1999 Coaching StaffBILL COWHER
Bill Cowher, 42, in just seven seasons has already established himself as one of the elite head coaches in the NFL.
Cowher has joined the famed Paul Brown with six straight trips to the playoffs in his first six seasons as the team's head coach. Cowher's regular-season winning percentage (71-41, .667) ties Minnesota Dennis Green as the second-best among the NFL's active coaches with more than one season of experience behind Mike Holmgren. Cowher's career overall record career record of 76-47 (.618) ranks third to Holmgren (84-41, .672) and Denver's Mike Shanahan (59-30, .662).
Cowher earned his 50th regular-season win Nov. 3, 1996 in his 73rd game to become the eighth-fastest coach in NFL history to reach 50 wins. He also moved into second in team victories behind Noll with 57 wins during his fifth season. Last season, Cowher surpassed Ray Parker's 105 games for the second-most games (123) as the Steelers' head coach. Only Noll (366 games) guided the Steelers for a longer period.
Under Cowher's guidance, the Steelers have featured a trademark running attack and a solid, aggressive defense. During his seven seasons as head coach, the team has averaged a league-leading 134 rushing yards a game, seventh with an average of 324 yards a game in total offense. In that same period, the offense churned out 55 100-yard rushing games—second only to Detroit's 59. Since 1992, the Steelers are the only team to gain more than 15,000 yards rushing (15,003), ahead of Denver (13,866) and Dallas (13,728).
Cowher has built a defense that mirrors his fiery attitude. In the 112 regular-season games since becoming head coach, the defense has allowed an average of 92 rushing yards a game and 194 yards passing. Their average total defense of 286 yards a game ranks first in the NFL, ahead of Dallas (286.8). During that same period, Pittsburgh has allowed only 14 running backs to surpass the 100-yard mark and ranks third in the NFL with only nine 300-yard passing games allowed.
In 1998, Cowher experienced unchartered territory. For the first time in his relatively brief head-coaching career, the Steelers did not make the playoffs. Nevertheless, despite several key injuries throughout the season, especially along the offensive line, the team remained competitive and had opportunities to clinch a playoff berth until the 15th week of the season.
The elements heading into 1997 didn't favor the Steelers. Ten key players departed from the previous season. A new defensive coordinator was hired. A first-year quarterback took control of the offense. Nevertheless, the Steelers overcame these obstacles to post an 11-5 record, and Cowher led his team to their third home AFC Championship game in four seasons. The Steelers' season ended with a 24-21 loss to the eventual-Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos.
While the 1996 outcome didn't compare to the Super Bowl appearance of the previous season, it might have been one of the best coaching jobs of Cowher's young career. For the second straight season, Cowher was forced to overcome losses of key starting personnel on a team that already featured a re-tooled offense. During the course of the season, the Steelers had 14 starters miss 64 starts due to injury. Those adjustments forced Cowher to play 40 different starters throughout the season. Despite this adversity, Cowher led the Steelers to their fifth consecutive playoff berth and their fourth AFC Central title in five seasons.
In 1995, at the age of 38, the Pittsburgh-area native became the youngest head coach to lead his team to a Super Bowl. Along the way, Cowher's tea
m captured their third AFC Central Division title in four years, made their fourth straight playoff appearance, and won the Steelers' first AFC title since 1979.
The Steelers' 11-5 regular-season record was the second best in the AFC which exceeded the expectations of most. In the offseason, the team lost seven veterans through free agency and trades. They had to play four games without starting quarterback Neil O'Donnell and almost the entire season without 1994's starting cornerbacks Deon Figures and Rod Woodson, a perennial All-Pro. In addition, linebacker Chad Brown missed six games after a phenomenal start.
Despite the setbacks, Cowher was able to rally his team from a near-disastrous 3-4 start to an NFL-best eight-game winning streak and a bye in the first round of the playoffs. This was accomplished with a major change in both offensive and defensive strategies, as the Steelers made key adjustments to compensate for their personnel losses.
