Arizona State on Saturday reportedly agreed to fill a position that New England Patriots staff Troy Brown was a candidate for.

Hines Ward agreed to become the Sun Devils’ next wide receivers coach, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel. The Pittsburgh Steelers legend was head coach of the XFL’s San Antonio Brahmas last season and returns to the collegiate ranks for the first time since he was wide receivers coach at Florida Atlantic in 2021.

Brown reportedly was a candidate to replace Ra’Shaad Samples as Arizona State’s wide receivers coach. The retired wideout had been on the Patriots staff since 2020 and works in “skill development” under first-head coach Jerod Mayo. The 52-year-old never coached in college, but he has experience working with college players at the East-West Shrine Bowl and the Senior Bowl.

The former wide receivers coach was replaced by Tyler Hughes, and Tiquan Underwood, a former Patriots wideout, will work with Hughes as an assistant.

Story continues below advertisement

Brown could have joined fellow former staffers like Bill O’Brien and Steve Belichick who joined a college staff this offseason following Bill Belichick’s departure.

Ward’s reported arrival to Arizona State likely means Brown will be with the Patriots this season as Mayo looks to help New England rebound from its worst season in nearly two decades.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Featured image via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images