Pittsburgh Steelers Sign Mike Tomlin To A Three-Year Contract Extension

July 14, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin brought a Super Bowl to the city of Pittsburgh, and the team rewarded him with a three-year contract extension.  The Steelers have had a tumultuous offseason, and looked to bring some sort of stability to the team ahead of the 2010 season.

Tomlin won his first Super Bowl as a head coach at the end of the 2008 season by beating the Arizona Cardinals 27-23.  The victory made the Steelers the top franchise in the NFL with six Super Bowl victories.  Steelers chairman Dan Rooney has proven loyal to players and coaches that bring him success, and acted no differently by offering Tomlin a contract extension.

Beginning his coaching career in 1995 at the Virginia Military Institute, Tomlin learned the value of discipline early.  He spent a valuable year under current West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart before moving to the University of Memphis to coach defensive backs and special teams.

Moving up in the college ranks quickly, Tomlin was hired by Arkansas State to coach their defensive backs for two years.  He filled the same position at the University of Cincinnati until he got a very important phone call from the NFL.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Tomlin in 2001 for his first NFL appointment.  There he learned the “Tampa 2” defense from Monty Kiffin, a defense that won the Buccaneers Super Bowl XXXVII.  In his first Super Bowl victory as a head coach the defense recorded five interceptions, running three back for touchdowns.  Tomlin’s defensive backs were a part of the defense that never finished worst than sixth in the league.

After his stint with the Buccaneers, Tomlin was hired away as defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings under Brad Childress.  The Vikings finished with the eighth-best overall defense in the league.

Tomlin was called by the Rooney’s to become the new head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers in January of 2007.  He became the sixteenth Steelers head coach, filling the giant void left by Bill Cowher.  The William and Mary graduate is the tenth African American to wear the head coaching hat in the NFL.

The Steelers have been dealing with major off-field issues this offseason, most notably the suspension of their starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.  The contract extension given to Tomlin will at least bring some stability to that area of football operations.

USA sportsbooks have set the Steelers chances of winning the AFC North at +210 odds.  Pre-season odds for the Steelers to win the 2010 AFC Championship have been set at +900, and they are set as underdogs to win Super Bowl XLV at +200.

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