The 1995 Steelers led the AFC in scoring with 407 points and set eight new offensive team records. They led the NFL in time of possession (an average of 32:36). On defense, they established new team marks for fewest yards allowed rushing and fewest yards per game rushing (82.6/game). Their 22 interceptions were second most in the NFL. Cowher was introduced as the Steelers' head coach on January 21, 1992, 26 days after the retirement of Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll. At the age of 34, Cowher was two years younger than Noll was upon becoming the Steelers' head coach in 1969.
Cowher returned to his hometown following seven years as an assistant under Marty Schottenheimer in Cleveland and Kansas City. His appointment as the Steelers' head coach immediately followed a three-year stint as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Chiefs.
Cowher has 19 years of NFL experience, including five as a player, seven as an assistant coach and seven as a head coach. In his first 13 years of coaching, Cowher had never been associated with a team that posted a losing record. In fact, in 12 of the 14 seasons as a coach, Cowher's teams have advanced to the playoffs.
In his first year as head coach, Cowher was selected the 1992 National Football League's Coach of the Year by the Associated Press and The Sporting News. Cowher was also named Pittsburgh's Man of the Year in Sports by
the Dapper Dan Club. He directed the Steelers to their first AFC Central Division crown in eight years with an 11-5 record, which was the team's best mark since they last won a Super Bowl in 1979. One of four AFC teams to win 11 games in 1992, the Steelers shared the best record in the conference as Cowher became one of only 12 coaches in NFL history to win 11 games in his first season as head coach.
The 1993 Steelers started slowly at 0-2, but six wins in the next seven games brought the team to a 6-3 mark and first place in the AFC Central division. On the final weekend of the regular season the Steelers claimed the final AFC wild-card berth after winning three of the last five games. Offensively, the team finished with the exact same AFC rankings as the previous year, but it improved from 21st to 13th in NFL passing rankings. The defense jumped from eighth to first in AFC total defense rankings, and from 17th to third in NFL run defense.
Cowher began his coaching career in 1985 with the Cleveland Browns. At age 28, he was the league's second-youngest assistant coach. He served on Schottenheimer's staff as the Browns' special teams coach in 1985-86 and secondary coach in 1987-88. As secondary coach, Cowher's 1987 group produced 23 interceptions to tie for third in the AFC, while in 1988 the Cleveland defense ranked fourth overall in the conference. The following year Cowher joined Schottenheimer on the Kansas City coaching staff.
In 1989, Cowher's first season as a 32-year-old defensive coordinator, the Kansas City defense led the AFC and ranked second in the NFL in total defense. The following year the unit led the league in three categories with 60 sacks, 25 fumbles recovered and 45 takeaways. In 1991 the Chiefs ranked third in the conference and fifth overall in the NFL en route to a 10-6 finish and a wild card playoff berth.
A former linebacker and special teams standout, Cowher enjoyed a five-year NFL playing career with the Browns (1980-82) and the Philadelphia Eagles (1983-84). He signed with Philadelphia in 1979 as an undrafted free-agent rookie, but was the last linebacker waived in training camp after playing in three preseason games. The following year he signed with Cleveland and earned a roster spot, playing in all 16 games including two starts at inside linebacker.
Cowher sat out the 1981 campaign after suffering a season-ending knee injury in the third preseason game. Returning in 1982 as special teams captain, he started at outside linebacker in two games while playing in all nine contests.
Cowher was traded to Philadelphia prior to the start of the 1983 season (Aug. 21) for a ninth-round draft pick. He was selected the Eagles' most valuable special teams player that year and played in all 16 games. In 1984, a knee injury kept him out of all but four games and ended his career as a player. Cowher returned to Cleveland the following season and began his coaching career as a member of Schottenheimer's Browns staff.
