A while back, I started a new series of discussions by asking whether Zach Thomas was a Hall of Famer. The post garnered little resposne, so let me continue the series by asking a question our community might have more input on: does Bill Cowher belong in the Hall of Fame?
There are currently 21 coaches in Canton. Of those already elected, only Joe Gibbs still coaches today. Bill Parcells, Bill Belicheck will one day be enshrined, and perhaps Mike Holmgren will as well (if he could win another SB with Seattle he'd certainly bolster his resume).
What about Cowher? Well, I don't think any of us believes his coaching career is over. And at the ripe age of 50--happy birthday by the way Bill, he turned 50 yesterday--Cowher certainly has the mental and physical fortitude to make another prolonged run as a head coach in this league.
But if he were to quit coaching today, would his resume be strong enough to warrant consideration? Let's take a look.
Cowher's 15 years of coaching experience already puts him ahead of George Allen, Guy Chamberlin, Jimmy Conzelmin, Ray Flaherty, Vince Lombardi, John Madden, Earle Neale, Hank Stram, and Bill Walsh in terms of experience. Cowher is also only the second coach in NFL history to lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first 6 seasons as head coach--HOF'er Paul Brown is the other to have done so.
In 1995, Cowher became the youngest ever to lead his team to the Super Bowl, a record I hope Mike Tomlin eclipses in the next several seasons. He is also only one of six coaches in NFL history to have won at least seven divisional titles. Finally, and perhaps most impressively, the Steelers recorded the best record in the entire NFL during the years of his tenure in Pittsburgh--1991-2005.
His .619 winning percentage is higher than Chuck Noll's (.572), and his 161 wins place him 13th all-time with plenty of years to go.
So, what do you think? Is Bill Cowher a Hall of Famer?