American Football Wiki
Hines Ward
Ward playing for the Steelers.
No. 86
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: March 8 1976 (1976-03-08) (age 46)
Place of birth: Seoul, South Korea
Height: 6 ft 0 in Weight: 205 lbs
Career information
College: Georgia
NFL Draft: 1998; Round: 3 / Pick: 93rd
Selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers
Pro career: 1998-2012
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • 4× Pro Bowl selection (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
  • 3× 2nd Team All-Pro selection (2002, 2003, 2004)
  • 2× Super Bowl Champion (XL, XLIII)
  • Super Bowl XL MVP
  • 2003 Steelers MVP
  • 2× Steelers co-MVP (2002, 2005)

Hines E. Ward, Jr. (born March 8, 1976 in Seoul, South Korea) is a retired American football player who played as wide receiver. He was voted MVP of Super Bowl XL. Born to a Korean mother and an African American father, he has become an advocate for the acceptance of biracial youths in South Korea.[1]

High school years

He was 5 ft. 9 in. 175 pounds in High School.

College career

As a wide receiver(5ft9) for the University of Georgia Bulldogs (1994–1997), Ward's 149 career receptions for 1,965 yards placed him second in team history. He also played tailback and totaled 3,870 all-purpose yards, second only to Herschel Walker in Bulldogs history. In 1996, Hines had 52 receptions for 900 yards, and also ran 26 times for 170 yards. In 1997, Hines hauled in 55 passes and scored six TDs, getting All-SEC honors in the process. He also holds Georgia records for Pass Attempts, Pass Completions, and Passing Yards in a bowl game, from the 1995 Peach Bowl in which he completed 31 of 59 passes for 413 yards.

When he came out of college it was discovered that Ward was missing an ACL in his left knee, which he lost during a bicycle accident during childhood.[2][3] This may well have affected his position in the NFL draft. He received his bachelor's degree in consumer economics from UGA, where he became a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.

Professional career

Ward makes a tough catch against the Baltimore Ravens in 2006.Ward's versatility has served him well as a professional wide receiver. Since being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft, he has earned three team Most Valuable Player (MVP) selections. He is considered to be one of the best wide outs in the game because of his great hands and his willingness to block. He is also a four-time NFL Pro Bowl selection (2001–2004). He also had a streak of 4 consecutive 1,000 yard seasons, which likely could have been extended in the 2005 NFL season if he had not missed a game due to injury. In 2002, he set a Steelers franchise record for receptions (112), and touchdowns (12), and was named to his first of two consecutive All-NFL teams. While he is considered one of the best blocking receivers in the NFL, he has also been criticized for habitually hitting defenders on their blind-side.

In 2005, Ward missed the first two weeks of training camp in a holdout for a contract extension that would increase his salary. Ward had considered holding out before camp in 2004, but had been persuaded by the Steelers that they could work out an extension during the year. Ward eventually showed up on August 15, 2005 and was on the sidelines for Pittsburgh's first preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles that night, though he did not play in that game. On September 5, 2005, the Steelers announced that they had reached an agreement on a four-year contract extension worth $25.83 million with Ward.[4]

On November 13, 2005, Ward became the Steelers all-time leading receiver with his 538th catch against the Browns on Sunday Night Football overcoming John Stallworth's record. The Steelers won 34-21. Ward is also renowned as a terrific post-season receiver, accumulating 76 receptions, 1,064 yards, and 8 receiving touchdowns in 14 post-season appearances. On February 5, 2006, Ward was named MVP in Super Bowl XL as the Pittsburgh Steelers won 21-10. Ward became the second foreign born player to earn the accolade. Ward scored a 43 yard touchdown in the 4th quarter, thrown by fellow wide receiver Antwaan Randle El. Overall, Ward had five receptions for 123 yards, one TD and one rush for 18 yards.

Immediately following Super Bowl XL, Ward was videotaped for the latest "I'm Going to Disney World!" TV commercial, adding "...and I'm taking The Bus!" Ward and Steelers teammate Jerome "The Bus" Bettis appeared in a victory parade at the Magic Kingdom theme park on February 6 along with Emmitt Smith.

On December 2, 2007, Ward became the Steelers all-time touchdown receptions leader with his 64th touchdown reception against the Bengals on Sunday Night Football.[5] Then on December 20, 2007, Ward became the Steelers all-time receiving yardage leader in a game against the St. Louis Rams.

