When you stop and consider Bill Cowher’s career and legacy with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the NFL, he could have chosen any number of individuals to present him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions in Canton, OH this summer.
However, when it came time for Cowher to name a presenter, he chose Art Rooney II, Dan Rooney’s son and current team president. Why did he make this choice? Simple. It came down to him choosing the Rooney family, the family who gave him a shot at following Chuck Noll, to present him.
“When you think about your presenter for the Hall of Fame, you think about your mentor, not just your presenter,” Cowher told Teresa Varley of Steelers.com. “I think about two of my biggest mentors, Marty Schottenheimer, played for him, coached for him, transformed what I did and what I thought about.
“And then Dan Rooney. I came there 34-years old. The stories. The lessons. The history. Just the principles that he stood for. I certainly left there a better coach, but also left there a better person.
“When you think about your presenter, when I got nominated into the Hall of Fame that Saturday night, when I was coming back that night, I remember sitting there with (my wife Veronica) V, and the next day I saw Jimmy (Johnson) go in, and I said who will be my presenter. V and I looked at each other and I said, this is a no-brainer. I am going in there as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers for 15 years, that is why I am going in. I am going in there because I was introduced to Pittsburgh as a kid, I came back there as a professional and I wound up being a professional because of the Rooney family. I say it all, from (Dan’s wife) Patricia, to Dan, to John and Pat his brothers, to everybody. To me it was a no-brainer.
“My presenter is going to be Art Rooney. I called Art up that night and I said Art, you’re the only one because you knew me before and you knew me after. You knew what our family was all about because it’s all about dynamics of family. I was working for one, we vacationed together, we were one big family. Yes, you’re held accountable. Yes, you had to make tough decisions. But no one knew me better, or knows me better, than Art Rooney. And it’s an honor to have you present me.”
Did you expect anything less from Cowher? Cowher is a stand up individual who has never forgotten where he came from, and that just happens to be the Pittsburgh area. When Art Rooney II found out he would be presenting Cowher, he was elated.
“It’s going to be a great honor,” said Rooney. “I was sitting at home last year and my phone rang and it’s Bill and I had no idea what he was calling about. When he told me this, I was really just speechless. It is going to be a great honor. Having worked with Bill that close for 15 years, and knowing each other, and having our families grow up together, it just so happened our kids were about the same age, so it was a fantastic 15 years and it’s great our relationship has continued until today. It’s going to be a special time, that’s for sure.”
This summer, Canton, OH will transform into a black and gold mecca for Steelers fans. Not only will Bill Cowher be getting inducted into the Hall of Fame, but so will many others in the Steelers organization.
Class of 2020
Class of 2021
There will be a ton of Steelers fans who will flock to Canton in hopes of seeing some of their favorite members of the organization be forever enshrined into the Hall of Fame. In between now and then, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.