Steelers sign Mike Tomlin, NFL’s longest-tenured head coach, to 3-year contract extension

Any NFL teams hoping Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin would become available to coach their franchise next offseason are sorely out of luck. The Steelers announced Monday that they’ve signed Tomlin to a three-year contract extension, keeping him in the Steel City through the 2027 season.

“Mike Tomlin’s leadership and commitment to the Steelers have been pivotal to our success during his first 17 years as head coach,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement on the team website. “Extending his contract for three more years reflects our confidence in his ability to guide the team back to winning playoff games and championships, while continuing our tradition of success.”

Tomlin, 52, was hired by the Steelers in 2007 and has remained their head coach ever since. With Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots parting ways in early 2024, Tomlin is now the NFL’s longest-tenured head coach. If he makes it to the end of his new contract extension, he’ll have coached the Steelers for 21 years.

Using “if” is necessary when talking about NFL teams and coaches staying together, but the Steelers aren’t like other teams. They’ve had exactly three head coaches since 1969: Hall of Famers Chuck Noll (1969-91) and Bill Cowher (1992-2006), and Tomlin (2007-current). It was big news last season when Tomlin fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada midseason, as the Steelers hadn’t made an in-season coaching change since 1941 — over 80 years ago.

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 07: Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin looks on before the game against the New England Patriots at Acrisure Stadium on December 07, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 07: Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin looks on before the game against the New England Patriots at Acrisure Stadium on December 07, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The Steelers have signed longtime head coach Mike Tomlin to a three-year contract extension. If he makes it to the end of that contract, he’ll have coached the Steelers for 21 years. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The Steelers love making a decision and sticking to it, but that’s not why they’ve stuck with Tomlin for 17-plus years. They’ve stuck with him because he’s very, very good at his job. Over 17 years, he’s had zero seasons under .500. In every season he’s coached, he’s won at least eight or nine games — and that includes the last two post-Ben Roethlisberger seasons, which have been some of Tomlin’s toughest assignments. He has a 275-173 record, good for a .633 winning percentage, and has taken the Steelers to the playoffs 11 times.

Tomlin had not been in the mood to talk about his contract earlier this year. Following the Steelers’ playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills in January, Tomlin memorably walked off the podium when a reporter asked him about his future with the team. Now that his contract is done, Tomlin has a bit more to say.

“I am appreciative for this contract extension and thankful for Art Rooney II for his support during my first 17 years in Pittsburgh,” Tomlin said via the team website. “We are continuing to work diligently to get back to where we belong — sustained playoff success with the ultimate goal of winning the franchise’s seventh Lombardi Trophy.

“I am very excited to get the 2024 season underway and provide our fans with a memorable year.”

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