Mike Tomlin

Last updated

Mike Tomlin
Mike Tomlin.jpg
Tomlin with the Steelers in 2007
Pittsburgh Steelers
Position: Head coach
Personal information
Born: (1972-03-15) March 15, 1972 (age 47)
Hampton, Virginia
Career information
High school: Newport News (VA) Denbigh
College: William & Mary
Undrafted: 1995
Career history
As coach:
Head coaching record
Regular season:127–70–1 (.644)
Postseason:8–7 (.533)
Career:135–77–1 (.636)
Coaching stats at PFR

Michael Pettaway Tomlin (born March 15, 1972) is an American football coach who is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL), having led the team since 2007. Tomlin was the youngest head coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl, doing so at the age of 36 in Super Bowl XLIII against the Arizona Cardinals.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team with possession of the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with the ball or passing it, while the defense, the team without possession of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs or plays; if they fail, they turn over the football to the defense, but if they succeed, they are given a new set of four downs to continue the drive. Points are scored primarily by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

A head coach, senior coach, or manager is a professional at training and developing athletes. They typically hold a more public profile and are paid more than other coaches. In some sports, the head coach is instead called the "manager", as in association football and professional baseball. In other sports such as Australian rules football, the head coach is generally termed a senior coach.

Pittsburgh Steelers National Football League franchise in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) North division. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC.

Contents

Early life

Tomlin was born in Hampton, Virginia, [1] the younger of two sons; his brother, Eddie, is three and a half years older. Their father, Ed Tomlin, played football at Hampton Institute in the 1960s, was drafted by the Baltimore Colts, and later played for the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League. The elder Tomlin died in January 2012 from an apparent heart attack in Ocala, Florida, at the age of 63. However, Tomlin hardly knew his birth father and was raised by his mother and stepfather, Julia and Leslie Copeland, who married when Tomlin was six years old.

Hampton, Virginia Independent city in Virginia

Hampton is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 137,438.

History of the Indianapolis Colts aspect of history

The Indianapolis Colts are a professional American football team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They play in the South Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The organization began play in 1953 as the Baltimore Colts with the team located in Baltimore, Maryland; it relocated to Indianapolis following the 1983 season.

Montreal Alouettes Canadian Football team

The Montreal Alouettes are a professional Canadian football team based in Montreal, Quebec. Founded in 1946, the team has folded and been revived twice. The Alouettes compete in the East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and last won the Grey Cup championship in 2010. Their home field is Percival Molson Memorial Stadium for the regular season and as of 2014 also home of their playoff games.

Tomlin graduated in 1990 from Denbigh High School in Newport News, Virginia. He attended the College of William and Mary, becoming a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. As a wide receiver, he was a second-team All-Yankee Conference selection in 1994.

Denbigh High School is a high school in Newport News, Virginia. Denbigh carries grades nine through twelve and has an enrollment of approximately 1,500 students. This school was rated "Fully Accredited" by the Virginia Department of Education for the 2005-2006 school year. Denbigh is the only host to the Aviation program in all of Newport News Public Schools.

Newport News, Virginia Independent city in Virginia, United States

Newport News is an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 180,719. In 2013, the population was estimated to be 183,412, making it the fifth-most populous city in Virginia.

Kappa Alpha Psi historically Black fraternity

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. (ΚΑΨ) is a collegiate Greek-letter fraternity with a predominantly African-American membership. Since the fraternity's founding on January 5, 1911 at Indiana University Bloomington, the fraternity has never limited membership based on color, creed or national origin. The fraternity has over 160,000 members with 721 undergraduate and alumni chapters in every state of the United States, and international chapters in the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, Japan, United States Virgin Islands, Nigeria, South Africa, and The Bahamas.

Coaching career

College football

His coaching career began in 1995 as the wide receiver coach at Virginia Military Institute under head coach Bill Stewart. Tomlin spent the 1996 season as a graduate assistant at the University of Memphis, where he worked with the defensive backs and special teams. Following a brief stint on the University of Tennessee at Martin's coaching staff, Tomlin was hired by Arkansas State University in 1997 to coach its defensive backs. Tomlin stayed there for two seasons, before being hired as defensive backs coach by the University of Cincinnati.

