Mike Tomlin: No booster has big enough check for me to take college job

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Former NFL quarterback Carson Palmer suggested Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was a “wild card” in USC’s search for a new head coach and that he’d be a candidate if he were interested in leaving the Steelers.

Tomlin made it very clear on Tuesday that he has no interest in leaving the Steelers. Tomlin was asked about the possibility of taking a college coaching job at the end of his press conference and he said that “there’s not a booster with a big enough blank check” for him to leave what he called one of the top jobs in all of sports.

“I don’t have time for that speculation,” Tomlin said. “That’s a joke to me. I’ve got one of the best jobs in all of professional sport, why would I have any interest in coaching college football? That’ll be the last time I address it. And not only today, but moving forward. Never say never, but never.”

Tomlin followed that up by wondering if anyone is asking Sean Payton or Andy Reid about their interest in leaving the NFL for the college ranks and then all but dropped the microphone to bring the press conference to an end.

58 responses to “Mike Tomlin: No booster has big enough check for me to take college job

  1. The bigger question is who will be the USC coach in five years when they inevitably fire the guy they are about to hire.

  2. All he would do is COACH, it seems stressful having to travel constantly to win over recruits. I’d totally prefer a pro job versus a college job. Fans & Boosters can pressure a coach in college, not so much in the NFL. That is up to the GM and/or owner.

  3. Nick Saban as a Dolphins coach was just as adamant denying Alabama coaching rumors and look how it turned out. Does Mike Tomlin want to stick around for Steelers rebuild after Big Ben retires? We’ll see.

  4. LOVE IT! You’d have to be a fool to leave the head coaching job of the Steelers for a college team. Heck leaving it for another pro-team would be silly too.

  5. Personally I cant stand to watch college football. The competition isnt even. The playoff format is awful. The recruitment aspect is always going to be flawed. ETC etc etc.

  6. Translation:

    I’m too busy right now trying to claw my way out of the AFC North cellar.

  7. So, lol, two things,he never actually says no and he says there is not a SINGLE booster with a big enough blank check

  8. Why compare Tomlin to Saban? For starters everything he said is 100% correct. There is not an owner who backs their coach more then the Rooney’s do. I am a Packer fan and I can see that. How many head coaches have they had since before my old “censored” has been on this earth? 3. How many franchises can say that? 0. They stuck by the previous two through thin times and reaped the rewards. Tomlin isn’t leaving the Steelers for a west coast college team that is fickle about their direction. His mother didn’t raise a fool. Tomlin isn’t Saban, the Dolphins aren’t the Steelers and USC is not Alabama. Don’t compare the situations.

  9. I can only imagine that recruiting in college is a dirty business, and so is dealing with boosters. I bet it’s like being a politician and having to beg for money.

  10. Tomlin followed that up by wondering if anyone is asking Sean Payton or Andy Reid about their interest in leaving the NFL for the college ranks and then all but dropped the microphone to bring the press conference to an end.

    —–

    Exactly. The only high caliber coach that did that was Bill Walsh, and he did it because he was done with pro ball and loved Stanford. It’s an insult to bring up Tomlin in this discussion because no one ever asks if his peers would be interested in a step down move like that. They don’t even ask his lesser peers if they would. Jack Del Rio, a failed NFL HC, would be more realistic from the pro ranks.

  11. Every Steeler coach since merger has won a super bowl. And each has been to multiple Super Bowls. See ya

  12. If I were a athletic director for a big time college like USC I would pay Tony Dungy 8- 10 million a year to coach my team. The culture and player development would be on a thousand and he will build a powerhouse in no time.

  13. Hes a successful professional coach that has good security in an established professional organization. Would he leave for another team in the NFL if they gave him the power of an executive? Maybe. Leave to go to the NCAA. Probably not. Like most head coaches he I bet he has a massive ego. Why go back and deal with kids? It’s not really comparable to guys that went NCAA –> NFL then back, or coaches that were not good in the pros. Tomlin didn’t go to USC and isn’t from the west coast. He has been in the NFL since 2001. Why would he end up in USC? Maybe money, but doubt that change is worthy of leaving.

