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Super Bowl champ takes over as head coach for USFL’s Maulers

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Ray Horton, a former NFL defensive back who won a Super Bowl with the Dallas Cowboys, was named the head coach of the United States Football League’s Pittsburgh Maulers Tuesday.

Horton will replace Kirby Wilson, who coached the Maulers last season. The Maulers were 1-9 in 2022.

“I’m humbled to join the USFL as the new Pittsburgh Maulers head coach,” Horton said in a news release. 

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Ray Horton of the Dallas Cowboys in action against the Philadelphia Eagles during a game Dec. 10, 1989, at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. Horton played for the Cowboys from 1989-92.

Ray Horton of the Dallas Cowboys in action against the Philadelphia Eagles during a game Dec. 10, 1989, at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. Horton played for the Cowboys from 1989-92.
(Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

“We’re returning a solid core from one of the best defenses in the league, including All-USFL safety Bryce Torneden and Pittsburgh-native Tre Tarpley. As we look for the next great quarterback in the USFL, I’m also excited about our returning offensive core. We will stay focused on delivering a USFL championship to Pittsburgh Maulers fans.”

Horton was a second-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1983 out of Washington. He had five interceptions in his first season with the Bengals and earned Defensive Rookie of the Year votes. He played six seasons with the Bengals and had 14 interceptions.

He joined the Cowboys in 1989 and won the Super Bowl with the team in 1992.

Defensive coordinator Ray Horton of the Cleveland Browns watches drills during training camp Aug. 9, 2016, at the Cleveland Browns' training complex in Berea, Ohio.

Defensive coordinator Ray Horton of the Cleveland Browns watches drills during training camp Aug. 9, 2016, at the Cleveland Browns’ training complex in Berea, Ohio.
(Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)

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“We are thrilled Ray Horton is joining the USFL family as the new Pittsburgh Maulers head coach,” USFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Daryl Johnston said. 

“He helped the Steelers win two Super Bowls as an assistant coach, so Pittsburgh football fans know him. He also won a Super Bowl as a player and my teammate on the 1992 Dallas Cowboys. Ray is a great leader and an even better person, and I’m excited to be teammates with him once again.”

Horton coach with several NFL teams after he was finished playing. He was an assistant with the Washington Redskins, Bengals, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns. He served as a defensive coordinator for the Cardinals, Browns and Titans.

Wilson resigned as Maulers head coach, citing personal reasons.

Head coach Kirby Wilson of the Pittsburgh Maulers during the first quarter of a game against the Michigan Panthers at Legion Field June 19, 2022, in Birmingham, Ala.

Head coach Kirby Wilson of the Pittsburgh Maulers during the first quarter of a game against the Michigan Panthers at Legion Field June 19, 2022, in Birmingham, Ala.
(Jamie Squire/USFL/Getty Images)

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“I want to thank the USFL, Daryl Johnston and the football support staff, but especially my assistant coaches and players,” Wison said. “I had a wonderful experience during the history-making first year of the USFL. I will be forever grateful and forever a fan of this professional league. Thank you for believing in me and for providing an opportunity.”

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