Cowher grew up in the Crafton area west of Pittsburgh. He is a 1975 graduate of Carlynton High School, where he excelled in football, basketball and track. He was selected honorable mention All-State in football as a senior before moving on to North Carolina State, where he earned four letters and was a three-year starter at linebacker. As a senior in 1978, Cowher was selected team captain and Most Valuable Player after leading the defense in tackles for the second straight year. He also received the 1978 Cary Brewbaker Award as the school's outstanding defensive lineman as selected by the coaching staff. In 1979 Cowher graduated with a bachelor of science degree in education.
William Laird Cowher was born May 8, 1957 in Pittsburgh. Cowher met his wife, Kaye, while at North Carolina State. Also a graduate of N.C. State, Kaye and her twin sister Faye played professional basketball for the New York Stars of the Women's Professional Basketball League. The Cowhers have three daughters: Meagan Lyn (12), Lauren Marie (10), and Lindsay Morgan (7).
Cowher career record
Year Team Record Position
1985 Cleveland Browns 8-8* Special Teams Coach
1986 Cleveland Browns 12-4* Special Teams Coach
1987 Cleveland Browns 10-5* Secondary Coach
1988 Cleveland Browns 10-6* Secondary Coach
1989 Kansas City Chiefs 8-7-1 Def. Coordinator/LBs Coach
1990 Kansas City Chiefs 11-5* Def. Coordinator/LBs Coach
1991 Kansas City Chiefs 10-6* Def. Coordinator/LBs Coach
1992 Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5* Head Coach
1993 Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7* Head Coach
1994 Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4* Head Coach
1995 Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5* Head Coach
1996 Pittsburgh Steelers 10-6* Head Coach
1997 Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5* Head Coach
1998 Pittsburgh Steelers 7-9 Head Coach
*Team earned playoff berth
THE STEELERS UNDER COWHER
Kevin Gilbride, one of the most dynamic and innovative offensive coaches in the NFL, joined the Steelers as their offensive coordinator Jan. 7.
Gilbride, 47, has accumulated more than 10 years of NFL coaching experience. He has forged a reputation as a solid offensive coordinator and quarterback coach, and has been credited with the development of such NFL quarterbacks such as Warren Moon and Mark Brunell.
Gilbride most recently served as the head coach of the San Diego Chargers, where he compiled a 6-16 overall record. He was appointed the Chargers' 10th head coach on Jan. 19, 1997 and was dismissed after six games of the1998 season.
Prior to his Chargers appointment, Gilbride directed the Jacksonville Jaguars' potent offense for two seasons (1995-96) and helped develop quarterback Mark Brunell into one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. He began his NFL coaching career in 1989 as a quarterbacks coach with the Houston Oilers. Gilbride was subsequently promoted to offensive coordinator (1990-93) and then served as assistant head coach/offense for a year before accepting his position with the Jaguars. During Gilbride's six years with Houston, the Oilers' offense annually ranked in the top three in the NFL in total offense.
Gilbride began his coaching career in the collegiate ranks at Idaho State, where he served from 1974-75. He also held positions at Tufts University (1976-77) and American International (1978-79).
In 1980, Gilbride accepted his first head coaching position at Southern Connecticut, where he compiled a 35-14-2 record in five seasons. He then served as the passing game coordinator (1987) and offensive coordinator (1988) at East Carolina University.
Born Aug. 27, 1951, Gilbride and his wife, Deborah, have two daughters, Kelly (Sept. 17, 1975) and Kristen (June 19, 1977), and a son, Kevin (Dec. 14, 1979), a three-sport star in high school, who will attend Brigham Young University on a full football scholarship.
The Gilbrides reside in Alpine, Calif., about 20 miles east of San Diego.
Jim Haslett joined the Steelers as defensive coordinator Jan. 21, 1997, following one season in the same position for the New Orleans Saints.
He enters his seventh season in the NFL and his 11th year in coaching. At 43, the Pittsburgh native is one of the youngest defensive coordinators in the league.
