The coaching staffs for most NFL teams are set for the upcoming season. Last year, I spotted 39 coaches with some tie to Pittsburgh within the NFL coaching ranks. That was down from over 50 in 2017. Here is the 2021 report on Burgher Influence in NFL Coaching Ranks.
Dwindling Burgher Guard
This year, I find 37 coaches again with links to Pittsburgh or the Steelers organization. The Houston Texans fired David Culley as head coach after just one season. Plus, Bruce Arians moved to the front office this past March. Those moves drop the number of NFL head coaches with Burgher ties to just three. A long way from the peak of nine head coaches with Burgher ties in 2017.
There are multiple other changes among the NFL coaching staffs. Over ten coaches were fired, retired, or switched teams. Here are some other notable changes:
Bobby Ingram joined the Wisconsin Badgers as offensive coordinator. The former Penn State player and Pitt receivers coach left the Baltimore Ravens after nine years. Most recently, he was Ravens Tight Ends coach.
The Denver Broncos did not retain Mike Munchak as offensive line coach. He was seen at a Minnesota Vikings training camp practice.
Former Steelers Deshea Townsend and Brentson Buckner joined the Jaguars coaching staff.
The Colts Trot in Front
In 2017 the Arizona Cardinals led the way with eight Burgher coaches. Then in 2018, Green Bay led with six coaches, and Arizona and Cincinnati tied at four. In 2019 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Bruce Arians and their coaching staff had the most Burgher connections at five. In 2020, the Cardinals hired Brentson Bruckner as their defensive line coach and shared the crown with the Buccaneers with five Burgher coaches each. Tampa Bay increased their Burgher contingent to seven in 2021. With Bruce Arians stepping away, Cody Grimm moved to Jacksonville and Roger Kingdom is no longer shown on their coaching roster. The Indianapolis Colts now five Burgher coaches to lead the NFL. Tampa Bay and Jacksonville have four each.
I do stretch it a little by including some subBurghers who are a generation removed from their Black and Gold roots. There are several gaps – let me know who I missed in the comments.
The Burgher Coaching Connection List
|Buffalo||Bills||Bobby Babich||LB Coach||subBurgher – son of Burgher Bob Babich (RIP)|
|Miami||Dolphins||Danny Crossman||Special Teams Coord||Pitt Player 1987-89|
|New England||Patriots||Bill Belichick||Head Coach||subBurgher (Father from Monessen)|
|Baltimore||Ravens||Tee Martin||WR Coach||Steelers player 2000-01|
|Baltimore||Ravens||Joe D’Alessandris||OL Coach||Burgher (Aliquippa) Pitt OL coach 96|
|Cleveland||Browns||Alex Van Pelt||Offense Coordinator||Burgher Pitt QB 1989-92|
|Houston||Texans||Hal Hunter||Asst OL Coach||Pitt/IUP OL Coach Burgher Canonsburg|
|Indianapolis||Colts||Raymond Ventrone||Special teams||Burgher (Chartiers Valley)|
|Indianapolis||Colts||Scottie Montgomery||RB Coach||Steelers WR coach 2010-12|
|Indianapolis||Colts||Scott Milanovich||QB Coach||Burgher (Butler)|
|Indianapolis||Colts||Mike Mitchell||Asst DB Coach||Steelers player 2014-17|
|Indianapolis||Colts||John Fox||Sr Def Asst||Steelers DB coach 1989-91 Pitt D Coordinator|
|Jacksonville||Jaguars||Brentson Buckner||DL Coach||Steelers player 1994-96 intern coach 2010-12|
|Jacksonville||Jaguars||Bill Shuey||OLB Coach||Slippery Rock, semipro Pittsburgh Colts 1997-98|
|Jacksonville||Jaguars||Deshea Townsend||Pass Coord/CB Coach||Steelers player 1998-2009|
|Jacksonville||Jaguars||Chris Grimm||Safeties Coach||subBurgher son of Russ Grimm|
|Tennessee||Titans||Mike Vrabel||Head Coach||Steelers player 1997-2000|
|Denver||Broncos||Dom Capers||Sr Def Asst||Steelers DC 1992-94|
|Los Angeles||Chargers||Shaun Sarrett||Asst OL Coach||Steelers coach 2012-20 last as OL coach|
|Las Vegas||Raiders||Carmen Bricillo||OL Coach||Duquesne OL Coach 2005, Burgher Shelocta PA|
|Las Vegas||Raiders||Jason Simmons||Secondary Coach||Steelers player 1998-2001|
|Dallas||Cowboys||Mike McCarthy||Head Coach||Burgher Pitt WR coach 92|
|Dallas||Cowboys||Joe Philbin||OL Coach||Washington & Jefferson player|
|Washington||Redskins||Jim Hostler||Sr Offense Asst||Burgher, IUP coach 1992-99|
|Washington||Redskins||Jeff Zgonina||Asst DL coach||Steelers player 1993-94|
|Detroit||Lions||Duce Staley||Asst HC & RB Coach||Steeler player 2004-06|
|Detroit||Lions||Antwan Randel El||WR Coach||Steelers WR 2002-05, 2010|
|Detroit||Lions||Hank Fraley||OL Coach||Robert Morris player Steelers UDFA 2000|
|Detroit||Lions||JT Barrett||Off Asst||Steelers player 2019-20|
|Green Bay||Packers||Jason Vrabel||WR Coach||Burgher South Park|
|Tampa Bay||Buccaneers||Byron Leftwich||Offense Coordinator||Steelers player 2010-12|
|Tampa Bay||Buccaneers||Tom Moore||Offense Consultant||Steelers WR Coach & OC 1977-1989|
|Tampa Bay||Buccaneers||Larry Foote||ILB Coach||Steelers LB 2002-08 & 10-13|
|Tampa Bay||Buccaneers||Nick Rapone||Safeties Coach||Burgher (New Castle) Pitt DC 1989-92|
|Arizona||Cardinals||James Saxon||RB Coach||Steelers RB coach 2014-18|
|Arizona||Cardinals||Sean Kugler||OL Coach||Steelers OL Coach 2010-12|
|Arizona||Cardinals||Buddy Morris||Strength & Condition||Pitt strength coach 1980-89, 97-01, Burgher|
I always like to include some music. Here is Heading South by Zach Bryan. He’s scheduled to perform at Stage AE on September 19th.