  14. Why is he so angry? Nobody is asking Payton or Reid about their interest in coaching USC because nobody has publicly suggested that they are “wild cards” for the job.

  15. He essentially won a Super Bowl with Cowhers’s team in 2008, and while piling up regular seasons wins with superior talent and below average competition from the Ohio teams, he has been a post season bust for the past decade plus. Now that CIN and CLE seem to have figured things out, it won’t be long.

  16. Tomlin might have less choice if the Steelers go through 3-4 years of “maybe this guy we drafted will take the next step.”

    Rooney’s don’t change change coaches until they do.

  17. USC is all about recruiting, Tomlin has never done that and there will be a very short window to get right because there is always a booster willing to write a big check to can/buy out the current coach. It looks more like USC is getting desperate to they are having Carson fling fliers out into the media to see if something sticks and a coach goes hey I might be interested. 7 and 9 Jeff is now being looked at.

  18. Great answer. If I were a coach, I’d rather have the security of a college job, and you also have much more control over success because recruiting is 90% of it. The alumni usually know a lot more about football than the average NFL owner. They have one goal. Winning. The NFL has lots of owners who inherited the team, and know nothing about football, and often know nothing about business. They were just handed a team. Great coaches often get fired because the owner didn’t know how to put together a front office. The Steelers are the exception. They’ve had 3 coaches over the last 50 years or more. All have won super bowls, and all are going to be in the HOF some day. Working for the Rooney family is the best coaching job in the world. They know what they’re doing, and they win. The Rooney kids inherited the team, but they understand how an NFL organization needs to operate.

  19. Tomlin has never had a losing season in his first 14 seasons even when he had mason Rudolph and duck hodges as his qbs for 14 1/2 games.

    People have been putting him as being out the door since 2013.

    If anyone thinks rebuilding is less appealing then riding the embers of Ben’s career you’d be sorely mistaken.

  20. Tomlin means what he says. He’s too into what he’s doing now to even give it consideration.

  21. For instance, why isn’t this question being asked of Kyle Shanahan. It would make a whole lot more sense.

  22. Tomlin’s straightforward, no nonsense statements are refreshing in this time of word salad. He means what he says and says what he means.

  23. Steelers Head Coach is a lifetime position, the Rooney’s don’t fire coaches. Why would you leave a job that secure to chase high school players looking for recruits?

  24. Do you know how many college coaches would trade places with Tomlin right now?
    All of them except Saban.
    End of discussion.

  25. partmachine says:
    Rooney’s don’t change change coaches until they do.
    ————————–
    Rooneys haven’t changed a coach since 1969.
    A Hall of Fame coach retires…and then they hire another Hall of Fame coach to replace him.

  26. Poor guy doesn’t realize what’s about to hit him after this year. Has had all kinds of talent around him in last 10 years and can’t win anything. Dude can’t coach average players and that is what they have now. Average.

  27. Some of these boosters could lose Mike Tomlin’s net worth in on a Monday and forget about it before bed on Tuesday. That doesn’t make him wrong.

    Honestly, it’s a coy way to put the boosters to the test.

    Do they really not have enough money?

  28. Yeah, but at least there’s no salary cap in college football that boosters have to worry about.

  29. thisismy5thaccount says:
    Poor guy doesn’t realize what’s about to hit him after this year. Has had all kinds of talent around him in last 10 years and can’t win anything. Dude can’t coach average players and that is what they have now. Average.
    ———————————–
    That’s what happens when every year you’re drafting at the bottom cause you’re winning so many games and division titles and a couple of lombardis…

  30. Here’s the thing about Tomlin. You give him a 4-12 team and he’ll get you 8 wins somehow, but if you give him a 14-2 team, he’ll deliver 12 wins and a first round exit from the playoffs.

  31. I watched the Penn State game last weekend. My initial thought , James Franklin has already informed his team that he’s leaving for the USC job at the end of this year.