Virginia Military Institute United States historic place

Founded 11 November 1839 in Lexington, Virginia, the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) is the oldest state-supported military college and the first public Senior Military College in the United States. In keeping with its founding principles and unlike any other Senior Military College in the United States, VMI enrolls cadets only and awards baccalaureate degrees exclusively. VMI offers its students, all of whom are cadets, strict military discipline combined with a physically and academically demanding environment. The Institute grants degrees in 14 disciplines in engineering, the sciences and liberal arts, and all VMI students are required to participate in one of the three ROTC programs.

University of Memphis Public research university in Memphis, Tennessee, USA

The University of Memphis, colloquially known as U of M, is a public research university in Memphis, Tennessee. Founded in 1912, the university has an enrollment of more than 21,000 students.

University of Tennessee at Martin Public University in Martin, TN, US

The University of Tennessee at Martin is a public university in Martin, Tennessee. It is one of the five campuses of the University of Tennessee system. Prior to the acquisition of Lambuth University in Jackson by University of Memphis in 2011, UTM was the only public university in West Tennessee outside of Memphis.

National Football League

Positions coach

Tomlin was hired as the defensive backs coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2001, where he first learned the Tampa 2 defense that he would use in later coaching jobs. [2]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers National Football League franchise in Tampa, Florida

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a professional American football franchise based in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers currently compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) South division. The club joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team, along with the Seattle Seahawks. Tampa Bay played its first season in the American Football Conference (AFC) West division as part of the 1976 expansion plan, whereby each new franchise would play every other franchise over the first two years. After the season, the team switched conferences with the Seahawks and became a member of the NFC Central division. During the 2002 league realignment, the Buccaneers joined three former NFC West teams to form the NFC South. The club is owned by the Glazer family, and plays its home games at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Tampa 2

The Tampa 2 is an American football defensive scheme popularized by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers National Football League (NFL) team in the mid-1990s–early 2000s. The Tampa 2 is typically employed out of a 4–3 defensive alignment, which consists of four linemen, three linebackers, two cornerbacks, and two safeties. The defense is similar to a Cover 2 defense, except the middle linebacker drops into a deep middle coverage for a Cover 3 when he reads a pass play.

In 2002 and 2005, the Buccaneers led the NFL in total defense (fewest yards allowed per game). During Tomlin's tenure, the defense never ranked worse than sixth overall. When the Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII in January 2003, the team recorded a Super Bowl-record five interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns. [3]

The 2002-03 NFL season was the 83rd regular season of the National Football League.

The 2005 NFL season was the 86th regular season of the National Football League.

Super Bowl XXXVII 2003 Edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXXVII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Oakland Raiders and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2002 season. The Buccaneers defeated the Raiders by the score of 48–21, tied with Super Bowl XXXV for the seventh largest Super Bowl margin of victory, and winning their first ever Super Bowl. The game, played on January 26, 2003 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California, was the sixth Super Bowl to be held a week after the conference championship games. It was also the last Super Bowl played in January.

Defensive coordinator

Tomlin was selected by Vikings' head coach Brad Childress to be his defensive coordinator in 2006. [4] [5]

Two of the players on the Vikings roster were older than Tomlin, and Tomlin had been a teammate of Vikings' safety Darren Sharper while at William and Mary. The 2006 Vikings finished with the NFL's eighth-best overall defense, but had the unusual distinction of finishing as the top-ranked defense against the run [6] and the worst-ranked defense against the pass. [7]

Head coach

Tomlin in the victory parade after winning Super Bowl XLIII. First Tomlin in Victory Parade.jpg
Tomlin in the victory parade after winning Super Bowl XLIII.

After spending 2006 as the Vikings defensive coordinator, Tomlin was selected to interview for the vacant head coaching position with the 2005 Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. With only a year of experience as a defensive coordinator, Tomlin was hired on January 27, 2007 to become the sixteenth Steelers head coach. Tomlin replaced Bill Cowher, who retired after spending 15 years with the team. Tomlin had also interviewed for the head coaching vacancy with the Miami Dolphins, a job that eventually went to Cam Cameron.

