Bill Cowher will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August. He will be a part of the 10-person Hall of Fame weekend class that will also include the five modern enshrinees, which includes Troy Polamalu, the first time a coach and a player he drafted and coached will be enshrined together.
Cowher took over the head coaching job for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the early 1990s after Chuck Noll retired. Noll, who shortly thereafter was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame himself, is widely regarded as having been one of the greatest to ever coach the game, both as a fundamentalist and as an innovator.
“I just wanted to come in and you’re not going to replace Chuck Noll”, Cowher told the team’s website. “What he did was so special. He is the one, the renaissance of Pittsburgh started with Chuck Noll. My obligation was to hold up that tradition, that responsibility. And to try to do it to some degree with which he did it”.
He would remain the head coach of the Steelers for 15 years, adding one more Lombardi Trophy to the four that Noll brought in, resigning from his position just one year after securing his first and only Super Bowl win following the 2005 season.
And he has since that time enjoyed watching his successor, Mike Tomlin, carry on the lineage. That’s not to say that he has never reminisced about coaching himself. He has even previously admitted that he has met with teams who were pursuing him for a vacant position.
“The only thing I realized when I walked away is it’s a pretty good life out there”, Cowher said. “I love the balance I have in my life. I have never had that itch to come back. Do I miss it? Absolutely. But not enough to go back into the lifestyle. I haven’t won a game in 14 years, but I haven’t lost one”.
The former Steelers head coach has made one of the more graceful transitions from coaching life to broadcasting life relative to his peers. He has been at it for almost as long as he held that job in Pittsburgh now, and is very respected in his field for his professionalism and accuracy—which can’t always be said for those around him.
As mentioned, Cowher will be entering the Hall of Fame in August when Polamalu and the rest of the modern candidates do. There will be a separate ceremony including 10 of the 15 Centennial Committee selections that will be held at a later date in September, which will include Steelers safety Donnie Shell.