Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Mike Tomlin biography author holds book signing at Point Park

In the midst of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s immense media coverage, Point Park students had the opportunity last Thursday to discover more on his personal life.

Author John Harris – the biographer for Tomlin: The Soul of a Football Coach – visited Point Park on January 18 for a book signing and panel discussion. He was joined by Ed Tomlin, Mike Tomlin’s older brother, who was a key contributor to the contents of the biography.

Harris and Ed Tomlin held a book signing in the university’s bookstore in the early afternoon, where the new biography was available for purchase. The signing was followed by an interview of Harris in the Center for Media Innovation, where he spoke about his experience as a Steelers beat reporter and columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 

Ed Tomlin later joined the conversation to discuss his brother’s success and journey. This was followed by an open Q&A for students and locals in attendance. 

Tomlin: The Soul of a Football Coach was recently published on November 23, 2023, and it is the first and only biography of Mike Tomlin. Harris wrote the piece alongside Tony Dungy – a Hall of Fame coach and author – to summarize Coach Tomlin’s rise to being the youngest NFL coach to win a Super Bowl at the time. 

“It’s a story of [the] rise of a coach who will go down as one of the best coaches in NFL history and how he got there, you know, his start,” Harris said. “I think it’s motivation for people as far as hard work.”

Harris promotes his biography as the ultimate success story that teaches an array of valuable lessons, as Coach Tomlin broke barriers within the NFL and outside of it.

“You take the opportunity, you grasp the opportunity, and you run with it,” Harris said. “He has a message for a lot of people, not just sports fans and of course Steelers fans.”

The panels and discussions were all hosted by Andrew Conte – the assistant vice president of the CMI – who is working to bring in industry professionals and inspire students. 

“I think that’s what makes Point Park special,” Conte said. “We’re able to bring in professional people who are doing the kinds of work that students want to do. You see how it’s possible to go from where you are as a student to being that professional person.”

Students had the chance to engage with the speakers on a personal level following the sessions. Ed Tomlin and Harris stuck around for more book signings and conversation with the attendees. 

“It was always good to have somebody show that genuine level [of] interest in you,” Harris said. “Andy [Conte] was telling me about the [sports podcasting] class and the students here, and this will be cool as far as people that [are] really truly taking in the message.”

John Harris’ biography can be purchased through most major book retailers, as well as digitally on Amazon. 

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