Kirby Smart’s staff is fully stocked and filled to the brim, but Hines Ward is hoping to snag one last spot in Smart's Georgia regime.
Yes, you read that right. Former Pittsburgh Steelers, two-time Super Bowl winner, Super Bowl MVP, and four-time Pro Bowler Hines Ward wants to coach the future of Georgia football and give back to his alma mater.
Beyond star power, does Ward have the chops to keep up with such a stocked coaching staff, especially on the recruiting trail? He thinks so.
A Georgia native himself, Ward first mentioned the possibility of coaching at UGA on the Paul Finebaum Show and later during his Positive Athletes of Georgia Awards speech at the College Football Hall of Fame.
“Sometimes I get upset,” said Ward to reporters at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. “I see kids leaving the state of Georgia to go play for other teams. I knew if I walked into that room, there’s no way that kid’s leaving the state of Georgia.”
Ward’s not wrong -- many in-state recruits have left Athens in the dust in favor of out-of-state ventures. In 2014 almost three-quarters, or 68 percent, of Georgia’s top in-state recruits have left Georgia’s borders to join other rosters. Alabama and Auburn have held onto 82 percent of the state’s top prospects, and Tennessee, 50 percent. Ward’s a local legend and might have the celebrity and charisma UGA needs to bring it home on the recruiting trail -- after all, he did win the Super Bowl of ballroom dancing as a Dancing with the Stars champ.
Ward has no experience recruiting as a coach and hasn’t played since 2011, but has stayed involved in football through work with NBC’s Football Night in America and most recently as a sports commentator for CNN.