During the past two seasons, the Steelers have been one of the most dominating units in the NFL. Last year, the Steelers ranked 12th overall in total defense. The unit has allowed just two 100-yard individual rushing performances during the regular season past two years. During his tenure at New Orleans, Haslett guided a young defensive unit that blossomed from a 25th and 22nd ranking in 1994 and 1995, respectively, to 13th in his first full season as defensive coordinator.
Prior to joining New Orleans, Haslett spent 1993-94 as linebackers coach with the Los Angeles Raiders, helping them to a Top 10 ranking in the NFL in total defense during both seasons. From 1991-92, Haslett was the defensive coordinator for the Sacramento Surge of the World League. In 1992, the Surge won the WLAF championship.
Haslett was the second-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills in 1979. His playing career spanned nine seasons, including the first eight with the Bills. In 1979, Haslett was named All-Rookie and was the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year. He was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1980 and 1981. Haslett concluded his NFL career in 1987 with the New York Jets.
A year later, Haslett assumed his initial coaching post, handling the linebackers at the University of Buffalo. He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1989 and served in that capacity for two years.
A three-time All-American as a defensive end at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (1975-78), Haslett graduated with a bachelor's degree in elementary education.
Born Dec. 9, 1955 in Pittsburgh, Pa., Haslett and his wife, Beth, have two daughters, Kelsey and Elizabeth, and a son, Chase. The Hasletts live in Pittsburgh.
MIKE ARCHER Linebackers Coach
Mike Archer joined the Steelers March 6, 1996 to coach the linebackers, following 19 years of coaching at the college level.
Archer, 45, previously served as defensive
coordinator and linebackers coach for Kentucky and
was their assistant head coach in 1995. He joined UK in 1993 following two years as linebackers coach at Virginia (1991-92).
Prior to his Kentucky appointment, Archer served as the head football coach at Louisiana State University from 1987-90. He led the Tigers to a 27-18-1 record with appearances in the 1987 Gator Bowl and 1989 Hall of Fame Bowl, and one Southeastern Conference Championship in 1988. As the nation's youngest Division I-A head football coach in 1987, Archer, then 34, led the Tigers to a 10-1-1 record and 30-13 Gator Bowl victory against South Carolina. A year later, Archer directed the Tigers to the SEC title with a 6-1 league record and finished 8-4 overall. In 1990, he was named coach for the East-West Shrine Game.
Archer, a native of State College, Pennsylvania, lettered three seasons (1973-75) in football at Miami (Fla.) where he started at free safety for two seasons and also punted. As a senior, Archer was named UM's Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He graduated from Miami in 1975 and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Hurricanes in 1976, serving under Lou Saban from 1977-78.
Howard Schnellenberger named Archer defensive backs coach in 1979. During Archer's five seasons, the Hurricanes posted a 41-16 record, which included a 31-30 Orange Bowl victory versus Nebraska and subsequent 1983 national championship.
Archer joined Bill Arnsparger as defensive backfield coach for LSU in 1984 and was named defensive coordinator 1985-86. During that period, LSU had a 26-8-2 record with appearances in three bowl games — 1985 Sugar, 1986 Liberty and 1987 Sugar — and the 1986 Southeastern Conference championship.
Born July 26, 1953, Archer and his wife Barbara have two children, Jeffrey Matthew and Betsy Anne.
Bob Bratkowski, former offensive coordinator and receivers coach of the Seattle Seahawks, was named receivers coach Jan. 20, 1999 by Head Coach Bill Cowher.
Bratkowski, 43, spent the past seven seasons with Seattle and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1995. He joined the Seahawks in 1992 as the wide receivers coach.
