|Cowher attending the Annual Charity Day event in September 2015|
|No. 53, 57|
|Position:||Head Coach /|
|Born:||May 8 1957|
|Listed height:||6 ft 5 in|
|Listed weight:||241 lbs|
|Overall record:||161–99–1 (.619)|
|High school:||Carlynton (PA)|
|NFL Draft:||1979 / Undrafted|
|Career highlights and awards|
William Laird "Bill" Cowher (born May 8, 1957) is a former American football coach and player. Cowher resigned after 15 seasons as the Steelers' coach on January 5, 2007, 11 months to the day after winning 2005–06's Super Bowl XL. He currently is a studio analyst for The NFL Today. In 2020, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, along with fellow coach-turned-TV analyst Jimmy Johnson.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional career
- 3 Coaching career
- 4 CBS-TV's The NFL Today (2007-present)
- 5 Coaching tree
- 6 Family/Personal life
- 7 Endorsements
- 8 Head coaching record
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes and references
- 11 External links
Born in Crafton, Pennsylvania, Cowher excelled in football, basketball, and track for Carlynton High in Crafton, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At North Carolina State University, Cowher was a starting linebacker, team captain, and team MVP in his senior year. He graduated in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in education.
He began his NFL career as a player. He was a free-agent linebacker with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1979, and then signed with the Cleveland Browns the following year. Cowher played three seasons as a standout special teams player and hard-hitting reserve LB (1980–82) in Cleveland, making him a member of the Kardiac Kids teams of the period, before being traded back to the Eagles, where he played two more seasons before retiring as a player (1983–84). His tenure in Philadelphia included tackling a young Jeff Fisher (who later became the head coach of the Tennessee Titans) when playing against the Chicago Bears, causing Fisher to injure his ankle and prematurely ending his playing career. The two would later be rival head coaches and friends in the AFC Central, and Fisher has credited his injury at the hands of Cowher having the unintended consequence to get into coaching.
Cowher, who primarily played special teams during his playing career, would also place emphasis on special teams during his coaching career. Cowher credits being a "bubble player" during his playing career to influence him on his coaching career, feeling that such players work the hardest for a roster spot (and sometimes still get cut, hence the term "bubble player"), and thus make better head coaches than those with successful playing careers.
With Browns and Chiefs (1985-1991)
Cowher began his coaching career in 1985 at age 28 under Marty Schottenheimer with the Cleveland Browns. He was the Browns' special teams coach in 1985–86 and secondary coach in 1987–88 before following Schottenheimer to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1989 as defensive coordinator.
As Pittsburgh Steelers' head coach (1992-2006)
He became the fifteenth head coach in Steelers history when he succeeded Chuck Noll on January 21, 1992 – but only the second head coach since the NFL merger in 1970. Under Cowher, the Steelers showed an immediate improvement from the disappointing 7–9 season the year before, going 11–5 and earning home field advantage in the AFC after the Steelers had missed the playoffs six times out of the previous seven years. In 1995, at age 38, he became the youngest coach to lead his team to a Super Bowl. Cowher is only the second coach in NFL history to lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first six seasons as head coach, joining Pro Football Hall of Fame member Paul Brown.
In Cowher’s 15 seasons, the Steelers captured eight division titles, earned ten postseason playoff berths, played in 21 playoff games, advanced to six AFC Championship games and made two Super Bowl appearances. He is one of only six coaches in NFL history to claim at least seven division titles. It has become an article of faith among NFL pundits that the Steelers do not have a bad team two years in a row – they have never lost 10 or more games in consecutive years since the 1970 NFL merger. At the conclusion of the 2005 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers had the best record of any team in the National Football League since Cowher was hired as head coach.
Super Bowl XL victory (2005)
On February 5, 2006, Cowher's Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowl XL by defeating the Seattle Seahawks 21–10, giving Cowher his first Super Bowl ring. Through the Super Bowl, Cowher's team had compiled a record of 108–1–1 in games in which they built a lead of at least eleven points.
Retirement from coaching
During the following season, there was talk about Cowher leaving the Steelers, ostensibly to spend more time with his family. On January 5, 2007, Cowher stepped down after 15 years at the helm of the franchise. The Steelers hired former Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin as Cowher's successor.
Cowher's record as a head coach is 149–90–1 (161–99–1 including playoff games).
CBS-TV's The NFL Today (2007-present)
On February 15, 2007, he signed on to The NFL Today on CBS as a studio analyst, joining Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpe, and Boomer Esiason. On April 28, 2007, Cowher's remaining Pittsburgh belongings were to be auctioned off to the public. Only two items with Steeler logos were available for sale.
In 2007, Cowher appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, featuring a dozen celebrities in a stock car racing competition. Cowher matched up against Gabrielle Reece and William Shatner.
On March 4, 2008, Cowher responded to rumours concerning his coaching future by stating, "I'm not going anywhere." The Cowhers placed their Raleigh, North Carolina home on the market, with the intention of building a new house two miles away. Putting an end to numerous unfounded rumors of his return to coaching in the NFL in 2009, Cowher stated on The NFL Today that he did not plan to coach again in the immediate future.
Cowher reportedly has a part in the movie The Dark Knight Rises which was filmed recently at Heinz Field in downtown Pittsburgh. He plays the head coach of the Gotham Rogues.
