In pretty surprising news, the Pittsburgh Steelers have made Frisman Jackson their new wide receivers coach, the team announced moments ago.
We have named Frisman Jackson as our wide receivers coach.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) February 8, 2022
The move comes without any announcement over previous WRs Coach Ike Hilliard’s departure. Hilliard is not referenced in the team statement but his name no longer shows up on the team website, so ostensibly, he is no longer with the team. He had served as WRs coach the past two seasons.
According to ESPN’s Brooke Pryor, Hilliard’s contract was not renewed, leading some players to be upset over the decision.
Ike Hilliard’s contract wasn’t renewed, per source. Still, it comes as a surprise. Hilliard was well-liked among the WRs and his departure was a surprise and upsetting to some in the locker room.
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) February 8, 2022
Jackson, 42, was a standout receiver at Western Illinois after transferring from Northern Illinois, where he played quarterback. Undrafted, he spent four years with the Cleveland Browns, catching 40 passes for 490 yards and one touchdown.
Prior to being hired by the Steelers, Jackson served as the wide receivers coach for the Carolina Panthers since 2020. He spent the previous two seasons at Baylor under head coach Matt Rhule, where he served as the team’s wide receivers coach in 2018, before adding the title of passing game coordinator in 2019. Before his time at Baylor, Jackson spent the 2017 season as the wide receivers coach for the Tennessee Titans.
Prior to Jackson’s first year in the NFL, he spent two seasons as the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator under Rhule at Temple from 2015-16. From 2013-14, Jackson coached the wide receivers at N.C. State University, and he also had stops at Northern Illinois (2012), Akron (2010-11) and Western Illinois (2008-09) all in the same position.
In 2013, when Jackson was hired as a wide receivers coach at N.C. State, Steelers current offensive coordinator Matt Canada was the offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach there. Additionally, Steelers running backs coach Eddie Faulkner was there at N.C. State as the tight ends/fullbacks/special teams coordinator starting in 2013, as well.
When Jackson played at Northern Illinois from 1997–1999, Canada was at that college program from 1998–2000 as the running backs coach.
Jackson inherits a wide receiver room from Hilliard that could look quite a bit different in 2022 as JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and Ray-Ray McCloud are all set to become unrestricted free agents this offseason.
Frisman Jackson Resume:
- 1997-99 | Northern Illinois University
- 2000-01 | Western Illinois University
- 2002-05 | Cleveland Browns
- 2008-09 | Western Illinois University | Wide Receivers
- 2010-11 | University of Akron | Wide Receivers
- 2012 | Northern Illinois University | Wide Receivers
- 2013-14 | N.C. State University | Wide Receivers
- 2015-16 | Temple University | Wide Receivers/Passing Game Coordinator
- 2017 | Tennessee Titans | Wide Receivers
- 2018-19 | Baylor University | Wide Receivers/Passing Game Coordinator
- 2020 | Carolina Panthers | Wide Receivers
- 2021 | Carolina Panthers | Passing Game Coordinator
In 2013, Frisman Jackson was hired as a wide receivers coach at NC State. Matt Canada was the offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach there from 2013–2015. Eddie Faulkner was there as the tight ends/fullbacks/special teams coordinator starting in 2013 as well. #Steelers
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) February 8, 2022
Jackson is the first known outside coaching addition this offseason. The team will also at least need to fill its vacant offensive line coach opening, too.