CANTON, Ohio – Bill Cowher once said “this Crafton boy lived a dream” upon retiring as Steelers head coach. He once again echoed those words while accepting his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Cowher took the Canton stage at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium after being presented by Steelers owner and president Art Rooney II. He pounded his heart with his fist to show his appreciation for the mass of Steelers fans in front of him. Cowher also made it known he feels it’s extra special to be inducted during a Steelers filled weekend and with two players he drafted in Troy Polamalu and Alan Faneca.
Since his football story has extended beyond his coaching days and into broadcasting, Cowher thanked CBS for keeping him around the game. It was then Cowher made it clear he would not be a member of football heaven if it were not for all the players who played for him throughout his career. He even almost got emotional when recognizing the late Kevin Greene, who passed away soon after being elected to the Hall of Fame himself.
Keeping with the emotional theme, Cowher then loudly thanked the only head coach he ever served under – the late Marty Schottenheimer.
“I feel you, I love you and I hope you’re as proud of me as I am of you,” is how Cowher closed his speech to recognize those who helped him on his journey but are no longer with us, adding his parents, Dan and Patricia Rooney, Greene and Shottenheimer.
Cowher, 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.
Bill Cowher can now also call himself a “Canton boy” as he will live forever in his new home – Canton, Ohio.