Steelers’ Coach Mike Tomlin and his wife Kiya were honored on Friday by the Chuck Cooper Foundation with the Career Achievement in Leadership Diversity and Community Service Award. Tomlin was unable to attend the luncheon because of the NFL Scouting Combine, but Kiya accepted on their behalf.
The Chuck Cooper Foundation was set up to honor the legacy of Cooper, the first African-American drafted by the NBA. Cooper, who attended Pittsburgh’s Westinghouse High School, was selected by the Boston Celtics in the second round in 1950.
The Foundation’s goal is to help further the education of students in the Pittsburgh area, something that is a passion for the Tomlin family as well.
“It’s humbling,” said Mike Tomlin prior to leaving for the NFL Combine. “It’s not the type of recognition that we seek. We appreciate it, but we just feel like we are doing what we are called to do. We are greatly blessed personally and professionally and giving back goes with that.”
With three children being raised in Pittsburgh, they strive to make the city and the educational system better not just for their own kids, but for others.
“We want to help out not only for myself living and working here, but we are the parents of three kids and Pittsburgh is a significant portion of their upbringing,” said Tomlin. “As members of the community it’s our job to make it the very best that we can make it for them and others.”