With Tomlin, the Steelers continued a trend of hiring head coaches in their 30s. The others were Cowher (age 34 in 1992), Chuck Noll (38 in 1969), Bill Austin (38 in 1966), John Michelosen (32 in 1948), Jim Leonard (35 in 1945), Aldo Donelli (33 in 1941), Walt Kiesling (35 in 1939), Johnny "Blood" McNally (33 in 1937), and Joe Bach (34 in 1935).[ citation needed ]

Tomlin is the 10th African-American head coach in NFL history and the first for the Steelers franchise. The Steelers owner, Dan Rooney, has served as the head of the NFL's diversity committee and proposed the Rooney Rule, requiring that teams interview at least one minority candidate when hiring a new head coach. Although Tomlin's ascension to an NFL head coaching job has been cited as evidence of the rule working as intended, [8] Rooney himself disputes this, as he had already interviewed a minority candidate prior to interviewing Tomlin. [9]

Terms of Tomlin's contract were not officially released. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported a four-year deal paying $2.5 million per year, with an option for a fifth year. He is the team's third consecutive head coach to win his first game, and the first in team history to win his first game against the rival Cleveland Browns.[ citation needed ]

In contrast to Bill Cowher, who only retained longtime running backs coach Dick Hoak from Chuck Noll's staff (Hoak himself retired just before Cowher's resignation), Tomlin did retain many of Cowher's assistants, most notably defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, whose defensive philosophy contrasted with Tomlin's. This was done in order to keep team chemistry with the players, since the team was only one year removed from a Super Bowl win at the time of Tomlin's hiring. The Steelers finished Tomlin's first season as head coach with the top-ranked defense in the NFL. [10] Tomlin led the Steelers to the 2007 AFC North Division championship and a 10–6 record in his first year as head coach. The Steelers lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Jacksonville Jaguars, 31–29. Tomlin began his career with a 15–7 record in regular season play—as did his predecessor Cowher and all-time win-leader Don Shula. [11] Tomlin set a Steelers record for most wins, after winning 22 games in his first two seasons as head coach; in addition he became the first Steelers coach to win division titles in his first two seasons. [12]

When the Steelers defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the 2008 AFC Championship Game, Mike Tomlin became the youngest NFL head coach to lead his team to a Super Bowl. He also became the third African-American to coach a team to the Super Bowl, following Chicago's Lovie Smith and Indianapolis's Tony Dungy, the two opposing coaches in Super Bowl XLI. After two seasons, with a record of 22-10, he was the winningest head coach in Steelers history based on a win percentage (68.8%). [ citation needed ]

On January 29, 2009, Tomlin was named the 2008 Motorola NFL Coach of the Year. [13] On February 1, 2009, at age 36, Tomlin became the youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl when the Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. The previous record was held by Jon Gruden, who was 39 when he won Super Bowl XXXVII with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Coincidentally, Tomlin was the defensive backs coach under Gruden when the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl and was a key component for the success they received that year. [14]

On July 13, 2010, Tomlin signed a three-year contract extension with the Steelers. In the 2010, he coached the Steelers to a 12-4 record and led them to the Super Bowl for the second time in three years. In Super Bowl XLV the Steelers lost to the Green Bay Packers 31-25. [15]

On November 13, 2011, Tomlin won his 50th game as the Steelers head coach with a 24–17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Of the Steelers' 16 head coaches in franchise history, Tomlin was the fourth to reach this milestone. On July 24, 2012, Tomlin received a three-year contract extension through the 2016 season. [16] The financial terms were not disclosed.

In the 2012–2013 season, the Steelers finished 8–8 after struggling with injuries to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the offensive line and adjusting to the system of new offensive coordinator Todd Haley. [17] It was the second time that the Steelers failed to make the playoffs under Tomlin's tenure as head coach.

