Former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher has been elected to be part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020.
Cowher, a Crafton, Pa., native who served as Steelers head coach from 1992-2006, finished his coaching career with a 161-99-1 record. He guided the Steelers to victory in Super Bowl XL and won NFL Coach of the Year Awards in 1992 (Associated Press and Sporting News) and 2004 (Sporting News).
As head coach, his teams won the AFC two times, made it to six AFC Championships, won the AFC Central or North Division eight times and made the postseason 10 times.
He was selected as part of the Hall of Fame’s Centennial Class, an extra large class to represent the NFL’s 100th season. A blue-ribbon panel of comprised of Hall of Fame selectors, inductees, coaches, football executives and historians made the selection.
The announcement of Cowher’s section was made live during his CBS broadcast of the Tennessee Titans-Baltimore Ravens Divisional playoff game.
“This feels like I did when I won the Super Bowl because I said, it took a while to make sure, was that real?” Cowher said during the broadcast. “This seems very surreal to me.”
— NFL (@NFL) January 12, 2020
Cowher is the second Steelers head coach to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining Chuck Noll, who was inducted in 1993. Founder Art Rooney and chairman Dan Rooney have also been inducted as contributors.
“Congratulations to Bill Cowher on his election into the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” current Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement. “One of our most successful coaches in team history, Bill’s energy and dedication for coaching was evident in every practice and every game. His Pittsburgh roots were perfect for our organization because he knew the history and passion of our fans and he wanted to bring a Super Bowl back to his hometown.”
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 12, 2020
Before coaching the Steelers, Cowher was a defensive coordinator under Marty Schottenheimer in Kansas City from 1998-91. He was special teams coach and then defensive backs coach for the Cleveland Browns from 1985-88.
Cowher played in the NFL for six seasons, playing with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1979 and from 1983-84 and for the Browns from 1980-82. He joined the Eagles as an undrafted free agent out of NC State in 1979. Cowher played football, basketball and track for Carlynton High School.
After his coaching career, Cowher has broadcast for CBS since 2007.
Amongst Cowher’s former assistants, eight have gone on to become NFL head coaches: current Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, along with Dom Capers, Chan Gailey, Jim Haslett, Dick LeBeau, Marvin Lewis, Mike Mularkey and Ken Whisenhunt.
The full list of inductees will include one more coach, 10 senior player selections and three contributors. The rest of those selections will be announced on Jan. 15. The five modern-era inductees will be selected on Super Bowl weekend.
Former Steelers safety Donnie Shell is in the running for the senior players selections. Former Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and guard Alan Faneca are modern player finalists.
The Steelers have 18 players inducted into the Hall fo Fame primarily as Steelers, the last coming in 2015, when Jerome Bettis was inducted. Eight players, three coaches and one executive associated with the Steelers have also been indicted largely for their contributions elsewhere.