|Position:||Wide receivers coach|
|Born:||April 5, 1976|
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||210 lb (95 kg)|
|High school:||Patterson (LA)|
|NFL Draft:||1997 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7|
|As a player:|
|As a coach:|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
Isaac Jason Hilliard (born April 5, 1976) is a former American football wide receiver and current wide receivers coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Florida, and earned All-American honors. He was a first-round pick by the New York Giants in the 1997 NFL Draft, and also played professionally for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Hilliard was born in Patterson, Louisiana in 1976.He attended Patterson High School, where he was a star high school football player for the Patterson Lumberjacks. During his senior year, he played quarterback, wingback, wide receiver and free safety. That year, he rushed for 737 yards and 12 touchdowns, caught 20 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns, had 45 tackles and intercepted five passes. He was rated among the top 10 defensive backs in the Southeast, but he had his heart set on playing wide receiver.
Hilliard accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played wide receiver for coach Steve Spurrier's Florida Gators football team from 1994 to 1996 although never having played the position before.During his three seasons as a Gator, the team won three SEC Championships in 1994, 1995, and 1996. As a junior in 1996, he was paired with fellow Gators receiver Reidel Anthony and both posted 1,000-yard seasons, and both Hilliard and Anthony were recognized as first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selections and consensus first-team All-Americans, as the Gators won the Bowl Alliance national championship—their first-ever national football title. Hilliard's efforts made him a semi-finalist for the Fred Biletnikoff Award in 1996. The Gators finished the season with a record of 12–1 after a 52–20 victory over the top-ranked Florida State Seminoles in the 1997 Sugar Bowl. Hilliard had a sensational performance in the 1997 Sugar Bowl victory for Florida against their arch rival Florida State. His greatest play became known as the “STOP AND POP” as he snagged a Danny Wuerffel pass, took one hard step towards the end zone, then stopped on a dime as the Seminole defenders could only wave at him as he dashed the remaining 15 years to the end zone. It was the second of a Sugar Bowl-record three touchdowns for Hilliard and it gave the Gators a 24-10 advantage in what ended as a 52-20 Florida victory. Memorably, he set three Sugar Bowl Records against the Seminoles at the time: he had 150 receiving yards, including an 82-yard touchdown catch, and scored a total of three touchdowns for eighteen points.
Hilliard was among the members of the 11th Anniversary class inducted into the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame. Hilliard's signature game against Georgia came in 1995, when he hauled in five passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns, as the Gators claimed a 52-17 victory over the Bulldogs.He was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 2009.
Hilliard was honored as an SEC Legend in 2011. [ circular reference ] He was chosen for The Florida Football All-Century Team, chosen by Gator fans and compiled by The Gainesville Sun in the fall of 1999. Additionally, he was selected to The 100th-Anniversary Florida Team that was selected in 2006 to celebrate a century of Florida football. Fans voted by mail and online. [ circular reference ]
Hilliard declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft after his junior season, and finished his college career with 126 receptions for 2,214 yards and twenty-nine touchdowns.In a 2006 series published by The Gainesville Sun, he was recognized as No. 14 among the 100 all-time greatest Gator players from the first century of Florida football.
The New York Giants chose Hilliard in the first round (seventh pick overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft,and he played his first eight seasons for the Giants from 1997 to 2004. He became a regular starter in 1998, helping the Giants shut out the Minnesota Vikings 41-0 in the NFC Championship Game. The New York wide receiver had 10 receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns to help his team reach Super Bowl XXXV following the 2000 regular season. A string of injuries kept him from the field throughout his time with the Giants. During the second game of his rookie year, Hilliard was hit by Jacksonville safety Chris Hudson and sustained a sprained interspinous ligament between his sixth and seventh vertebrae. He underwent posterior spine stabilization surgery which fused the two vertebrae. After an 8-month rehabilitation period, Hilliard was named the Ed Block Courage Award recipient, voted for by their teammates as role models of inspiration, sportsmanship, and courage. He continued his level of play with disregard for his personal safety with a cringe-inducing medical record: bruised lungs and a bruised sternum in 2000; foot surgery before the 2001 season; a dislocated shoulder in 2002. He finished his career with the Giants with 368 receptions for 4,630 yards and twenty-seven touchdowns. After a distinguished career that includes ranking 6th in franchise history in receptions and 10th in receiving yards, on July 30, 2010, he signed a one-day contract to retire as a New York Giant.
