Ron Hughes, a long-time member of the Pittsburgh Steelers scouting department before his retirement in 2015, has died, the team announced Tuesday. Hughes was 75.
Hughes joined the Steelers in 2001 when he was hired by Kevin Colbert, who was coached by Hughes at North Catholic High School. After two years as a draft consultant, Hughes became the Steelers college scouting coordinator, and he helped assemble and draft players that contributed to the Steelers’ Super Bowl championship teams after the 2005 and 2008 seasons.
Hughes served as the team’s scouting coordinator for 10 seasons untilhe became a senior assistant in the department in 2013. He spent two years in that capacity before retiring.
In a statement announcing Hughes’ passing, the Steelers acknowledged his role in the “development of our Super Bowl XL and XLIII teams.”
Coach Mike Tomlin also paid tribute to Hughes via a Twitter post.
“We lost a good man with the passing of Ron Hughes,” Tomlin wrote. “Class man and awesome talent evaluator. You will be missed. Rest In Peace.”
Hughes graduated from Charleroi High School and Cal (Pa.) and coached in the high school ranks for 14 years before joining the BLESTO scouting service in 1979 as a local and regional scout. He moved on to the Detroit Lions scouting department in 1983 and spent 17 years with the organization, rising to the rank of vice president of player personnel.
One of his decisions with the Lions to hire Colbert, who repaid the favor to his former boss when he brought Hughes to the Steelers as a draft consultant.
“Ronnie taught us a system they had developed in Detroit of evaluation, of organization, of draft development,” Colbert said in an interview prior to Super Bowl XLIII. “I was working with him for 10 years, and when I came to Pittsburgh, we followed the same system that we used there. We added a few things here and there, but basically it’s Ron’s system that we continue to work under today.”
Hughes was residing in the Detroit suburbs at the time of his death.
Hughes is survived by his wife Adrianne and sons Ted and Scott and daughter Jennifer, and four grand-children.
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at [email protected] or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.