Feb. 19, 2014
PITTSBURGH—Former NFL receiver Greg Lewis, who played in Super Bowl XXXIX with the Philadelphia Eagles and won an ESPY Award with the Minnesota Vikings, has been named Pitt’s wide receivers coach by Paul Chryst.
Lewis played six seasons in Philadelphia (2003-08) and two with Minnesota (2009-10). He was a member of the Eagles’ 2004 NFC champion team that faced the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Lewis caught a fourth-quarter touchdown against the Patriots, who narrowly triumphed, 24-21.
Lewis is forever entrenched in Vikings lore for his role in one of the most dramatic finishes in franchise history. On Sept. 27, 2009, he made a tightrope catch in the back of the end zone with two seconds left to lift Minnesota past the San Francisco 49ers, 27-24. Lewis shared the ESPY Award for “Best Play” with Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, who launched the miracle 32-yard pass that was acrobatically hauled in by Lewis.
For his eight-year NFL career, Lewis compiled 152 catches for 1,992 yards (13.1 avg.) and eight touchdowns.
Following his playing career, Lewis coached receivers in the college ranks the past two seasons, spending the 2013 season at San Jose State and 2012 with the University of San Diego. He began his coaching career as a summer intern with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012.
A Chicago native, Lewis was a four-year letterman for Illinois and totaled 103 catches for 1,456 yards (14.1 avg.) and 12 touchdowns from 1999-2002. He finished his collegiate career ranked sixth all-time in touchdown catches, ninth in receiving yards and 10th in receptions at Illinois. As a junior, Lewis helped the Illini to a 12-2 record, the Big Ten championship and berth in the Sugar Bowl.
“Greg really impressed us with his knowledge, energy and desire to teach the game,” Chryst said. “His background as a college and NFL receiver will serve our players and staff well. I know he is excited to get started and we’re equally excited about him joining us in Pittsburgh.”
“It is a tremendous opportunity to work with a great coach in Paul Chryst at a storied program like Pitt,” Lewis said. “We are going to work very hard to build on the great history that Pitt has. I’m a city guy and I just love the area where the university is located. Pittsburgh is an exciting city with tremendous football tradition. I’m looking forward to getting there and getting started.”
At San Jose State last year, Lewis oversaw the development of first-team All-Mountain West Conference (MWC) performer Chandler Jones and MWC Freshman of the Year Tyler Winston.
Jones enjoyed a prolific season under Lewis’ watch with 79 catches for 1,356 yards (17.2 avg.) and a school-record 15 touchdowns. He finished third nationally in touchdown catches and sixth in receiving yards per game (113.0 avg.).
Winston earned the MWC’s top freshman honor after collecting 58 catches for 858 yards (14.8 avg.) and five touchdowns. He distinguished himself during the regular season with four 100-yard receiving games, including a career-high 164 yards on 10 catches in the Spartans’ 62-52 upset of No. 16 Fresno State, which entered the game with BCS aspirations and a 10-0 record.
In 2012, Lewis coached the receivers at the University of San Diego, which went 8-3 and claimed a share of the Pioneer Football League (PFL) title. His pupils included All-PFL receiver Sam Hoekstra, who set a USD record with 246 receiving yards vs. Dayton.
Lewis is a 2002 graduate of Illinois with a degree in speech communications. He and his wife Tamika have two sons, Sonny and Gavin.
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