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Steelers

Steelers hire veteran NFL defensive assistant Teryl Austin

Chris Adamski
| Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, 4:21 p.m.
Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin directs linebacker A.J. Jones (16) during NCAA college football spring practice in Gainesville, Fla., Wednesday, March 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)
Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin directs linebacker A.J. Jones (16) during NCAA college football spring practice in Gainesville, Fla., Wednesday, March 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

Some who follow the Pittsburgh Steelers asked for or predicted change at defensive coordinator and secondary coach.

On Friday, the Steelers announced the hiring of Teryl Austin to the coaching staff, with the Pitt graduate taking over a newly created position of “senior defensive assistant/secondary.”

A Sharon native, the 53-year-old Austin has spent 15 of the past 16 NFL seasons on the defensive staffs of teams, including the past five seasons as a coordinator (with Detroit from 2014-17 and Cincinnati last season). Austin, who also was a coordinator at the University of Florida in 2010, coached defensive backs for Seattle (2003-06), Arizona (2007-09) and Baltimore (2011-13).

A three-year starter and four-year letterman at safety for Pitt, Austin’s first coaching job was as a graduate assistant at Penn State in 1991-92.

The Steelers did not define Austin’s duties or explain a new division of labor among their coaching staff. Many teams have separate cornerbacks and safeties coaches.

Keith Butler will enter his fifth season as coordinator and has been on the Steelers coaching staff since 2003. Tom Bradley was hired as defensive backs coach last season. Bradley and Austin worked together on the Penn State staff.

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Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at cadamski@tribweb.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

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