The Washington Redskins announced Jim Hostler as their wide receivers coach on Wednesday.
Hostler, 53, brings 19 years of experience to the Redskins and spent time with 11 teams, including the Carolina Panthers during the 2019 season. He has worked with No. 1 wide receivers like D.J. Moore, Devante Adams and T.Y. Hilton.
1. He was a standout cornerback in college.
Hostler was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and stayed local by playing football at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He played cornerback with the Indians from 1986-89 and was a big contributor on a stingy and suffocating defense. In the four seasons he was with the team, the Indians' secondary gave up averages of 150.5, 157.3, 138.6 and 131.4 passing yards per game.
Hostler was a four-time letterman and two-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference all-conference selection with the Indians. One of his best seasons came during his sophomore year when he had 66 tackles and six interceptions. He ended his senior year with 39 tackles, a fumble recovery, five interception and four passes defended.
Throughout those four seasons, the Indians never gave up more than 13 points per game, earned two conference titles, made three trips to the PSAC Division II playoffs and had a record of 38-9.
2. He had two coaching stints with his alma mater.
Hostler got his bachelor's in criminology in 1989, but he immediately began his coaching career with his alma mater as a running backs coach. He was with the Indians for three seasons under the role, and in his first two years the Indians rushed for a combined 5,759 yards and 80 touchdowns.
That success earned him an offensive coordinator position with Juniata College, but he was only there for one season before coming back to IUP as a wide receivers coach. Once again, Hostler's position group excelled under his leadership, as the receivers eclipsed 2,000 yards twice in his three seasons and averaged at least 15 yards per catch in each year.
Hostler went on to coaching linebackers before eventually being named the Indians' offensive coordinator in 1999. His offense scored 22.9 points per contest while outgaining opposing offenses by nearly 1,000 yards. His tenure only lasted one season as his alma mater's offensive coordinator, though. He became an offensive quality control coach for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2000 and has been in the NFL ever since.
3. He has worked with current Redskins quarterback Alex Smith.
Hostler bounced around the league after spending only one season with the Chiefs. He was an assistant wide receivers coach with the New Orleans Saints and was the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach for the New York Jets. Eventually, he found his way onto the San Francisco 49ers' staff as a quarterbacks coach in 2005 -- the same year the team drafted Smith with the No.1 overall pick.
Smith was only one of four quarterbacks who saw the field in his first season. He battled injury and was placed in and out of the starting lineup throughout the year, and the 49ers finished with a 4-12 record. Smith was the full-time starter in the following season, playing all 16 games while throwing for 2,890 yards with 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
Hostler was promoted to the team's offensive coordinator in 2007, but Smith struggled with injury again and only appeared in seven games. Trent Dilfer, Shaun Hill and Chris Weinke all received time in the starting role while the 49ers finished 5-11. Hostler was relieved of his duties and joined the Baltimore Ravens as their wide receivers coach -- a position he held for the next six seasons.
4. He has worked wonders with young wide receivers.
Hostler worked with three teams (Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers) before joining the Panthers in 2019, and all those franchises had highly-touted young talents at wide receivers in Sammy Watkins, Hilton and Adams. All three of them had successful seasons under Hostler.
He was a senior offensive assistant with the Bills during Watkins' first season in 2014, when he set franchise records among rookie receivers in receptions (65) and yards (982).
In 2015, Hostler guided Hilton, who caught 82 receptions for 1,345 yards, which were career-highs at the times, and was selected to his first Pro Bowl.
Last season, Hostler worked with Adams as the Packers' passing game coordinator. The Packers finished 6-9-1, but Adams flourished under Hostler. He had career-highs in targets (169), receptions (111), yards (1,386), touchdowns (13) and catch percentage (65.7%).
Now, Hostler will work with Terry McLaurin, who finished with one of the best rookie seasons for a receiver in Redskins history and was named to the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) All-Rookie Team.
5. He has D.J. Moore's endorsement
The 2019 season was only Moore's second in the NFL, but he made dramatic improvements from his rookie year by finishing with 1,175 yards on 87 receptions, eclipsing his 788-yard, 55-catch rookie numbers.
Moore credits Hostler for getting the most out of him and fellow receiver Curtis Samuel.
"Hoss, he did everything he could," Moore told Panthers.com. "From the little details to even the minor, minor, minor details to make sure we were ready week in and week out. From the time he came in at OTAs to now, there's been growth that both of us took. To have him in the room was something big this year."
McLaurin wasn't drafted nearly as high as Moore; he was a third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, while Moore was a first-rounder in the previous year. McLaurin's numbers were higher in his rookie year, though; he had 58 receptions for 919 yards in 14 games to go with seven touchdowns.
Based on what Hostler did with Moore, there is a good chance those numbers will increase in McLaurin's second season.