  32. If you would take Mike Tomlin over James Franklin, stick to the pro football threads because you’re clueless about college football. Tomlin wouldn’t even be the third best college coach in the SEC.

    Sorry, an 8-8 playoff record and one Super Bowl title with an organization with all the advantages of the Pittsburgh Steelers isn’t as impressive as some of you think.

  33. NHPats Belicheat has more losing seasons than Tomlin so why don’t you ask him about USC.

  34. No ax to grind re Tomlin: I thought it interesting that he came across as being insulted by the question with his line about “why aren’t you asking Sean Payton and Andy Reid”; the implication being that Payton and Reid are top tier coaches who are secure in their jobs, and Tomlin sees himself the same way. Now, for whatever reason (competence? race? attitude?) Tomlin is being asked the question and bristled. It’s true that no one has asked Sean Payton and Andy Reid – no one has asked Payton about the LSU job either, which to the uninformed would be a natural fit (Payton is so plugged into what is going on in Louisiana that he was alerted to Orgeron’s struggles and, according to a recent story in the Times-Picayune/Advocate, warned one of his assistants away from taking the LSU defensive coordinator job last spring). Point being – either Tomlin is right to feel insulted, or his seat is warmer than is generally known

  35. I bet a lot of Steelers fans hope he would leave. He has vastly underachieved as coach of the Steelers. They had Super Bowl talent and under his leadership they only rarely made the playoffs.

  36. Vasteelerfan says:
    October 26, 2021 at 5:16 pm
    NHPats Belicheat has more losing seasons than Tomlin so why don’t you ask him about USC

    ———
    Oh I don’t know…45 years in the league, 8 rings and best coach ever mean anything at all?

  37. Oh I don’t know…45 years in the league, 8 rings and best coach ever mean anything at all?

    2 0 Rate This

    Not when you been punished for cheating…..twice, but cheating and lying are all good to you….right.

  38. He’s the Head Coach of the Pittsburg Steelers, he’s one of the best in the league. It’s the ultimate platform and he has already won the ultimate prize. Money ain’t everything, and Coach Tomlin ain’t hurtin’!

  39. itsamadmadmadmadworld says:
    October 26, 2021 at 5:36 pm
    I bet a lot of Steelers fans hope he would leave. He has vastly underachieved as coach of the Steelers. They had Super Bowl talent and under his leadership they only rarely made the playoffs.

    —–

    It’s demonstrably false that Tomlin has performed “vastly” worse than his predecessors. This year is his 15th season as HC of the Steelers. In his previous 14 seasons he made the playoffs 9 times (64%), won the division 7 times (50%), made 2 Super Bowls and won one, and never had a losing season (went 8-8 3 times).

    Bill Cowher was HC of the Steelers for 15 seasons. He made the playoffs 10 times (67%), won the division 8 times (53%), made 2 Super Bowls and won one, and had 3 losing seasons.

    Chuck Noll was HC of the Steelers for 23 seasons. He made the playoffs 12 times (52%), won the division 9 times (39%), made the Super Bowl 4 times and won them all, and had 8 losing seasons.

    Aside from Noll’s Super Bowl record, these coaches put up pretty similar numbers.

    And to compare him to a contemporary, Sean Payton coached the Saints for 14 seasons (not counting the Bountygate suspension year). He made the playoffs 9 times (64%), won the division 7 times (50%), made the Super Bowl once and won it, and had 4 losing seasons including 3 in a row.

    Tomlin is among the best coaches in the league and any Steeler fan looking to replace him is suffering from the “grass is greener” syndrome.

  40. nhpats2011 says:
    October 26, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    What has Mike won in the past 10 years?

    ——————————————————————

    102 regular season games, 3 playoff wins in the 10 seasons prior to this one.

  41. itsamadmadmadmadworld says:
    October 26, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    They had Super Bowl talent and under his leadership they only rarely made the playoffs.

    ————————————————————————-

    “Rarely made the playoffs”. In 14 seasons, he’s made the playoffs 9 times.

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