Mike Tomlin, a Hampton, Virginia native, has spent 15 seasons as a head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers where he has never had a losing record, setting the longest streak in the history of the National Football League (NFL). Mike’s DNA is made of football. The younger of two sons, his father was drafted by the Baltimore Colts and later played in the Canadian Football League. Tomlin would graduate from Denbigh High School in Newport News, Virginia going on to attend the College of William and Mary where he studied Sociology. A member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, Tomlin was also the wide receiver and was named to the second team All-Yankee Conference in 1994. Tomlin would begin his coaching career as a wide receiver’s coach at Virginia Military Institute. He would spend the next few seasons at several universities before receiving the opportunity to coach at the professional level with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2001. Tampa would serve as Tomlin’s blueprint for developing an outstanding defense as the defensive back’s coach. During his tenure, the Buccaneers’ defense was always top tier. They would go on to win the 2003 Super Bowl XXXVll. Tomlin’s expertise would catch the eye of the Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress, who would bring him on as his defensive coordinator in 2006.
After one season as the defensive coordinator with the Vikings, Tomlin was selected to interview for the head coach position for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Miami Dolphins. He would become the first African American head coach in Steelers history. The Steelers would have a successful first year under Tomlin, finishing 10-6, with a top-ranked defense, and the Steelers reached the AFC North Division Championship. They would lose in the first round of those playoffs to the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the organization was very pleased with the direction Tomlin was leading. In 2008, he would be the youngest head coach to lead his team to the Super Bowl, also becoming just the third African American to coach a Super Bowl (behind Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy). On February 1, 2009, at the age of 36, Tomlin became the youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl after defeating the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XIii. Throughout his 15 seasons, Tomlin has sent 66 selections to the NFL’s Pro Bowl, he is one of eight coaches to win a Super Bowl within their first two seasons, and he had led the Steelers to a 145-78-1 record during his tenure.