Tomlin: The Soul of a Football Coach

Sports Publishing: S. & S. Nov. 2023. 480p. ISBN 9781683584759. $26.99. BIOG
Fans of professional football know that Mike Tomlin is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Many naysayers questioned his 2007 hiring; they wondered whether Tomlin, at age 34 and the youngest head coach in the NFL at the time, had enough experience to lead the team. Of note, one chapter includes a thorough explanation of the “Rooney Rule,” an NFL policy that requires teams to interview coaches of color for head and senior roles. Thus, some people asserted that Tomlin, a Black man, was hired to fill a quota. He has now coached the Steelers for more than 15 years and has led the team to Super Bowl and division titles. Longtime journalist Harris (From Gold Teeth to Gold Jacket) first reported on Tomlin’s hiring for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Here he presents an in-depth look at Tomlin’s life, background, adversities, and coaching style, drawing on interviews with coaches and players affiliated with Tomlin. Some of the author’s own opinions bleed through in his writing, but his text still enables readers to make their own conclusions.
VERDICT This recommended book will appeal to many kinds of sports fans, especially readers who have fought for the greater inclusion of people of color in coaching and management positions.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing