Slideshow: Mike Tomlin's journey to Pittsburgh

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Photos by Peter Diana, Chuck Finder, Doreena Balastiere
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Getty Images, Denbigh High
Audio by Chuck Finder and Dan Gigler
Produced by Andy Starnes and Larry Roberts
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Michael Pettaway Tomlin, Bill Cowher's successor as Steelers head coach, tomorrow steps into the harsh sunlight of Steelers expectation, his coaching acumen front and center.

He is a man taking over a team that won a Super Bowl 17 months earlier. He is a man arising from college-coaching backwaters and just one season as an NFL coordinator to become only the third Steelers head coach in nearly four decades.

He is the man who tomorrow afternoon, on Chuck Noll Field at St. Vincent College, opens his inaugural Steelers training camp and 2007 season with a rigorous conditioning test whose particulars he hoped to keep "something of a surprise."

There are words and images, unspoken and unseen previously around Pittsburgh, that reveal the man and provide a window on his makeup, his character, and his fast track to this high profile job at the age of 34.

This slide show of images from his youth and college career features the voices of three who have many stories to tell of his rise from Newport News to the helm of one of football's most storied teams. You'll hear from Ed Tomlin, his older brother; Bill Johnson, a close childhood friend and Julia Copeland, his mother.

Related article:
Mike Tomlin: A man of his words
Multimedia Index

You must have Flash player to view this feature. The slideshow may take several minutes to download over a dial-up connection. This presentation was produced by Peter Diana. Peter Diana can be reached at pdiana@post-gazette.com .


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