W&M’s Super Bowl Connection

by Guest Blogger Sam Mann


Last Sunday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl. While we all have our own fan allegiances, much of the William and Mary community was rooting for one of their own, Steelers’ Head Coach Mike Tomlin, a 1995 graduate. Tomlin’s Steelers, the 2009 Super Bowl Champions, fell just short of their second title in four years.

Tomlin maintains an excellent relationship with William and Mary and the community of Williamsburg. A recent article in the Virginia Gazette discussed Tomlin’s friendship with Pete Tsipas, owner of Paul’s Deli, a local establishment across the street from main campus. (Paul’s happens to be one of the most popular locations in town for both food and nightlife. You are likely to find a few law students in there most Friday and Saturday nights.)  Tomlin worked at Paul’s Deli during his undergraduate years, and he and Tsipas have remained friends and keep in touch often. Tomlin also returned to campus in 2008 to give the commencement address at graduation. While I’m not a big Steelers fan, it is easy to admire Tomlin’s work ethic, humility and accomplishments. He was the youngest coach to ever win the Super Bowl, and is widely thought of as one of the premier coaches in the NFL. If you’ve never heard him speak, watch one of his press conferences; they are excellent.

That someone as accomplished and visible as Mike Tomlin is still so connected to Williamsburg and William and Mary illustrates the type of community we have here. Even though the Steelers did not triumph, Tomlin still proudly represented William and Mary and his rise within his profession helps show why this is a special place to go to school.