On Tuesday Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin held a mostly ho-hum press conference in anticipation of Sunday’s AFC North showdown against the Cleveland Browns. That is, until the very end, when Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review asked him about recent speculation connecting him to various college head coaching jobs, including USC and LSU.
“At any point in your coaching career, did you ever have an interest or express an interest in being a head coach in the college game,” queried Benz, before asking Tomlin if he had any idea how the likes of former USC/Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer connected him to the USC job or how ex-Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley linked him with both USC and LSU.
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Tomlin: ‘There’s Not a Booster with a Big Enough Blank Check’
“I don’t have time for that speculation. That’s a joke to me. I’ve got one of the best jobs in all of professional sports. Why would I have any interest in coaching college football?” Tomlin responded, getting increasingly animated.
“That will be the last time that I address it. And not only today, but moving forward. Never say never, but never, okay?
“Anybody else got any questions about any college jobs,” he continued, facetiously. There’s not a booster with a big enough blank check.”
Predictably, no reporters had any questions after that, but Tomlin had one other thought before walking away in disgust.
“Thank you,” he said, dismissively. “Anybody asking Sean Payton about that? Anybody asking Andy Reid about stuff like that?” he added, referring to the head coaches of the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs, his way of saying that he deserves more respect for the job he has done with the Steelers.
Here’s Tomlin’s response to Benz’s question:
Here’s the Tomlin’s press conference in its entirety:
Mike Tomlin Recently Signed a 3-Year Contract Extension With the Steelers
Aside from the fact that Tomlin has never indicated any interest in coaching a college team, there’s also the fact that he is tied to the Steelers for years to come. That’s because he signed a three-year contract extension in April 2021 that binds him to the club through the 2024 season.
This year he is working toward breaking the record for most consecutive non-losing seasons to start an NFL head coaching career, a record he currently shares with the late Marty Schottenheimer, who coached the Browns, Chiefs and San Diego Chargers between 1984 and 2006.
Tomlin, 49, is just the third Steelers head coach since 1969, following in the wake of Pro Football Hall of Famers Chuck Noll (1969-91) and Bill Cowher (Class of 2020), the latter of whom coached the Steelers from 1992 to 2006.
Per Pro Football Reference, Tomlin has a 148-81-1 (.646) regular season record and a record of 8-8 in the postseason. He became the youngest head coach in NFL history to both coach in and win a Super Bowl (at age 36) when the Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 27-23, in Super Bowl XLIII.
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