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Today in Sports History: 1/21 | Bill Cowher Hired as Coach of Pittsburgh Steelers

Today in sports history (1992), Bill Cowher was hired to become just the second coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers since the AFL/NFL merger. The Steelers would see immediate improvement from Cowher after his replacement of Chuck Noll. Cowher would go on to coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1992 to 2006 and would bring plenty of success with him.

Bill Cowher pittsburgh steelers today in sports history
Credit: Elaine Thompson/AP Photo

Replacing Chuck Noll

It’s never easy replacing someone in a head coaching position with a franchise as legendary as the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s even harder when the one you are replacing is a legend who won four Super Bowls in a six year period during his tenure. After missing the playoffs in six of his last seven seasons at the helm, Noll retired from his position.

Cowher took over and made an immediate impact with the Steelers. He turned a team that finished 7-9 the previous season into a team that would go 11-5 and secure the best record in the AFC. Although Pittsburgh would lose to the Buffalo Bills in the first round, the foundation had been laid for the renaissance of the Steelers.

Bill Cowher Brings Home the Hardware

Although his first 13 seasons didn’t bring home the coveted [Vince] Lombardi Trophy, he was bringing this team to heights not felt for over a decade. In his first six seasons, the Steelers won five AFC Central division titles and made the Super Bowl once where they lost to the Dallas Cowboys. Cowher is one of only six coaches in NFL history to finish his career with seven or more division titles.

After the 2004 season where the Steelers went 15-1 before losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots, Cowher finally hit paydirt. After starting the 2005 NFL season 7-5, Pittsburgh went on a run for the ages. The Steelers won out to make the playoffs as the #6 seed in the AFC. They would go on the road and beat the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, and Denver Broncos to reach Super Bowl XL against the Seattle Seahawks. The Steelers would go on to win 21-10 to claim their first Super Bowl victory since 1980.


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