During Bratkowski's tenure, the Seahawks' offenses were one of the top-rated units in the NFL. In 1997, the Seahawks had the top-ranked passing team in the NFL (247.4 yards per game) and were third overall in total offense. Seattle also established club single-season records for most yards passing (4,187), completions (359) and attempts (609). In addition, the team finished second in the NFL in first downs with 331 (Denver, 340). Bratkowski also was credited with the development of Seahawks receivers Brian Blades and Joey Galloway. Last year, the Seahawks finished 23rd overall in total offense (289.1 yards per game).
Prior to his Seattle appointment, Bratkowski spent 14 years in collegiate football, including his last three years (1989-91) as the offensive coordinator for the University of Miami, where he served under Dennis Erickson. He also held similar positions under Erickson at Washington State (1987-88) and Wyoming (1986).
As a collegian, Bratkowski was a three-year letterman at Washington State. His father, Zeke, played quarterback for 14 seasons in the NFL.
Born Dec. 22, 1955, Bratkowski and his wife, Rebecca, have two children: son Shane and daughter Courtney.
Special Teams Coach
Jay Hayes is the most-recent addition to the Steelers coaching staff, named the club's special teams coach Feb. 10, 1999.
Hayes, 38, had served the past four seasons as the outside linebackers and special teams coach for the University of Wisconsin. He is the brother of former Steelers' tight end Jonathan Hayes.
At Wisconsin, Hayes coordinated one of the top special teams units in the Big Ten in 1997. During Hayes' tenure, the Badgers recorded two of the longest plays in school history: an NCAA-record 60-yard field goal (without a tee) and a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Prior to Wisconsin, Hayes worked three years at California, overseeing the outside linebackers in 1992-93 and adding special teams duties in 1994. He also served from 1989-91 as the outside linebackers coach and special teams coach at Notre Dame, where he worked with Wisconsin head coach Barry Alvarez, who was the Fightin' Irish's defensive coordinator. Hayes began his coaching career in 1988 as a graduate assistant at Notre Dame.
Hayes earned All-Conference honors at defensive end two years at Idaho (1980-81). He also played professionally in both the NFL and USFL from 1982-86.
Hayes and his wife, Suzanne, have two sons (Jesse and Miles) and a daughter (Jazmin).
Running Backs Coach
Dick Hoak, the longest tenured coach in Steelers history, is in his 38th year with the team and his 28th consecutive season as a Steelers assistant coach.
He served as offensive backfield coach for 20 seasons under Chuck Noll, before being named running backs coach by Bill Cowher on Jan. 27, 1992, the only coach retained from the previous Steelers' staff.
During Hoak's seven seasons under Cowher, the team has averaged a league-leading 134 yards a game. Pittsburgh led the league in rushing team in two of the past five years (1994 and 1997) and has been ranked in the top five in four of the past sevens seasons. Last year, the team was seventh in the NFL in rushing.
Hoak, 59, joined the Steelers' staff in 1972 under Noll after one year of coaching high school football and just two years after retiring from an outstanding playing career for the Steelers.
The Steelers' seventh-round draft choice out of Penn State in 1961, Hoak spent 10 seasons in the Pittsburgh backfield. He led the Steelers in rushing three times (1965, 1968, 1969) and played in one Pro Bowl (1969) after ranking fourth in the NFL in 1968 with 858 rushing yards.
When he retired following the 1970 season, Hoak had gained 3,965 rushing yards and ranked second in team history. Presently, he is fifth behind Hall of Famers Franco Harris and John Henry Johnson, current Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, and Frank Pollard.
In addition, Hoak currently ranks ninth in Steelers history for career touchdowns with 33, is tied for fifth in rushing touchdowns with 25, and second in rushing attempts with 1,132. He also had 146 receptions for 1,452 yards and eight touchdowns in his career.
As a standout running back and quarterback for Penn State from 1958-60, Hoak was named his team's MVP as a senior. He graduated in 1961 with a bachelor's degree in social studies.
