We have the official press release from NBC Sports Group announcing the hiring of former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward as a football analyst. He’ll span the Group from NBC on Football Night in America to NBC Sports Network on college football and NBC SportsTalk.
Ward has been branching out beyond sports as he appeared on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and did quite well. So he has a name recognition outside of the sports world, but I don’t think he’ll be pulling a Tiki Barber and attempt to become a morning show personality.
Anyway, we have the press release from NBC Sports Group for you below.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl WR and Super Bowl XL MVP to Serve as Analyst on NFL and College Football Coverage
NEW YORK – May 31, 2012 – Hines Ward, a four-time Pro Bowler who played 14 years for the Pittsburgh Steelers before retiring after the 2011 season, joins NBC Sports Group as an analyst across its NFL, college football and studio programming, it was announced today.
As part of the multi-year agreement, Ward will be a regular contributor to the critically- acclaimed Football Night in America; serve as an analyst every Saturday on NBC’s and NBC Sports Network’s college football studio programming with Liam McHugh and Doug Flutie; and will regularly appear on NBC SportsTalk with Mike Florio and Peter King to preview and recap the week in the NFL.
Ward, who appeared on NBC’s Super Bowl XLVI pre-game show, is a four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver and two-time Super Bowl champion. The Super Bowl XL MVP finished his stellar 14-year career with 1,000 catches for 12,083 yards and 83 touchdowns, all Steelers’ records.
“We think Hines is a perfect match for television because he brings with him a unique combination of charisma and football experience, which he demonstrated on our Super Bowl pre-game show from Indianapolis,” said Sam Flood, executive producer, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. “He’s an opinionated personality who can draw upon his 14 years of experience, having excelled at the highest levels of the game. Just don’t expect him to dance.”
“I am really excited! It’s not everyday that you get the chance to work for a powerhouse like the NBC Sports Group,” said Ward. “It is a big honor for me and I am looking forward to making the most of this great opportunity.”
MORE ON HINES WARD: Perhaps the greatest wide receiver in Steelers’ history and one of the best blocking wide receivers in NFL history, Ward owns every receiving record in Steelers franchise history: He is a two-time Super Bowl Champion, the MVP of Super Bowl XL, a four-time Pro Bowler, all-time Steleers leader in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns and he is the only receiver in Steelers history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards for four straight seasons. Ward was named to the Steelers’ 75th Season All-Time Team, and on New Years Day 2012, Ward became only the 8th player in NFL history to reach 1,000 career receptions on what would be his last catch ever as a Pittsburgh Steeler.
Off the field, Ward has been equally impressive as a man of character in his community both locally and worldwide. He was named the Steelers’ “2008 Walter Payton Man of the Year,” was featured as ABC’s “Person of the Week,” has met and befriended four world leaders (two U.S. Presidents and two Korean Presidents), has founded and drives his Helping Hands Foundations both in the U.S. and Korea, is active with numerous other foundations (The Caring Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Pearl S. Buck International), and has started his own after school education program for kids in his home state of Georgia.
Ward has been featured on the cover of numerous publications (Newsweek, Time Magazine, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Moves Magazine, Whirl to name a few) and was featured as one of GQ’s 2009 “Men of the Year.” On May 24, 2011, dance-stepping far outside his comfort zone, Ward, along with his partner Kym Johnson, won season 12 of Dancing with the Stars. And 2012 has found Hines appearing as guest correspondent for the NFL Network’s Rich Eisen Podcast at the 84th annual Academy Awards catching up with the likes of George Clooney on the Red Carpet, as well as making his own movie debut as a member of the fictional Gotham Rogues football team in the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises”.
Born on March 8, 1976 in Seoul, South Korea to a Korean mother and an African American father. Moving to the Atlanta area when Hines was just 1-year-old, he was raised by his single mom. Ward became a top scholar-athlete in Georgia, not only as quarterback at Forest Park High School, but also on the baseball diamond. He was drafted at the end of his senior year by the Florida Marlins, but chose to pursue football, going on to play college football at the University of Georgia where he starred at quarterback and tailback before being made a full-time wide receiver in his junior year.
He earned All-SEC honors is senior year and finished his college career as Georgia’s second all-time receiver with 144 receptions. His total yards of 3,870 ranked second in Bulldogs history to Herschel Walker. The Pittsburgh Steelers took him in the 3rd round as the 92nd pick overall.
Among Ward’s NFL accomplishments:
- Four-time NFL Pro Bowl selection (2001-2004)
- Two-time All-NFL team selections (2002-2003)
- Super Bowl XL MVP
- Two Super Bowl Championships (XL and XLIII)
- Four consecutive 1000 yard seasons (2001-2004)
- Six 1000 yard seasons overall (2001-2004, 2008-2009)
- Steelers franchise record holder for receptions (1000), receiving touchdowns (85), and receiving yardage (12,083)
- Ranked 8th all-time in receptions (1000) and 18th all-time in receiving yards (12,083) among NFL receivers