Assistant coaches under Bill Cowher that became Head Coaches in the NFL:
Dom Capers (Carolina Panthers/Houston Texans)
Chan Gailey (Dallas Cowboys/Buffalo Bills)
Jim Haslett (New Orleans Saints/St. Louis Rams)
Mike Mularkey (Buffalo Bills)
Ken Whisenhunt (Arizona Cardinals)
Dick LeBeau (Cincinnati Bengals)
Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals)
Bill Cowher's late wife, Kaye (née Young), also a North Carolina State University graduate, played professional basketball for the New York Stars of the (now defunct) Women's Pro Basketball League with her twin sister Faye. Kaye was featured in the book Mad Seasons: The Story of the First Women's Professional Basketball League, 1978–1981, by Karra Porter (University of Nebraska Press, 2006).
Kaye Cowher died of skin cancer at age 54 on July 23, 2010.
Bill and Kaye have three daughters. Daughters, Meagan and Lauren, played basketball at Princeton University. Their third daughter Lindsay played basketball at Wofford College before transferring to Elon University. In 2007, the Cowher family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina from suburban Pittsburgh (Fox Chapel). Meaghan Cowher is engaged to Los Angeles Kings forward, Kevin Westgarth. 
Cowher is under an exclusive autograph contract with the Mounted Memories company of Florida. Cowher was also on the cover of EA Sports' 2006 video game NFL Head Coach.
Head coaching record
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|PIT||1992||11||5||0||.688||1st in AFC Central||0||1||.000||Lost to Buffalo Bills in AFC Divisional Game.|
|PIT||1993||9||7||0||.563||2nd in AFC Central||0||1||.000||Lost to Kansas City Chiefs in AFC Wild-Card Game.|
|PIT||1994||12||4||0||.750||1st in AFC Central||1||1||.500||Lost to San Diego Chargers in AFC Championship Game.|
|PIT||1995||11||5||0||.688||1st in AFC Central||2||1||.667||Lost to Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX.|
|PIT||1996||10||6||0||.625||1st in AFC Central||1||1||.500||Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Divisional Game.|
|PIT||1997||11||5||0||.688||1st in AFC Central||1||1||.500||Lost to Denver Broncos in AFC Championship Game.|
|PIT||1998||7||9||0||.438||3rd in AFC Central||–||–||–||–|
|PIT||1999||6||10||0||.375||4th in AFC Central||–||–||–||–|
|PIT||2000||9||7||0||.563||3rd in AFC Central||–||–||–||–|
|PIT||2001||13||3||0||.812||1st in AFC Central||1||1||.500||Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Championship Game.|
|PIT||2002||10||5||1||.656||1st in AFC North||1||1||.500||Lost to Tennessee Titans in AFC Divisional Game.|
|PIT||2003||6||10||0||.375||3rd in AFC North||–||–||–||–|
|PIT||2004||15||1||0||.938||1st in AFC North||1||1||.500||Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Championship Game.|
|PIT||2005||11||5||0||.688||2nd in AFC North||4||0||1.000||Super Bowl XL Champions.|
|PIT||2006||8||8||0||.500||3rd in AFC North||–||–||–||–|
Coaching record vs. other teams
How the Steelers fared in games with Cowher as head coach.
|Green Bay Packers||2||2||0||0.500|
|Kansas City Chiefs||5||3||0||0.625|
|New England Patriots||4||3||0||0.571|
|New Orleans Saints||2||1||0||0.667|
|New York Giants||2||1||0||0.667|
|New York Jets||4||1||0||0.800|
|St. Louis Rams||1||2||0||0.333|
|San Diego Chargers||7||2||0||0.778|
|San Francisco 49ers||1||3||0||0.250|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||1||0||0.750|
- a For the purposes of calculating winning percentage ties are counted as ½ of a win and ½ of a loss
Coaching record vs. other teams (playoffs)
How the Steelers fared in playoff games with Cowher as head coach.
|Kansas City Chiefs||0||1||0.000|
|New England Patriots||1||3||0.250|
|New York Jets||1||0||1.000|
|San Diego Chargers||0||1||0.000|
- List of North Carolina State University people
- List of Super Bowl head coaches
Notes and references
- NFL on CBS Halftime Show, Interview, January 5, 2008
- Collier, Gene. "Taylor's interception clips Seahawk's wings", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 6, 2006. Retrieved on March 29, 2010.
- Going Once, Going Twice...Chin! I Mean, Sold! Mondesishouse.com. Accessed September 8, 2007.
- Bouchette, Ed. "Cowhers will move, but not to Penn State", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2008-03-05. Retrieved on 2008-03-07.
- "Cowher Doesn't Plan on Coaching in 2009", TSN, 2009-01-04. Retrieved on 2009-01-04.
- Kaye Cowher, wife of former Steelers coach, dies at age 54 (July 24, 2010). Retrieved on January 6, 2019.
- Bill Cowher's daughter to wed NHL enforcer Postmedia News Accessed September 29, 2011
- Prunty, Brendan (November 5, 2015). Bill Cowher’s New Normal. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on January 6, 2019.
- Bennett, Abbie (June 24, 2018). NCSU grad, former Steelers coach Bill Cowher selling Raleigh house for $2 million. The News & Observer. Retrieved on January 6, 2019.
- Bill Cowher Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks – Pro-Football-Reference.com
- Bill Cowher article at Wikipedia
- Coaching Stats at profootballreference.com
- LB/Playing Stats at databasefootball.com
- Coaching Stats at databasefootball.com
- Video clip of Bill Cowher announcing his resignation as Steelers' head coach
- Bill Cowher is the Head Coach of Quick Hit Football