(CBS Local Sports)– Super Bowl champion and Hall of Fame head coach Bill Cowher has always kept things close to the chest, but sports fans will finally get to learn about his life and career in a new memoir from Simon & Schuster called “Heart and Steel.” In his book, Cowher discusses his childhood in Pennsylvania, playing college football at North Carolina State and making to the NFL, becoming the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers and losing his wife and his father.
CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith caught up recently with Cowher to discuss his life, career and new book, which is available everywhere on June 1.
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“When I went into the Hall of Fame, it made me start to reflect on my football career, so for the first month you start to think of all the people who were a part of that,” said Cowher. “The pandemic hits and then you sit back and start to reflect on your life. I thought it would be a great time to talk about my life in general. Life is a series of hardships, opportunities and lessons. I share all of that and in every one of them you learn from. It kind of defines and molds who you are today. I found the right collaborator in Michael Holley who was the right person at the right time. We just connected right away.”
While Cowher had many great moments in his time as the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach, nothing was better than leading the historic franchise to a Super Bowl championship in 2006 over the Seattle Seahawks.
“It meant a lot and the biggest thing it meant to me was being able to hand Dan Rooney that trophy in my 14th year,” said Cowher. “I was there 10 years earlier thinking we would get back and you don’t get back. We went through a series of challenges. It was 10 years. As you read the book, I reveal a lot more than I ever have before. You’ll see where I was to where I ended up and why I stepped down when I stepped down and where I am today.”
Cowher says a conversation with Super Bowl champion Bill Parcells really influenced his decision to step away from football. The former NFL head coach says the toughest parts of the book to write were the ones where he talked about his late wife and father.
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“It was really difficult and I give a lot of credit to Michael Holley because there were a couple of sessions where I was laughing about them because of how much I love them and crying about them because I miss them,” said Cowher. “I was proud of them. They molded who I was. I sat there and watched my wife fight through cancer and then I sat there with my dad at the end of his life. I had stepped away and I was trying to find out what the next stage was and I saw other people in the final stages. It makes you very thankful for what you have and reflective of where you’ve been and where you want to go.”