Arizona State has hired former NFL All-Pro Hines Ward as wide receivers coach, the school announced on Sunday. Ward spent the 2023 season as coach of the San Antonio Brahmas in the former XFL, leading his team to a 3-7 record. 

Ward's previous experience coaching in the collegiate ranks came in 2021 when he worked with the wide receivers under former FAU coach Willie Taggart. He also worked as an offensive assistant with the Jets from 2019-20 and broke into coaching in 2017 as an offensive intern with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ward was head of football development for the Alliance of American Football in 2019 as well. 

"I am truly honored to join Arizona State University football as wide receivers coach," Ward said in a statement. "It's an incredible opportunity to share my passion for the game with a group of talented young men and help them reach their full potential. The culture and energy here in the Valley is special and I can't wait to be part of it."

Ward rose to fame as a player both at the collegiate level with Georgia and later in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He signed with Georgia in 1994 and quickly emerged as a multi-talented threat in the Bulldogs' offense. He played wide receiver, running back and, in 1995, even stepped in at quarterback before transitioning primarily to wide receiver over the last two seasons. 

His 149 career receptions and 1,965 yards ranked second in Georgia history at the time. His 3,870 all-purpose yards still rank second behind legendary running back Herschel Walker. 

The Steelers selected Ward with the 92nd overall pick in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft. He went on to earn four Pro Bowl honors, three second-team All-Pro nods and was the MVP of Pittsburgh's 21-10 win against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 40. Ward finished his career with 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns and is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame. 

At Arizona State, Ward will work under coach Kenny Dillingham, who is entering his second year with the program. Ward's hiring also coincides with what will be Arizona State's first season in the Big 12, as it's moving on from the Pac-12 after 45 years with the conference in its myriad forms.