Hilliard signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2004 season. During his first two seasons with Tampa Bay, he was used mainly as a third or fourth receiver, but in 2007 he started ten games making sixty-two receptions for 722 yards.During his time with the Bucs, he became a third down specialist, 111 of 178 career catches resulting in a 1st down. Head Coach Jon Gruden referred to him as "Third and Ike". On October 19, 2008, Hilliard refused to be carted off the field during a Sunday Night Football 20-10 win over the Seattle Seahawks after a helmet-to-helmet hit by Seattle linebacker Leroy Hill, who hit Hilliard in a head-on collision as Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu hit him from behind, forcing his body to go limp after making a catch in the second quarter. After four seasons, Hilliard was released by the Buccaneers on February 25, 2009. He was one of five veterans that the Bucs released on that day. The others were wide receiver Joey Galloway, running back Warrick Dunn and linebackers Derrick Brooks and Cato June. The Bucs had previously fired Head Coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Bruce Allen and were looking to build a younger team under the likes of Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik.
In his twelve-season NFL career, Hilliard appeared in 161 regular season games, started 105 of them, and made 546 catches for 6,397 yards and thirty-five touchdowns.He also had 126 rushing yards on sixteen attempts.
Forced to retire after a string of injuries and nine surgeries, Hilliard became a volunteer receivers coach for the UFL's Florida Tuskers, a charter UFL franchise based in Orlando, Florida. In 2010, he became the Tuskers' new wide receivers coach for the season. He worked alongside Head Coach Jim Haslett and Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden. The Tuskers appeared in the first two UFL Championship Games, losing both to the Las Vegas Locomotives. In 2010, the league suspended the Tuskers' operations and moved the remnants of the team to Virginia Beach to assume the identity (and some executive staff) of a previously announced expansion team that was to begin play in 2011.
In 2011, Hilliard returned to the NFL as an assistant wide receivers coach for the Miami Dolphins under Head Coach Tony Sparano assisting in the development of Brandon Marshall and Brian Hartline.
In 2012, Hilliard was hired by Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins as the wide receivers coach. He oversaw a unit that had four wide receivers with at least 500 receiving yards or more (Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Josh Morgan and Pierre Garçon). The Redskins ended the regular season with a 7-game winning streak to finish with a 10–6 record, leading to a NFC East division championship and a 4th seed spot in the playoffs. It was their first division title since 1999. [ circular reference ]
In 2013, the Buffalo Bills hired Hilliard as the wide receivers coach.Hilliard oversaw a young group of receivers that included veteran Steve Johnson and rookies Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin.
In January 2014, Hilliard was reunited with Jay Gruden when the Head Coach named Hilliard the wide receivers coach of the Washington Redskins of the NFL. This would be his second stint with the Redskins reunited with a veteran unit that included Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson and Santana Moss. In the 2015 season, the Redskins made a return to the playoffs since their appearance in 2012. The Redskins would go on a 4-game winning streak to finish the season, and win the NFC East with a 9–7 record. However, the Redskins lost to the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card round 35–18, ending their season.During the 2019 season, Hilliard helped to develop a group of rookie wide receivers which included Terry McLaurin, Kelvin Harmon and Steven Sims. McLaurin finished the season with 58 receptions for 919 yards and 7 touchdowns, and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team.
Hilliard joined the Pittsburgh Steelers to be their wide receivers coach in February 2020.Rookie Chase Claypool was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round, 49th overall, in the 2020 NFL Draft as the team's first selection. Under Hilliard, Claypool became the first Steelers rookie in franchise history to score four touchdowns in a game, and the first Steeler since Roy Jefferson in 1968 to do so. Claypool also became the only wide receiver in NFL history to accomplish this feat in the same game. His performance helped the team start out with a 4–0 record for the first time since 1979. On October 14, 2020, Claypool was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Week 5. Claypool would finish the season passing former Steelers wideout Troy Edwards for the most receptions by a rookie in franchise history, snagging his 62nd of the season on the touchdown pass from quarterback Mason Rudolph during Week 17. Claypool also tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Franco Harris and former Steelers wide receiver Louis Lipps for the most touchdowns scored by a Steelers rookie in a single season with 11. Both records added to an already impressive first season for the former Notre Dame wideout, who won the Joe Greene Great Performance Award as the Steelers’ top rookie and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team.
