The Washington Redskins announced Pete Hoener as their new tight ends coach last week.
Hoener, 68, brings more than four decades of collegiate and professional coaching experience and has helped develop multiple Pro Bowl tight ends. Below are five things to know about Hoener.
1. He's brings more than four decades of collegiate and professional coaching experience.
After playing football at Bradley University in his hometown of Peoria, Illinois, Hoener began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Missouri in 1975.
Over the next quarter-century, he held offensive coaching jobs at eight different colleges while mixing in a two-year stint with the St. Louis Cardinals as their tight ends coach in 1985 and 1986. The Cardinals, now in Arizona, hired him back as their offensive line coach in 2001, and he's been in the NFL ever since.
Hoener's 45 years of coaching experience is second most on the Redskins' staff behind offensive line coach John Matsko.
2. He's the only tight ends coach Ron Rivera has ever had.
Hoener's NFL journey took him from Arizona to Chicago, where he served as the Bears' offensive line coach in 2004. He then spent the next six seasons coaching tight ends in San Francisco.
In 2011, Hoener joined forces with Ron Rivera, who was just hired as the head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Hoener, Rivera and Matsko coached together for eight-plus seasons, and during that stretch, the Panthers won three NFC South titles and advanced to Super Bowl 50 following the 2015 season.
Hoener and Matsko finished out the 2019 campaign following Rivera's firing in December, but it was not long before the trio was reunited. The Redskins announced Rivera as their new head coach on New Year's Day, and a few weeks later Hoener and Matsko officially became part of his coaching staff in Washington.
3. He's worked closely with Pro Bowlers Greg Olsen, Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker.
Greg Olsen, a first-round pick back in 2007, never had more than 60 receptions and 612 yards over his first four NFL seasons with the Chicago Bears.
But once he was traded to the Panthers in 2011, the same year Hoener and Rivera arrived, he quickly became one of the top tight ends in the NFL. Olsen made three straight Pro Bowls from 2014-16, averaging about 80 receptions and 1,060 yards and combining for 19 touchdowns.
For his career, Olsen currently ranks in the top 10 all-time among tight ends in catches (718), receiving yards (8,444) and touchdowns (59).
Before molding Olsen into a Pro Bowler, Hoener was in charge of grooming Davis and Walker, who were both selected in the 2006 NFL Draft. Davis quickly emerged as the 49ers No. 1 tight end and eventually became one of the better tight ends in all of football. Between 2009-11, Davis averaged 67 catches for 890 yards and found the end zone 26 times. He also set an NFL record for receiving touchdowns by a tight end with 13 in 2009.
"He is probably the best coach I've ever had," Davis told 49ers.com in 2009. "He knows anything you could want to know as a tight end."
Walker was not nearly as productive as Davis during his seven seasons in San Francisco, but he still carved out a role within the 49ers offense. He signed with Tennessee in 2013 and went on to make three straight Pro Bowls from 2015-17.
4. He's not considered a player's coach, but the relationships he's built mean everything to him.
Hoener has served under 17 head coaches during his career, but none of them taught him as much as his high school coach, Tom Peeler, according to a story on 49ers.com in 2009.
Peeler emphasized the importance of being an expert in whatever you're doing, and Hoener has taken pride in that wherever he's been. Peeler also taught Hoener how to develop and sustain relationships with his players.
Hoener is not considered a player's coach, and he's fine with that. But he cherishes the bonds he's formed with his players more than anything.
"Those relationships are everything," Hoener told 49ers.com in 2009. "My favorite memories are just seeing some of the players I have been around grow and have families and go into different jobs, even if it wasn't necessarily in football."
Hoener made that statement more than a decade ago, but there is little to suggest he has moved off that belief.
Hoener has been coaching for 45 straight seasons and just agreed to join Rivera in Washington. He used to fish and golf, but he gave those up a long time ago in favor of watching film and game planning. In fact, if any coach said that they have hobbies, he would call them a liar. There's just not enough time.
That is the right mindset to have for a coach joining a team coming off a 3-13 season. Now it's up to him and the rest of the Redskins coaching staff to turn this franchise around.