To the outside community, he’s Mike Tomlin, coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But inside his house, he’s still just dad to his three children.
That was the focus for Tomlin at this year’s ManUp Pittsburgh, an organization with a mission to “maximize your impact as a godly man in your home, neighborhood, and city.”
Tomlin spoke at the event for the third consecutive year, joining former Steeler and radio analyst Tunch Ilkin. Speaking to Steelers.com’s Teresa Varley, he offered his motivation for attending.
“There are a lot of good men in this community and we are calling on them to come together, worship and get better. Be the best father they can be in their homes and also to the young people around us that are in need,” he told Varley.
Also speaking were current Steelers’ safety Will Allen, cornerback Kevin Fogg, and defensive end Niko Davis. Current Jacksonville Jaguars’ center Stefen Wisnewski – a Pittsburgh native – also spoke.
The Steelers head coach has first-hand experience of an imperfect family life, not having a relationship with his biological father, turning to advice from coaches and eventually, his stepfather.
“I know the upbringing my boys have is quite different than mine and I am excited about that. I want what is absolutely the best for them. I am learning along the way. I didn’t have that father-son relationship as a young guy that they have. I developed it along the way with some powerful men that came into my life. The way they are growing up is different than me, but it’s better.”
At the ManUp event, Tomlin issued a challenge to those in attendance.
“I congratulate you for being here. I also challenge you to step up and help the fatherless kids around us.”
After his speech, Tomlin was kind enough to take some pictures with the program’s volunteers.
Needless to say, it’s a welcoming sign seeing so many players come together for an event to inspire and better their community.