Steelers hire special teams coach

New head coach Mike Tomlin has made another hire on his coaching staff and it's someone with ties to Pittsburgh.

New head coach Mike Tomlin's first staff with the Pittsburgh Steelers continues to take shape as he has filled one opening and appears close to filling another.

According to the St. Louis Dispatch, Tomlin has hired former Rams special teams coach Bob Ligashesky to replace Kevin Spencer. Spencer joined Ken Whisenhunt's staff in Arizona last week in the same capacity.

The 44-year-old Ligashesky is a Pittsburgh native and played football at IUP. He also coached special teams at the University of Pittsburgh from 2000 through 2003.

Prior to joining the Rams in 2005, Ligashesky, who was fired earlier this week by St. Louis, served as special teams coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2004. Under Ligashesky in 2006, St. Louis finished 25th in the league in punt returns, 26th in kickoff returns and 28th in kickoff coverage.

But placekicker Jeff Wilkins did finish second in the NFL in scoring with 131 points, making 32 of 37 field goals. And the team's net punt average of 39.0 yards was also second in the NFL.

The hiring of Ligashesky leaves Tomlin with three openings on his staff, running backs, wide receivers and offensive line.

Tomlin may be close to filling one of those as he is reportedly talking to former Arizona Cardinals running backs coach Kirby Wilson about replacing Dick Hoak, who retired from the same position with the Steelers after more than 40 years with the team.

The 45-year-old Wilson had been with the Cardinals since 2004 but was not retained by Whisenhunt. Wilson coached in Tampa Bay in 2002 and 2003 when Tomlin was the team's secondary coach.


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