Mike Tomlin’s 2008 SVC Commencement Speech Named One Of The 300 Best Ever

When Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talks, people listen. Not only does he know how to communicate with his players, he’s also good at talking to college graduates. Make that very good.

In a recent study done by NPR (National Public Radio) of commencement speeches going back to 1774, Tomlin’s May 2008 address to the Saint Vincent College gradating class has been named as one of “The Best 300 Commencement Speeches, Ever.”

Tomlin is in great company on that list as he shares the honor with Mother Teresa, John F. Kennedy, Bill Cosby, Bill Gates and the Dalai Lama, just to name a few.

Thanks to Youtube, you watch Tomlin’s 2008 speech below.

While Tomlin’s not really considered to be a head coach that’s very media friendly, we do know that he’s good with his players.

Earlier this year, ESPN.com reporters asked players across the league which head coach they would most like to play for and Tomlin came in second behind Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

According to Scott Brown of ESPN.com back in January, Tomlin might have received more votes in that survey had some of the Steelers’ players that he polled not answered the question as the coach they would most like to play for aside from their own. In addition, Brown also eloquently wrote about why players like playing for Tomlin.

Tomlin’s greatest strength is his ability to connect with his players and motivate them. He has done this while also maintaining a clear line between a coach and his players that is necessary for the kind of sustained success Tomlin has enjoyed, the last two seasons notwithstanding.

The seventh-year coach is cool, confident — and, yes sometimes arrogant — and if there is any doubt how much faith the Steelers’ players have in him, witness the second half of last season.

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  • T R

    Dave, you have yet again out done yourself in digging this up… I had not seen it.. wow.. i am going to have to unfollow you on twitter just so i can add you again.. Thanks again for all you do to show the positives and negatives of our Steelers and Mike Tomlin and our coaching staff, team, fans and outside folks.

    This is great…..

  • steeltown

    Very cool, thanks Bryan

  • shawn

    He definitely has the Gift of GAB … knows his way around the microphone …. too bad it doesnt appear to translate to his coaching abilities when it relates to Strategy, X’s & O’s, time management & other key areas … But i do have to give it to him as a motivator and leader !

  • Johnny Loose

    Hadn’t seen this before, glad you posted Dave. Tomlin is definitely a charismatic figure to be sure. Great leader. We have to remember that this he is just another man finding his way and learning as he goes. I think he’s done an excellent job of coaching our Steelers. The second half of last season could have been an all out collapse and we probably would have expected it after the first half. Instead, this team was able to rally behind Mike Tomlin and narrowly missed the playoffs. I never would have guessed that after week 4. I think his on field coaching and management will only improve, meanwhile we have a great leader of men on our hands. Go Steelers

  • Madi

    Well, obviously.

  • steelster

    Nice speech and a good man.

  • Steve

    The resemblance of Football and Life well told by Coach Tomlin.

  • MailboxKid

    Damn was that inspiring. Wow.