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Antwaan Randle-El hired by Detroit Lions as wide receivers coach

Antwaan Randle-El earned his second Super Bowl ring earlier this month as an offensive assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and now he’ll be coaching in the same building where he won his first ring as a player.

The Detroit Lions announced Wednesday that they have hired the former Indiana quarterback as their wide receivers coach, filling out new coach Dan Campbell’s staff. The offensive staff is mostly made up of former NFL players, also including quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell, running backs coach Duce Staley, and offensive line coach Hank Fraley.

Randle-El is an IU Athletics Hall of Famer and considered one of the greatest players in program history. He threw for 7,469 yards and 42 touchdowns and rushed for 3,895 yards and 40 touchdowns in his career, becoming the first player in NCAA history to pass for and rush for at least 40 touchdowns. He finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 2001 and won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football Award from the Chicago Tribune that season, the award given to the MVP of the Big Ten.

He was taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 2002 NFL draft and moved to wide receiver, a position he had also played for brief stretches at Indiana. In nine years, he caught 370 passes for 4,467 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was part of the Steelers team that won Super Bowl XL at Ford Field. The Steelers used him to throw the ball on occasion in gadget plays, and he threw for a 43-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward on a reverse in that game.

Randle-El has explored various professional avenues since his pro football retirement. He worked in broadcasting and also helped found the Virginia Academy in Ashburn, Va. where he served as athletic director and then basketball coach for several years. He got into football coaching in 2019 with the Bucs under Bruce Arians, who had been his wide receivers coach with the Steelers from 2004-06.

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