Hines Ward gets a football job offer


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One day after Hines Ward announced his retirement from the Steelers and the NFL, he received another job offer in football -- as a high school coach.

"I got an email from the athletic director, asking if I had any interest," Ward said with a laugh about his first post-retirement job offer. "I woke up this morning and it was the first thing I read."

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The offer, Ward said, came from the prestigious private Westminster School in Atlanta. Ward lives in suburban Atlanta.

He is not ready, however, to jump at any offers now and coaching football is not on his radar.

"I just thought we could open the door and talk to him and see if there was anything there," Westminster AD Rusty Hudson said. "If we could figure out a way to get him on our staff, that would be great."

Ward said he will take his mother on a vacation, probably Hawaii, to celebrate her 65th birthday, relax a little and then decide what to do next. He said he's had many opportunities that his lawyer and business manager, Andy Ree, will initially sift through.

He promised whatever he does, his presence will be felt in Pittsburgh, including those Sunday events in the fall at Heinz Field.

"I still want to have strong ties in Pittsburgh," Ward said in a telephone interview from Atlanta one day after his emotional press conference at the Steelers facilities to formally announce his retirement. "I have charitable things and I still want to be a big part of that. I may not be at every game but you'll definitely see my presence in Pittsburgh. That is home away from home. I can spend time in Atlanta during the week, and whatever opportunity there is for me I'll fly up there."

Ward can begin what Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll often called his "life's work" at peace with his former life because, he said, he finally realized in the three weeks between his release by the Steelers and his formal retirement that he had nothing left to prove.

And that is one big thing for him to admit.

First thing after his release, he went on vacation for a week, turned off his cell phone and contemplated his choices.

"I knew I didn't want to play for another team," he said. "But the Old Hines, I was always trying to prove a point -- that I could play in this league, be a starter, things everyone would tell me I couldn't do. I was still in that mentality that I wanted to show the world.

"At the end of the day, I said what more do I have to prove? I caught 1,000 balls, eighth on the all-time list. I was only 14 catches away from seventh, that was going to be my next goal, to catch Isaac Bruce.

"But I don't have anything else to prove. I think I gave it all I possibly could. I looked at the Franco Harris situation and wondered if he ever regretted it, playing in another uniform, another city.

"Was it worth it? It wasn't worth it to me."


Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com and on Twitter @EdBouchette.


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