PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Steelers have announced that they've chosen Mike Tomlin to succeed Bill Cowher, who left voluntarily after the regular season. That makes Tomlin the first black head coach in the team's 74-year history and just their third head coach in 38 years. Cowher replaced Chuck Knoll in 1992.
Tomlin, who served as defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings this season, accepted the job last night. Coincidentally enough, it happened on the same day that Lovie Smith of the Bears and the Colts Tony Dungy became the first black coaches to reach the Super Bowl.
Tomlin is still negotiating a contract with the Steelers. It's a four-year deal that's expected to pay him about two and a-half (m) million dollars per.
Tomlin is the fourth consecutive Steelers coach who was a defensive assistant with another club while in his 30s before being hired by Pittsburgh.