In news that marks the end of an era in Pittsburgh, legendary Steelers assistant coach Dick LeBeau is resigning as defensive coordinator, according to multiple reports Saturday.
The Steelers asked LeBeau to step down, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, after several days of meetings with Coach Mike Tomlin.
“I’m resigning, I’m not retiring,” LeBeau told the Post-Gazette, confirming the news that was broken by the Urbana (Ohio) Daily Citizen. “It was a lot of great days, a lot of great years. It’s time to go in a different direction.”
The Steelers were eliminated by Baltimore, 30-17, in the first round of the playoffs this season – LeBeau’s 11th in his second tour of duty with the franchise – and the defense finished the regular season ranked 15th in yards allowed.
LeBeau’s Pittsburgh defenses finished with the league’s top ranking five times and in the top five 10 times.
LeBeau, 77, a former Detroit Lions cornerback, was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010. He was head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals from 2000-02. As a coordinator, he is known as a defensive mastermind and father of the zone blitz.
He told the Post-Gazette he did not know if he will continue to coach in the NFL.
“I don’t even know, but I’m not retiring,” he said. “There might not be anyone interested.”