft class, taken in the 5th round of the 2007 draft. Johnson was selected two years later with the team’s final pick. Gay went on to be a diamond in the rough, playing 160 career games for Pittsburgh and officially making 87 starts. He picked off 11 passes, returning an impressive five of them for touchdowns, including three of them in 2014. Gay was also well-known for his activism and community work, often supporting programs that looked to combat domestic violence. While it seemed like he would work with the defensive backs, Gay will actually coach the receivers.
Johnson served as an H-Back and tight end throughout his career in black and gold. Over five years in black and gold, he caught 29 passes for one touchdown. Johnson was known for being an excellent and physical blocker. He returned to the Steelers in 2016 after spending two years with the Chargers. We noticed this photo shared by the team site of Johnson in early May, working with the TEs.
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) May 10, 2019
These hires appear to be partly inspired by the NFL’s diversity program which asked teams to “take a proactive approach on identifying diverse candidates to become coaches in the NFL.”
The NFL’s Diversity Committee recommended all 32 teams take a proactive approach on identifying diverse candidates to become coaches in the NFL. This included outside the traditional League workplace, particularly those in college football & former NFL/college football players. https://t.co/QHMYcA9ABk
— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) June 4, 2019