Born Dec. 8, 1939 in Jeannette, Pa., Hoak and his wife Lynn have three children, daughters Kelly and Katie, and son Richard. The Hoaks live in Greensburg.
Defensive Backs Coach
Tim Lewis enters his fifth season as the Steelers' defensive backs coach.
Lewis, a standout player at Pitt, was selected 11th overall in the 1983 draft by the Green Bay Packers and was the second defensive back chosen that year. He returned to Pitt to coach defensive backs in 1993 and joined the Steelers on Feb. 7, 1995.
Lewis is no stranger to adversity. He'll be charged with molding new starters at cornerback this season for the third consecutive season. This challenge should be eased considerably with the expected healthy return of second-year cornerback Chad Scott, who missed the entire 1998 campaign because of knee surgery.
Lewis played 52 games for the Packers. He ended his career with 16 thefts and twice led or shared team honors for interceptions. His 99-yard interception return for a touchdown versus the Los Angeles Rams in 1984 still stands as a Packers' team record.
After suffering a career-ending neck injury in the fourth game of the 1986 season, Lewis entered the coaching ranks in 1987 as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M, where he remained for two years under his former college coach Jackie Sherrill. Three of his students found NFL success, including Dallas' 1992 first-round draft selection Kevin Smith.
Lewis coached defensive backs at Southern Methodist in 1989-92. His 1992 Mustang secondary led the Southwest Conference in pass defense, allowing just 182.3 yards passing per game. Starting cornerbacks Marcello Simmons (1993 4th-round, Cincinnati) and Cary Brabham (1993 free agent, Raiders) both headed to the NFL.
Lewis returned to the University of Pittsburgh in 1993 to coach the Panthers' secondary for two seasons before joining the Steelers.
He played for Pittsburgh from 1979 through 1982 and was a starting cornerback for the Panthers in 1981 and 1982. Lewis was named an NEA All-American in 1982. He was also selected to the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Bowl that year.
Lewis received his bachelor's degree in economics from Pittsburgh in 1983.
Born Dec. 18, 1961 in Quakertown, Lewis and his wife Shawn reside in the North Hills.
Defensive Line Coach
John Mitchell joined the Steelers as defensive line coach on Jan. 31, 1994, and begins his sixth season on the Steelers' coaching staff.
Mitchell is in his 25th season of coaching, including 15 years at the college level and two in the United States Football League. This is his seventh season as an NFL coach.
A former All-America defensive end for Alabama, Mitchell's early years in coaching were spent studying under two of college football's greatest coaches.
Mitchell began his coaching career in 1973 as defensive line coach under Paul ``Bear'' Bryant at Alabama. After four years at Alabama (1973-76), Mitchell spent six seasons as defensive line coach at Arkansas (1977-82) on Lou Holtz's staff.
In 1983, Mitchell made his first move to the professional level. From 1983-85 he served as defensive line coach for the USFL Birmingham Stallions and returned to the college ranks in 1986 as defensive ends coach at Temple.
Mitchell began a four-year stint in 1987 as linebackers coach at Louisiana State (1987-90) for current Steelers linebacker coach Mike Archer, who was the head coach. In his final season at Louisiana State, Mitchell was named defensive coordinator while continuing to coach the linebackers.
Mitchell, 47, joined the NFL ranks in 1991 with the Cleveland Browns, where he tutored two Pro Bowl defensive tackles. Mitchell accepted his current appointment following three seasons coaching the defensive line for the Browns.
He played defensive end and was a two-time Junior College All-American at Eastern Arizona Junior College in 1969-70. Mitchell then transferred and played defensive end at Alabama from 1971-72, earning All-America honors in 1972. He earned a bachelor's degree in social work in 1977.
Born Oct. 14, 1951 in Mobile, Ala., Mitchell and his wife Joyce live in Pittsburgh.
Tight Ends Coach
Mike Mularkey, a former tight end for the Steelers from 1989-91, returned to Pittsburgh and joined Bill Cowher's staff as tight ends coach Feb. 8, 1996.