Facing the Baltimore Ravens on November 28, 2013 in a primetime Thanksgiving Day game with major playoff implications, Tomlin became the subject of controversy when video replay showed him possibly interfering with a kick return. With the Steelers trailing, 13–7, in the third quarter, Tomlin stood just off the field along the visiting team's sideline as Baltimore's Jacoby Jones broke free on a kickoff return for a potential game breaking touchdown. [18] Tomlin, with his back to the approaching play, appeared to glance over his shoulder then place his foot briefly onto the field as he jumped out of the way, causing Jones to veer inside where he was tackled. Several Ravens players claimed Tomlin had intentionally interfered with Jones; if officials had agreed, a touchdown could have been awarded to the Ravens based on the palpably unfair act. However, no penalty was called for interference or for standing in the white border area reserved for the officiating crew. Whether it was intentional or not, Tomlin was widely criticized in the media. Following the game, Tomlin defended himself, stating he had simply wandered too close to the field while watching the play on the stadium's Jumbotron, a mistake he said coaches often make. [19] The league subsequently announced it was investigating the matter, with the potential of a heavy fine and forfeited draft picks. [18] On December 4, 2013, the NFL announced that they had fined Tomlin $100,000, and hinted it was considering stripping the Steelers of one or more draft picks because his actions affected the play on the field. [20] The $100,000 fine is tied for the second-highest for a coach in NFL history, and is also tied for the highest for a coach who does not also have the powers of general manager. Then-Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice was fined $100,000 in 2005 for scalping Super Bowl tickets.[ citation needed ]

During a game on October 29, 2017, it was announced that Tomlin became the 3rd coach in NFL history to finish with a .500 or better record in his first ten seasons with one team (Steelers). He is only behind John Madden (Raiders) and Curly Lambeau (Packers).

Head coaching record

TeamYearRegular seasonPostseason
WonLostTiesWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
PIT 2007 1060.6251st in AFC North01.000Lost to Jacksonville Jaguars in AFC Wild Card Game
PIT 2008 1240.7501st in AFC North301.000 Super Bowl XLIII Champions
PIT 2009 970.5633rd in AFC North
PIT 2010 1240.7501st in AFC North21.667Lost to Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV
PIT 2011 1240.7502nd in AFC North01.000Lost to Denver Broncos in AFC Wild Card Game
PIT 2012 880.5003rd in AFC North
PIT 2013 880.5002nd in AFC North
PIT 2014 1150.6881st in AFC North01.000Lost to Baltimore Ravens in AFC Wild Card Game
PIT 2015 1060.6252nd in AFC North11.500Lost to Denver Broncos in AFC Divisional Game
PIT 2016 1150.6881st in AFC North21.667Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Championship Game
PIT 2017 1330.8131st in AFC North01.000Lost to Jacksonville Jaguars in AFC Divisional Game
PIT 2018 961.5942nd in AFC North
PIT 2019 240.333TBD
Total [21] 127701.64487.533

Coaching tree

NFL head coaches under whom Tomlin has served:
Head CoachTeamCapacityYear(s)
Tony Dungy Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Backs Coach 2001
Jon Gruden Tampa Bay BuccaneersDefensive Backs Coach 20022005
Brad Childress Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator 2006
Assistant coaches under Tomlin who became NFL head coaches:
CoachTeam(s)Year(s)
Bruce Arians Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
20132017
2019–present
Assistant coaches under Tomlin who became NCAA head coaches:
CoachTeam(s)Year(s)
Sean Kugler UTEP Miners 20132017
Scottie Montgomery East Carolina Pirates 20162018

Personal life

Tomlin met his wife, Kiya Winston, while they were students at The College of William & Mary. Tomlin graduated with a Sociology degree in 1995. [22] They have three children: sons Michael Dean, born in 2000, and Mason, born in 2002; and a daughter, Harlyn Quinn, born in 2006. [23] [24] Tomlin resides with his family in Squirrel Hill and attends the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. [25] [26]

It has been remarked that Tomlin resembles actor Omar Epps, a resemblance that was referenced on an episode of the TV series House in November 2009, in Episode 8 of Season 6, "Ignorance Is Bliss", when House mentions feeling like Mike Tomlin because of having his team back, but probably not as much as Foreman (Epps's character). [27]

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