A physical player, Ward was criticized for his block on rookie Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers during a game on October 19, 2008. The impact of the block left Rivers with a broken jaw. Ward was not penalized for his hard block and it was later deemed to be within the rules and he was not fined by the league, though the league would pass a rule banning such hits for the 2009 NFL season.[6]

According to Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens when the Ravens played the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football that season, the Ravens players placed bounty on Ward and rookie running back Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall left the game with a broken shoulder which ended his season. Ward talked about Suggs' comments in an interview on Pardon the Interruption. Although he held up an NFL policy banning bounties, he thought it was also humorous that they would do it to him. Ward attempts to break Sammy Knight's tackle during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs in 2006.On December 28, 2008, Ward caught his 800th NFL reception, extending his record for receptions by a Steeler receiver.[7] Also in this game, Ward achieved his first 1000 yard season since 2004, finishing with 81 receptions for 1043 yards and 7 touchdowns on the year. In the 2008 Playoffs, Ward recorded 9 receptions for 168 yards. In the win 27-23 over Arizona Cardinals at the Super Bowl XLIII, Ward played a supporting role, catching two passes for 43 yards. He played the game with a sprained right MCL.[8] Two weeks after the Super Bowl, he underwent a minor surgical procedure on his shoulder and further operation will not be necessary.

Ward was signed to a four-year, $22 million extension by the Steelers on April 25, 2009, which will likely keep him with the Steelers for the remainder of his career.[9]

On September 28, 2009, during the 2009 Season game against Cincinnati, Ward’s four catches for 82 yards vaulted him past 10,000 career receiving yards and made him the first wide receiver in Steelers’ history to achieve that plateau.[10] On third-and-two Ben Roethlisberger hit Ward for a 14-yard gain, giving Ward 10,001 career receiving yards. Ward finished the 2009 season with 95 receptions for 1,167 yards and 6 touchdowns.

In a September 12, 2010 home game against the Atlanta Falcons, Ward became the first player in Steeler history to pass 11,000 receiving yards. He caught 108 yards worth of passes in that game to pass Hall of Fame Steeler receiver John Stallworth for most 100-yard receiving games all time for the Steelers with his 26th. His 6 catches against the Falcons gave him 901 for his career, making him only the 12th NFL player of all time to surpass 900 career receptions.


Ward prior to a game in 2008.Hines Ward resides in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has a son named Jaden. On his upper right arm he has a tattoo of Mickey Mouse in the Heisman pose, just below a tattoo of his name in Hangul, the Korean alphabet.[11]

Business and media enterprises

Ward co-owned a bar in Pittsburgh's South Side called "The Locker Room".[12] The bar sustained serious water damage in February 2007, due to flooding from a malfunctioning boiler, and it was closed for repairs until June of that year.[13] The bar received an insurance settlement of $500,000, which subsequently became an issue during a legal dispute between the bar's owners.[13]

On September 11, 2007, co-owner Nicholas Lettieri withdrew the entirety of the bar's funds, approximately $19,000, from a corporate account, causing it to miss a large number of scheduled payments.[13] The company filed suit for the return of the money, and Lettieri subsequently justified his actions by claiming that the money was owed to him, also voicing the belief that the other co-owners, Ward and Kimberly Pitts, as well as Pitts's husband Korry Pitts, had falsified invoices and diverted company funds to their own bank accounts.[13] Company attorney Thomas Castello dismissed Lettieri's allegations as "baseless, ridiculous and unfounded," and the matter is currently before the court.[13]

The Locker Room reopened under the name "South Side 86", and is now entirely owned by Ward, who bought out his co owners.

In September 2006, Ward began hosting the "Hines Ward Show" on Pittsburgh CBS affiliate KDKA-TV.[14]

As a figure for social change

Ward's mother, Kim Young-hee (김영희) is Korean and his father, Hines Ward, Sr., is African-American. In 2006, Ward became the first Korean-American to win the Super Bowl MVP award. This achievement threw him into the media spotlight in South Korea.[15]

From April 3 through May 30, 2006, Ward returned to his birthplace of Seoul for the first time since his parents moved to the United States when he was one year old. Ward used his celebrity status to arrange "hope-sharing" meetings with multiracial Korean children and to encourage social and political reform. At one hope-sharing meeting, he told a group of children, "If the country can accept me for who I am and accept me for being a Korean, I'm pretty sure that this country can change and accept you for who you are."[15] On his final day in Korea, he donated $1 million USD to create the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation, which the AP called "a foundation to help mixed-race children like himself in South Korea, where they have suffered discrimination."[16]

In January 2007, former Steeler and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Franco Harris, owner of R Super Foods, honored Ward for his philanthropic efforts by featuring Ward's picture and story on boxes of Super Buns. Like Ward, Harris also won a Super Bowl MVP award (in Super Bowl IX) and is also biracial, being both African-American and Italian-American.

In September 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Ward as a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

A photo of Hines Ward.