If you’re the sort who is interested in making the case for Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin’s eventual Hall of Fame conversation, then you can add another feather in his cap. With yesterday’s game, Tomlin has now tied former Steelers head coach, and Hall of Famer, Bill Cowher in all-time wins, now both with 149.
Tomlin has done it in nine fewer games. Cowher retired after 15 seasons as the Steelers’ head coach with an overall 149-90-1 record, a winning percentage of .623. Tomlin’s current record is now 149-81-1, a winning percentage of .647. Only five head coaches with 120 or more career victories have a better winning percentage: John Madden, George Halas, Don Shula, Paul Brown, and Tony Dungy.
The majority of the coaches higher than him on the all-time wins list area also already in the Hall of Fame, with at least one—Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs—awaiting his own future appointment with the bust maker. He is, however, likely the one with the best chance, the others being Marty Schottenheimer, Dan Reeves, Chuck Knox, Jeff Fisher, Mike Shanahan, Tom Coughlin, and Mike Holmgren.
Tomlin has a better winning percentage than all of them—in most cases, significantly better.
But, of course, then there are the playoffs, and Tomlin is 8-8 in the postseason, a .500 record, with zero wins since 2016 and only three since the 2010 Super Bowl loss. Most of those names above have a better record with more wins in the postseason.
But there’s no reason to be thinking about the Hall of Fame right now for Tomlin, who figures to have at least a few more years left in him as the head coach of the Steelers. He’s already under contract for multiple seasons beyond this as it is, and he’s given not even the slightest hint that he might retire.
Of course, he just recently very adamantly refuted any speculation that he might entertain the head coaching position at any university, in so many words saying that he has the best job in the sport and that he would be foolish to walk away from it for any reason.
But as far as the numbers go, there is still room for him to climb this year. Now tying Cowher for the 20th-most wins in NFL history at 149, his next target is Steven Owen, who from 1930 through 1956 won 153 games as the head coach of the New York Giants, leading them to two championships in the 30s.
After that, there is Joe Gibbs sitting there at 154, and Bud Grant at 158. The Steelers would have to go 9-1 for the rest of the season for him to tie Grant, however. They only have to go 5-5 for him to tie Gibbs.