Hilliard is the nephew of former New Orleans Saints running back Dalton Hilliard. His cousin Kenny Hilliard is a former NFL Player. He is married to Lourdes, his wife of 19 years, and has five children. After declaring for the 1997 NFL Draft as a true junior and spending 21 years in the NFL (as a player and coach), Hilliard returned to the University of Florida to complete his degree.He worked as an NFL coach while quietly working to complete his degree from 2013 to 2018.
Darrell Lamont Jackson is an American former college and professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons during the 2000s. Jackson played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos of the NFL.
Derrick Jabar Gaffney is an American former football wide receiver. He played college football for the University of Florida, and was recognized as a consensus All-American. He was drafted by the Houston Texans in the second round of the 2002 NFL draft, and also played for the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins.
Andre Jerome "Bubba" Caldwell, is an American former professional football player who was a wide receiver and kickoff returner in the National Football League (NFL). Caldwell played college football for the Florida Gators, where he was a member of a BCS National Championship team. A third-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, he has played professionally for the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos. With the Broncos, he won Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers.
Gary C. Clark is an American former professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins (1985–92), Phoenix Cardinals (1993–94), and Miami Dolphins (1995).
Thomas Lance Rentzel is a former American football flanker in the National Football League (NFL) for the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, and Los Angeles Rams. He played college football at the University of Oklahoma.
Taylor Houser Jacobs is an American former college and professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for five seasons during the early 2000s. Jacobs played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos of the NFL.
William Percival Harvin III is a former American football wide receiver. He played college football at Florida, when the Gators won the BCS National Championship in 2006 and 2008, and was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL) in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Harvin also played for the Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. He was named the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2009 and won Super Bowl XLVIII with the Seahawks in 2013 over the Denver Broncos. He attended and played football for Landstown High School in Virginia Beach, where his team won the high school state championship in 2004.
Wesley Sandy Chandler is an American former professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for eleven seasons during the 1970s and 1980s. He was selected to the Pro Bowl four times, and ranked twelfth in NFL history in receiving yards and thirteenth in receptions when he retired. Chandler is a member of the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame. He played college football for the Florida Gators and was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
D'Tanyian Jacquez "Quezi" Green is an American former college and professional football player who was a wide receiver and punt returner in the National Football League (NFL) for five seasons during the 1990s and early 2000s. Green played college football for the University of Florida, and earned All-American honors. He was a second-round pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Washington Redskins and the Detroit Lions of the NFL.
Michael Ray Renfro is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Houston Oilers and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Texas Christian University.
Reidel Clarence Anthony is a former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League (NFL) from 1997 to 2001. Anthony played college football for the University of Florida, and received consensus All-American honors. He was a first-round pick in the 1997 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL.
Dallas Leon Baker is a former American football wide receiver. Baker played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he has played professionally for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL) and the Jacksonville Sharks of the Arena Football League (AFL). As a member of the Steelers, he won Super Bowl XLIII against the Arizona Cardinals. He is currently the wide receivers coach at the University at Buffalo.
Ernest Lee Mills, III is an American former American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at the University of Florida.
Willie Bernard Jackson, Jr. is a former American professional football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins. He played college football at the University of Florida. As a football coach, he was the wide receivers coach for the Orlando Apollos of the Alliance of American Football (AAF).
The 1996 Florida Gators football team represented the University of Florida in the sport of American football during the 1996 college football season. The 1996 season was the team's seventh under head coach Steve Spurrier. The Gators competed in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and played their home games at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on the university's Gainesville, Florida campus.
Jimmy Robinson is a former American football wide receiver and retired wide receivers coach of the National Football League. He played for the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers during his playing career. He was a wide receivers coach in professional football since 1984, coaching for the Memphis Showboats, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, and most recently the Dallas Cowboys.
Amari Cooper is an American football wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Alabama, where he was the Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation's top receiver and a unanimous All-American in 2014. Widely considered the top wide receiver prospect of the 2015 NFL Draft, he was selected with the fourth overall pick by the Oakland Raiders.
Kelvin Benjamin is an American football wide receiver for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Florida State and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He also played for the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.
Cody Derek Latimer is an American football wide receiver who is a free agent. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Indiana. He was a member of the Broncos in their Super Bowl 50 win against the Carolina Panthers and has been a member of the New York Giants and Washington Football Team.
Terry McLaurin is an American football wide receiver for the Washington Football Team of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Ohio State and was drafted by Washington, then known as the Redskins, in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He was named to the 2019 PFWA All-Rookie Team after recording over 900 receiving yards with seven touchdowns.