Wilson leaving Steelers, but not for Ravens

January 25, 2014

The good news for the Steelers was that running backs coach Kirby Wilson was informed Saturday he was no longer being considered for the offensive coordinator position for division rival Baltimore.

The bad news? Wilson is leaving anyway.

Wilson was informed by Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh he would not be hired as the Ravens’ next offensive coordinator. Wilson had a second interview for that position Friday.

Instead of returning to the Steelers, however, Wilson told the team he would like to seek another position, despite having a year remaining on his contract. The Steelers granted Wilson a release from his contract and he is expected to join Mike Zimmer’s staff in Minnesota as a running backs coach.

Wilson, an original member of head coach Mike Tomlin’s staff with the Steelers in 2007, is the second assistant coach to leave Pittsburgh this offseason. Offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr., was fired at the end of the season. His replacement, former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak was hired earlier this week.

Wilson had been in line to be the Steelers’ next offensive coordinator when Bruce Arians was not retained after the 2011 season, but that fell by the wayside when Wilson was severely burned in a kitchen fire in his home in early 2012.

Wilson took several months to recover and, in the meantime, Tomlin hired Todd Haley as offensive coordinator.

The Steelers will be searching for just their third running backs coach since 1972. Wilson replaced Dick Hoak, who held the position from 1972 through 2006 before retiring.

Dale Lolley has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1993 after previously working at WJAC-TV and the Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, and The Derrick in Oil City. A native of Fryburg, Pa., he is a graduate of North Clarion High School and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, where he earned a degree in journalism. He has covered the Pittsburgh Steelers since joining the Observer-Reporter in 1993, and also serves as the outdoors editor. He also is a radio host for Pittsburgh’s ESPN 970-AM, and serves as administrative adviser for the Red & Black, Washington & Jefferson College’s student newspaper.

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