As some have anticipated, Bill Cowher today announced his resignation as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cowher, in his 15 year reign as head coach lead the team to 2 Superbowl Appearances, 1 Super Bowl win and a ton of playoff appearances. the 2 leading contenders for the job is rumored to be Russ Grimm, the offensive line coach and fellow assistant, Ken Wiesenhunt.
The following is Bill's opening remarks at the emotional press conference held today:
"Art (Rooney II) and Dan (Rooney), thank you. Thank you for having this. I want to thank you guys for being here.
"After careful and deliberate consideration, I've decided to resign today. I've given it a lot of thought, and I believe it's in the best interests of our family and myself at this time. I'm proud of all we've accomplished here in the 15 years I've been the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised here. My parents live here. My brothers live here. And more importantly, my parents have been able to watch our three children grow up. That's special. That's special.
"Coaching in the National Football League and winning a Super Bowl are the lifelong dreams of mine, and to be able to do that and realize that in the city that I was born and raised in, this Crafton boy lived a dream. You know how special that is to me.
"There are a lot of people I need to thank, and I'm going to do that:
"First, to Marty Schottenheimer. I played for Marty, and he's the only guy I ever was an assistant coach under. He opened the door for me. For that, I will always be grateful. Who's to say when you see a player whether he can coach. There are no guarantees. Marty believed in me, and for that I will always remember and be grateful.
"And to Dan Rooney, for taking the chance on me 15 years ago. The gratitude and respect and complete admiration, I cannot express in words. He's a very special man. Thank you.
"And I want to thank all the players and coaches who have contributed to all the success we've enjoyed over the 15 years. There have been so many of them. I had an opportunity this year to sit with the players and talk with the coaches, and there have been so many down through the years that I want to thank.
"To the support staff, my secretary Mia has been with me for 12 years, like a right-hand man; to the doctors, to Jim Bradley and Tony Yates; to the trainers, John Norwig and his staff. This truly is not accomplished – what we've done – without the work of a lot of people pulling in the same direction. I've been so fortunate and blessed to have those types of people as a part of this team.
"And to Kevin Colbert, who officially today assumes the No. 1 ranking in racquetball, even though the class has gone down … Kevin, you gave me a second wind, and your support and friendship will always mean a lot to me.
"And to the fans. To the Steelers fans in Pittsburgh and the fans around the country – second to none. I want to thank you for your passion and your support. I've said this before: I'm a part of you. You can take the people out of Pittsburgh, but you will never take the Pittsburgh out of people. I'm one of you. Yinz know what I mean.
"And last, to my wife and three daughters. I was asked a long time ago how I have lasted in this business for so long. And there's no doubt that it's the balance I've been able to live. My three daughters, to be a part of their lives will always be my main objective in life. If there's a legacy I'd like to leave, it's my daughters saying, "My dad was a good dad." That's important to me.
"To my wife, my soul-mate and my friend, the sacrifices she has made, the love and support she has given me through the years, she's been my backbone. Today I sit here and say to you, while I wish the Pittsburgh Steelers nothing but the best, I've given a lot of thought to this decision, and it is right now the best thing for me and my family at this time.
"And I have to be honest with you: I'm looking forward to it. My wife may not be able to say the same thing to that after being around me for a couple of weeks, but I really am looking forward to spending time with the family."