Auburn announced that its hired former Steelers wide receiver coach Ike Hilliard as its new wide receivers coach. Hilliard, a former SEC great, played at Florida and was named an All-American player in 1996. In addition, he spent the last 11 years as a coach in the NFL.
In the two years Hilliard was at Florida, he had a total of 126 catches, 2,214 yards and 26 touchdowns. He helped lead Florida to a Sugar Bowl win, which gave the school their first national championship title.
Hilliard has an impressive record with the Steelers. In the 2020 season, he led the Steelers to be the seventh team in NFL history to have five different wide receivers catch five or more touchdown passes in one season. In this most recent season, Hilliard had two receivers with over 100 receptions, Diontae Johnson (169) and Chase Claypool (105). These stats lead Johnson to his first All-Pro honors and was seventh in the league overall.
Hilliard expressed his excitement to join the Auburn Family. Hilliard said every conversation with coach Bryan Harsin and his staff showed how impressive the program and school are.
“It’s go-time now as I can’t wait to teach, mentor and lead the young men in our wide receiver room," Hilliard said.
Harsin is equally excited to bring Hilliard on his staff. Beyond Hilliard's credentials as a player and coach, Harsin believes that he has the right character and to influence his players to be the Auburn men that Harsin believes deeply in.
“Amongst all of those accomplishments one other thing really stood out showing who Ike is as a person and leader," Harsin said. "He made a commitment to his family that he would graduate from college, and he never lost sight of that, finishing up his degree while also being a full-time NFL coach. Ike, without a doubt, possesses the same values that we want our Auburn program to be known for - character, discipline, toughness and conviction."
Before working with the Steelers Hilliard has also worked with other NFL teams. He started as an assistant wide receivers coach with the Miami Dolphins in 2011. He also worked for the Washington Redskins, now known as the Commanders, in two different stints (2012, 2014-19). The year in between was spent with the Buffalo Bills as their receivers coach.
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