UPDATED: Hines Ward says he wants to help Bulldogs win a national championship

Former Pittsburgh Steelers star Hines Ward (R) talks to Georgia coach Mark Richt during Tuesday's spring practice in Athens. A recent NFL retiree, Ward is trying to decide if college coaching is a career he wants to pursue. (UGA photo by Steven Colquitt)

Former Pittsburgh Steelers star Hines Ward (R) talks to Georgia coach Mark Richt during Tuesday's spring practice in Athens. A recent NFL retiree, Ward is trying to decide if college coaching is a career he wants to pursue. (UGA photo by Steven Colquitt)

FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK

ATHENS – Hines Ward was a visitor at Georgia’s spring football practice on Tuesday, but you had to look hard to find him.

Dressed head-to-toe in Bulldogs’ coaching garb, unless you looked very closely it was impossible to distinguish him from any number of assistant coaches, grad assistants, managers or trainers. But Ward wasn’t trying to be incognito. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ star and recent NFL retiree came to his alma mater to try to get an idea whether college coaching would be a vocation he cared to pursuit.

“He just wanted to come over and spend the day with me and kind of see what coaching was like,” said offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, who played all four years at Georgia with Ward (1994-97). “He’s trying to see if that’s something he wants to go into.”

Asked what his advice was to Ward, Bobo laughed. “My wife told to me to tell him no.”

Nevertheless, Ward is expected to shadow Bobo for at least a couple more days. The Bulldogs are actually conducting a coaches’ clinic this week, which begins on Thursday.

“I hate that he couldn’t come out there and help us coach,” Bobo said. “All he could do was stand over there and watch.”

NCAA rules prevent Ward or any outside experts from actually coaching on the field. However, he did address the team in the locker room before practice.

“Bobo wanted to bring me out here to see the guys and stuff like that,” Ward told georgiadogs.com. “It’s encouraging. I’m excited about the upcoming year. And who knows? I always said if I ever wanted to coach this would probably be the first place I’d like to do that. I’m still lobbying Coach Richt to give me a job.”

Ward muffled a “no” as he laughed after that last statement. To bring him onto the staff at this juncture, Richt would have to reassign one of this current assistants or let them go altogether.

Ward, who was featured on the television show “Dancing with the Stars and actually won the competition, has also expressed an interest in television and acting. He indicated coaching wasn’t something he was likely to do right away. But in any case he is looking for some way to assist UGA.

“No time soon but one day,” Ward said of coaching. “Coaching is easy for me. I think I have a lot to give back to my alma mater and I want to see the Georgia Bulldogs win a national championship. So any experience or knowledge I can give to the football team to help them to get to that goal, so be it.”

You can see the full video of Ward’s interview on the school’s website by CLICKING HERE.

Ward, a wide receiver who won a Super Bowl MVP with Pittsburgh in 2006, was released by the Steelers on February 29. He retired from football just last week, saying he wanted to be “a Steeler for life.”

Missing Mitchell

Bobo was measured in his comments, but you can tell he’s not thrilled about losing Malcolm Mitchell to the defensive side of the ball for spring practice.

“No comment,” he said tersely. “I don’t even want to talk about it.”

After letting loose a laugh, Bobo said he hates to lose Mitchell but understands why he had to move. He also said he hasn’t given up on having the explosive receiver back on his side of the ball next fall.

It is what it is right now,” Bobo said. “He has to do what’s best for the team and help the defense. But it’s kind of back to recruiting in my mind. I’m recruiting the crap out of him daily.”

Meanwhile, secondary coach Scott Lakatos said he likes what he has seen of Mitchell at cornerback.

“He’s doing great. He’s such a good athlete he could be anything he wants to be,” Lakatos said.

Etc. . . .

It’s official: Tailback Richard Samuel is being cross-trained at fullback. . . . Noseguard John Jenkins missed practice Tuesday to attend to some academic responsibilities, according to defensive line coach Rodney Garner. . . . Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham does not expect outside linebacker Sterling Bailey (foot) to play this spring. . . . Wide receiver Rantavious Wooten remained sidelined with a pulled leg muscle. . . . Junior Dallas Lee appears to be getting increasingly more work at center. Lee started seven games at guard before suffering a broken leg this past season.

162 comments Add your comment

Time

March 27th, 2012
8:14 pm

First…hire Ward now

PALM CITY DAWG

March 27th, 2012
8:16 pm

HINES WOULD BE A GREAT DAWG COACH!!!

trueUGAfan

March 27th, 2012
8:16 pm

Hines, you’ll do well as a coach, no matter what level, you have to much knowledge to share not too…

PALM CITY DAWG

March 27th, 2012
8:17 pm

HOW ABOUT OUR NEW OC. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Big Dawg

March 27th, 2012
8:17 pm

2nd! Yeah C’mon!

Ol' Bag O' Doooooooosh

March 27th, 2012
8:27 pm

Hire him, yesterday!!!!!

