Steve Wilks - A Comprehensive Look at the Career of Steve Wilks - 15/Feb/2024

Steve Wilks – A Comprehensive Look at the Career of Steve Wilks – 15/Feb/2024

A Comprehensive Look at the Career of Steve Wilks

Steve Wilks, an accomplished figure in the American football landscape, has garnered attention and respect for his decades-long career, stretching from a player to one of the prominent coaching figures in the National Football League (NFL).

Early Life and Playing Career

Steve Wilks was born on August 8, 1969, in Charlotte, North Carolina. His journey in football began at a young age and eventually led him to Appalachian State University, where he played defensive back from 1987 to 1991. Although his playing career did not extend into the professional leagues, his experiences on the field during college laid the foundational knowledge and passion for game strategies and team management, which would be instrumental in his coaching career.

Transition to Coaching and Early Roles

After concluding his time as a collegiate athlete, Wilks’s transition to coaching started at the high school level before returning to his alma mater in a coaching capacity. The progression through various colleges

  • including stints at Savannah State University and Illinois State University among others
  • helped him build a resume that demonstrated an ability to improve defensive units and fostered leadership amongst his players.

    Rise Through the NFL Coaching Ranks

    Wilks’s entry into the NFL came in 2006 as the Chicago Bears’ defensive backs coach under head coach Lovie Smith. His impact was quickly felt as he developed players like Pro-Bowler Charles Tillman. Throughout the years, Wilks continued to move up in ranks within various teams such as the San Diego Chargers, Carolina Panthers, and Arizona Cardinals. His roles varied from secondary coach to defensive coordinator, showcasing not only his keen insight into defense but also an adaptable and consistent ability to improve team performance.

    Head Coaching Tenure with Arizona Cardinals

    In January 2018, Steve Wilks achieved what many coaches aspire to: he became the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. However, this pinnacle moment came with its share of obstacles. After a challenging season with only three wins against thirteen losses, Wilks was relieved of his position. Despite this setback, he remained a respected figure in NFL circles due to his strong leadership qualities and commitment to team ethics.

    Future Endeavors and Legacy

    Despite an up-and-down tenure as a head coach, Steve Wilks’s influence extends beyond his record. His focus on team strength and defense poised teams for success and created opportunities for athletes under his leadership. After departing from Arizona, Wilks continued to contribute to the sport at various levels showcasing that his expertise remains sought-after within both college football and the NFL.


  • Steve Wilks holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Appalachian State University.
  • Beginning as a positional coach, he worked extensively with defensive backs before becoming a head coach in the NFL.
  • During his one year as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Steve Wilks implemented significant changes in an effort to build a foundation for future success.
  • Throughout his career in coaching, Wilks has built a reputation for being a disciplined and knowledgeable professional.
  • *Image description: A candid shot of Steve Wilks wearing professional sports attire with a headset around his neck, intensely watching from the sidelines of an NFL game as head coach.*