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  • Tarrian Rodgers

Bill Cowher: The Hall of Fame Scowl

When you think of Bill Cowher what is the first thing that comes to mind? For many it was his brash scowl that complimented his strong jawline. For the football purist they may credit him as being one of the greatest coaches of the last decade.

Bill Cowher’s road to the Hall of Fame was inspiring in itself. Cowher, a Pittsburgh native grew up less than 15 miles from Three Rivers Stadium, where he would later succeed a legend and fellow Hall of Fame coach Chuck Knoll at the young age of 34.

Like many youngsters that get their first big break, the goal is simple: "If I don't screw this up in three years, I can go back to my 20th high school class reunion at Carlynton High School as the head coach of my hometown team."

Luckily, for the Steelers Cowher exceeded his own expectations. Cowher's career started with six consecutive trips to the playoffs, tying Paul Brown's record for the most consecutive playoff seasons for a first-time head coach. Cowher was one of the pillars to the Steelers “Blitzburgh” defense which included Hall of Fame greats Kevin Greene and Rod Woodson.

To be a Steelers fan you are almost granted a backstage pass to memorable games whether it was the “Immaculate Reception” in Cowhers’ time as coach his Steelers team provided many heart racing exciting moments such as the Colts Hail Mary game in the 94 AFC Championship Game.

Perhaps his greatest achievement as a Head Coach was leading a 7-5 Steelers team which was a wildcard team in 2005, which was also known as the final games of Jerome Bettis' career. The Steelers ignited an eight-game winning streak that culminated in a 21-10 victory over Seattle in Super Bowl XL. Along with winning the franchise's fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy, Cowher's team became the first sixth-seed in NFL history to win the Super Bowl. The Steelers also became the first NFL team to win the Super Bowl after winning each of their previous playoff games on the road.

Cowher retired from the coaching world shortly after and started a 14 year successful career as an analyst for the NFL Today. Most importantly he will now have black and gold forever entrenched in his DNA not just as an all-time Steelers great but an all-time NFL great as he can now add a gold jacket to his stellar resume.

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