Perhaps somewhat lost amidst all the post-game glow of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 27-20 over the Bills, and Le’Veon Bell’s dominant individual performance, is the fact that today’s victory marked the 100th regular-season win in the 10-year head-coaching career of Mike Tomlin. In doing so, the Steelers make some NFL history in becoming the first franchise ever to boast three different coaches to reach that mark.
Tomlin achieved his 100th victory in his 157th game as the Steelers’ head coach, posting a 100-57 record, which gives him an all-time winning percentage of .637. With the victory, he became the 40th coach in NFL history to win 100 games, going all the way back to the beginning of the league.
And in doing so, he currently has the 10th-best winning percentage among those 40 coaches who have won 100 games in their career, behind only Don Shula, George Halas, Bill Belichick, Paul Brown, Tony Dungy, George Allen, George Seifert, John Madden, and Mike McCarthy for that honor.
You might notice that in that list are just two active coaches. McCarthy took over the helm for the Packers the year before Tomlin became the head coach of the Steelers. McCarthy has as of this writing posted a 110-61-1 record with a .642 winning percentage. Belichick, dating back to 1991, has a career winning percentage of .670.
Tomlin is one of eight active head coaches to have reached the 100-win plateau. In addition to Belichick—whose 233 wins is the active leader and fourth-most all-time—and McCarthy are Jeff Fisher, Andy Reid, John Fox, Marvin Lewis, and Pete Carroll.
In the top 10 all-time wins list is Chuck Noll, who began the Steelers’ path that they continue to travel today. In spite of great obstacles, Noll helped make Pittsburgh a winning franchise by 1974. He win 193 games, and his successor, Bill Cowher, won 149 games from 1992 to 2006.
Tomlin has several seasons to go before he can reach the win totals of those two great coaches who preceded him, but he does share them in each having won a Super Bowl, and leading at least two teams to the game. Now he joins them in the 100-win club.
What makes this even more remarkable for the franchise is that all three coaches have come in a continuous succession dating back to 1969, when Noll was first hired. They won just a single game in his first season, but by 1972 won their first playoff game.
Cowher inherited a far better position than did Noll, of course, and was able to take his Steelers to the Super Bowl in 1995, though it was not until a decade later that he would claim his lone title for Pittsburgh. Tomlin had to wait just two years for his, but he inherited a great team, with a franchise quarterback. Now, 10 years on, he is forging his own history in the twilight years of Ben Roethlisberger’s career.