DawgNation

March 27th, 2012
8:30 pm

First thing Hines must learn is to stay away from the AJC blogs. I wish him luck and success in any coaching endeavor he decides on. He was and still is one DGD.

Robert

March 27th, 2012
8:31 pm

Can you find more successful and passionate guy than Hines Ward? Hire him already! Please!

ole big dawg

March 27th, 2012
8:35 pm

Awesome recruiter….great teacher of fundamentals

Spike 80DF

March 27th, 2012
8:37 pm

Yea Hines was a great player but coach? How about starting as an assistant with Ga State to see how it goes first. Also, I remember a Monday night game where all the starters were saying their college teams and Hines said whatever his high school team was from Forest Park, what’s up with that Hines???

Oconee Dawg

March 27th, 2012
8:44 pm

Hire that boy he is a true “dawg”. He can dance too! Great to have Hines as a dawg coach. Gooooooo dawgs…………….

Tarryuga

March 27th, 2012
8:47 pm

Uh-oh, hope this doesn’t start a “secondary violation”.
Love Hines Ward, coaching at UGA was what I was hoping for, but, uh-oh.

Dawgs1965

March 27th, 2012
9:05 pm

If we can get Ward on the recruiting trail, it will be a game changer.

bilbo799

March 27th, 2012
9:15 pm

Hines’s coaching resume (no official coaching but mentoring as a great NFL football player) sounds at least as good as BOBO’s did when he became OC (QB coach at UGA then a stint at Jacksonville State). How could he be worse? Would he call 5 draws up the middle in a row with our smallest back into the strength of the opposing defense instead of just 4 in a row?

BG

March 27th, 2012
9:15 pm

Ward is a DGD!

dawgcrzy

March 27th, 2012
9:16 pm

an hour after the blog started and you think you are first? dick?

Mobile Dawg

March 27th, 2012
9:22 pm

I’m not opposed to Hines joining the staff but who would Richt cut loose to make room? From where I’m sitting Richt’s loyalty to his assistants handcuffs him, preventing him from making changes.

Arizona Dawg

March 27th, 2012
9:22 pm

I agree with Palm City Dawg, Hines for our new OC

Dawglasville

March 27th, 2012
9:26 pm

I think it would be hard to argue about the many benefits Hines could bring to our team. He would be a beast on the recruiting trail.

FP!!

March 27th, 2012
9:32 pm

How many Superbowl MVPs and DWTS champs went to your school?

Mobile Dawg

March 27th, 2012
9:35 pm

You don’t step into coaching as an OC, at a major university, in the SEC, I don’t care who you are.

Dawgystyle

March 27th, 2012
9:37 pm

even with Hines’ no experience, i would give him the offensive coordinator’s job right now and can Bobo’s arse in a flash and take my chances.
I’d bet my house he would do a better job in year one, game one.

UGA1

March 27th, 2012
9:40 pm

Hines Ward is a class individual and would make an excellent coach. He knows both sides of the ball. Try your best to hire him!

[...] to Original Content From Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog): read more Related Articles Share About Author [...]

01HAWK

March 27th, 2012
9:52 pm

From DUI to teaching young men on the football field. You have got to be kidding. He has no experience as a coach. He needs to start at a lower level school and not the SEC. BE REAL.

Bayou Philosopher

March 27th, 2012
10:00 pm

OMG, stop the presses! — or whatever takes the place of presses these days. Hines Ward is in the house. What is Mark Richt having for supper? Who is sleeping with the water boy? thank God the AJC is on the story…
PS: You gotta love the loyalty of DawgNation for one of their own, Mike Bobo. What a class bunch.

Herschel Talker

March 27th, 2012
10:10 pm

Hire Hines today and fire Richt

sam jeanes

March 27th, 2012
10:11 pm

another drunk to the list. bring back red panties also

rhyno

March 27th, 2012
10:16 pm

with c.washington and r.drew moving to defensive end now who do you guys think the frontrunner is for the olb position opposite j.jones?also i heard chuck oliver on the radio mention the possibility of todd gurley moving to safety.did anybody else hear this nonsense?

flo-ri-duh

March 27th, 2012
10:19 pm

WR coach and recruiter – resume – Hall of Fame NFL. Hines Ward knows more than most coaches right now. He doesn’t need a resume…. if he wants a job – hire him before he goes to Aubarn. Move the current WR coach who didn’t even play WR to another position.

VA DAWG

March 27th, 2012
10:26 pm

Here is a wild thought…how about hiring Hines to coach WIDE RECEIVERS instead of the former running back we have coaching them now!!!

Mountain Dawg

March 27th, 2012
10:51 pm

If he wants to learn about coaching, Bobo is the last person he needs to talk to.

Jim

March 27th, 2012
10:55 pm

Hines could have been a good hire on the SC staff.