Prior to his Steelers' appointment, Mularkey, 37, was in charge of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' tight ends in 1995. He previously served as the team's quality control coach in 1994, where he was responsible for "breaking down" film of opponents and compiling coaching reports on their offensive and defensive tendencies. He also assisted with tight ends and special teams.
In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Mularkey also served as the Buccaneers' director of player programs. In that role, he assisted players in continuing their education, advised them in offseason jobs and internships, provided financial education and offered family assistance.
Prior to joining the Buccaneers, Mularkey spent one year as the offensive line coach for Concordia (Minn.) College. He entered coaching after spending nine seasons in the NFL as a tight end, playing for the Minnesota Vikings from 1983-88 and the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1989-91. Originally a 1983 ninth-round draft choice of the San Francisco 49ers, Mularkey was waived prior to the season and was picked up by the Vikings. He joined the Steelers as a Plan B free agent. His career statistics included 102 receptions for 1,222 yards and nine touchdowns.
Mularkey attended the University of Florida and finished his Gator career with 55 receptions for 628 yards and three touchdowns. He has bachelor of science degrees in both kinesiology and sociology from the University of Minnesota.
Born Nov. 19, 1961 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Mularkey and his wife Betsy live in Pittsburgh with sons Patrick (2/15/86) and Shane (1/14/91).
KENT STEPHENSON Offensive Line Coach
Kent Stephenson enters his 35th season of coaching, his 15th in the NFL and his eighth with the Steelers. He was named offensive line coach on Feb. 7, 1992, following seven years in the same capacity with the Seattle Seahawks.
Under Stephenson, the offensive line has developed into one of the best in the NFL. In 1995, the unit allowed 24 sacks during the season and just 21 in 1996. The Steelers also join Buffalo and Dallas as one of only three teams to average more than 2,000 rushing yards a season since 1992 and lead the NFL with an average of 134 yards rushing a game. Last year with a young and reshuffled unit, the offensive line allowed 35 sacks.
Four of Stephenson's players have earned Pro Bowl honors, including Dermontti Dawson, Carlton Haselrig and Duval Love. Two players, John Jackson and Will Wolford, were named alternates in 1997.
Stephenson's coaching career began in 1965 and includes 18 years at the college level and two in the USFL prior to his entering the NFL in 1985 with Seattle.
He coached at Wayne State from 1965-68 and spent the next 14 years at North Dakota (1969-71), Southern Methodist (1972-73), Iowa (1974-76), Oklahoma State (1977-78) and Kansas (1979-82).
Stephenson moved to the professional level in 1983 as offensive line coach of the USFL Michigan Panthers (1983-84). In 1983 the Panthers won the USFL Championship.
In 1985, Stephenson entered the NFL as the Seahawks' offensive line coach under Chuck Knox. He was there for the 1985-91 seasons before joining the Steelers.
Stephenson was an All-Conference selection as an offensive and defensive lineman at Northern Iowa. He graduated with a degree in history and physical education in 1965, and received his master's degree in education from Wayne State in 1966.
Born Feb. 4, 1942 in Anita, Iowa, Stephenson and his wife Shirley have two children, daughter Heidi and son Kyle.
LOU SPANOSAdministrative Assistant
Lou Spanos is in his sixth season with the Steelers and his fifth year as an administrative assistant for the coaching staff. As an administrative assistant, Spanos helps mainly with the defense, but assists the entire coaching staff with video analysis and scouting of Steelers' opponents. A 1992 graduate of the University of Tulsa, he was a four-year letterman and three-year starter at offensive center. Spanos stayed at Tulsa for a year following graduation to coach the linebackers, before joining the Steelers as an intern in the scouting department. After his one-year internship, Spanos was promoted to his current position of administrative assistant. Spanos and his wife Timme reside in Mt. Lebanon.