The Pittsburg Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin has been awfully impressive replacing his predecessor Bill Cowher. In his first two seasons as head coach, he led the Steelers to 22 wins and two AFC North division titles, both franchise records. In that second season, the Steelers defeated the Balltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game making Tomlin the youngest NFL head coach to lead his team to the Super Bowl, and of course, the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl. Tomlin was named Coach of the Year following that season.
Since then, Tomlin has led the Steelers to a second Super Bowl (a 31-25 loss to the Packers) and playoff appearances in two of the next three seasons. Now, heading into a match up against the defending Super Bowl champions, ESPN’s Jamison Hensley has reported that he has the opportunity to become the fourth-fastest head coach to reach 60 regular season wins.
Now, Tomlin is on the brink of another impressive benchmark as an NFL head coach. A win at the New York Giants would tie Tomlin with Chuck Knox for the fourth-fastest to reach 60 victories among coaches who began their careers since 1970. Tomlin would notch his 60th win in 88 games, which would be the fastest of any current coach to reach that mark.
The only coaches to record their 60th win faster have been: San Francisco’s George Seifert (75 games), Washington’s Joe Gibbs (84) and Chicago’s Mike Ditka (85). Tomlin would also edge out former Steelers coach Bill Cowher, who didn’t celebrate his 60th victory until his 90th game.
Whether or not he wins this weekend, that fact that he’s even in the same conversation with the likes of four hall of fame coaches in Seifert, Gibbs, Ditka and Cowher is a testament to what he’s done in his young career. It’s also a testament to how well the Steelers organization has done in selecting their head coaches as Tomlin is only on pace to edge out Cowher by two games. The Dolphins interviewed Tomiln during the same off-season the Steelers did and Miami went with Cam Cameron — and we all know how that ended.
Sunday’s game is still scheduled to be played in MetLife Stadium despite the damage Hurricane Sandy has done to the area. Should the NFL end up re-scheduling the game, the Steelers’ Tomlin may have to wait until their Week 10 match-up against the lowly Chiefs next Monday Night.