Thomas Brown

March 27th, 2012
11:05 pm

Offensive Coordinator, a guy who played Quarterback. A guy who can actually teach wide receivers, not just recruit 1. A guy who understands how to block. A guy who knows how to hold on to and value the football. A guy who has the credentials as a winner at the very highest level.

JRW7

March 27th, 2012
11:06 pm

HW would be a GREAT RECRUITER, and UGA has a recruiting job open!

GaterHater

March 27th, 2012
11:21 pm

Hines would be a great coach and recruiter. He has 20+ years of quality playing experience….I mean really, coaching isn’t rocket science (fundamentals, fundamentals, and more fundamentals, motivate, teach plays, and a little hollering and yelling here and there), and we have a twenty something year old former WR coaching RBs…..

Thomas Brown

March 27th, 2012
11:23 pm

Super Bowl, not Monday night game; and, he stated it was not a slight on UGA but a promotion of Forest Park, and then the next Super Bowl announced The University of Georgia loudly for all to hear. Get facts straight, as usual I have to be the one who knows.

Thomas Brown

March 27th, 2012
11:25 pm

Someone will hire in the next couple of days.

Why not us ?

Thomas Brown

March 27th, 2012
11:27 pm

We will not hire Hines Ward, too much ego, and for what ? 2 SEC Championships, the last one of which was 2005. 2005 season was 8 years ago now this up-coming 2012 season. After 2005, Mark Richt is the # 6 in The SEC in won/lost record this coming 2012 season; and # 21 nationally after 2005 in wins. That does not make me a techie to not settle for that; it does however, make you a RICHT-O-PHILE to settle for that. There is a huge difference in being a Mark Richt fan, and being an UGA Bulldogs’ Football Program fan. If all you want is mediocrity, choose 1 of the 119 other colleges, and be a fan there for Mark Richt. There are 65 Georgia Bulldogs’ Football Program fans to this 1 blog who have told you this. Ignorance is not bliss; it is a lack of education. If you are satisfied with # 6 in just SEC teams and # 21 nationally in won/lost record after 2005, then take a hike – the other 65 of us are not. And, we don’t need your kind around any longer.

Gulf Shores Dawg

March 27th, 2012
11:38 pm

Hines, love ya man….please get on the UGA staff….please

Granthams The Man

March 27th, 2012
11:51 pm

Great to see Ward back at UGA. Who knows maby he will get hired by Ga. I bet he would be a great recruiter and motivator.

GeorgiaDawg93

March 27th, 2012
11:59 pm

I would hire (future NFL Hall of Famer) Hines Ward IMMEDIATELY! Put him at Special Teams or, heck, Offensive Coordinator! Can you imagine the job he’d do as Recruiter! CMR, PLEASE hire Ward! We need help, bad! We’re never gonna catch Bama, LSU, Florida, etc…without immediate help! Just staing the facts! We haven’t beaten a top 25 team (by my count) in 5 years….and we are something like 3-19 in our last 2 games against ranked teams! SAD! And in my humble opinion, UNACCEPTABLE! But what do I know…they renewed CMR’s contract! I wouldn’t have!

Bean Counter

March 28th, 2012
12:00 am

Realistically he is not ready for Bobo’s job. However, his experience, his attitude and blocking ability are attributes that could benefit our receivers. Hire him now and watch the receivers develop.

bravefan

March 28th, 2012
12:07 am

What do you mean? Bobo isn’t ready for his own job. Terrible OC… Showed in spades against Michigan state. Had the game in hand but ran three straight runs up the middle when the run game wasn’t going anywhere but backwards.

Profiler

March 28th, 2012
12:31 am

HW, either one, would be great at the University. Herschel or Hines, keep them involved with the program.

Go Dawgs!

bigdave

March 28th, 2012
12:43 am

“Also, I remember a Monday night game where all the starters were saying their college teams and Hines said whatever his high school team was from Forest Park, what’s up with that Hines???”

some players give there high school, middle school, rec, hometown, etc. as many times as the Steelers were on MNF im sure you’ve heard him give Georgia its due.

Randall "Pink" Floyd

March 28th, 2012
2:17 am

Good for Richard Samuel. If he puts his heart into this position it could be his ticket to the next level.

ugalee

March 28th, 2012
4:13 am

ward for special teams coach

Thomas Brown

March 28th, 2012
4:24 am

0-4 for 2011
0-5 for 2010
1-3 for 2009
1-3 for 2008
3-1 for 2007
2-2 for 2006
1-3 for 2005
3-2 for 2004
3-3 for 2003
3-1 for 2002
2-3 for 2001
19 won 30 lost 11 years vs made top 25

http://www.cfbtrivia.com/cfbt_detail.php?teamname=Georgia&fry=2009&thy=2009&spl=on&cres=3&jpl=on&sortby=Year

59bulldawg

March 28th, 2012
4:40 am

Hines would be a great receivers coach and dynamite on the recruiting trail. We need him bad!