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Making the Case for Bill Cowher’s Hall of Fame Induction

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Three former NC State players were among the 102 Modern-Era Nominees for the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class released Friday.

Wide Receiver Torry Holt
Safety Adrian Wilson
Head Coach Bill Cowher

I’ve already made a case for the Holt and Wilson belonging in the Hall of Fame, and in this piece I will make the case for Bill Cowher landing in Canton, Ohio with the rest of the greats.

The former NC State linebacker was the head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers for 15 seasons, compiling a record 161-91-1. His 161 career wins ranks 19th in NFL history. Cowher led the Steelers to a 149-90 record in regular season play, and his 149 wins are the 10th most regular season wins by a head coach in NFL history.

His career winning percentage of 61.9% ranks 18th all-time.

Cowher is one of only 23 coaches in NFL history to lead teams to more than one Super Bowl. In 1996, Cowher, at the age of 38, became the youngest coach to lead their team to a Super Bowl. The Steelers lost to the Cowboys 27-17 in Super Bowl XXX. Ten years later, Cowher once again made it to the Super Bowl, and this time he walked away with the Lombardi trophy. The Steelers defeated the Seahawks 21-10 in Super Bowl XL. The fact that the Steelers were the #6 seed makes Cowher’s Super Bowl victory that much more impressive. Only two #6 seeds in this history of the NFL have gone on to win the Super Bowl.

In 15 seasons as the head coach of the Steelers, Cowher led them to 8 divisional titles (1 of only 6 coaches to claim 7+ divisional titles) and 10 playoff appearances.

Conclusion

This marks the 5th time that Cowher has been nominated, but he has yet to be a semi-finalist. Cowher’s detractor’s point to his 2-4 record in the AFC Championship game, and point to what could have been. I understand that, but he is one of only 23 coaches in NFL history to win 2 Conference Championships. I expect Mike Shanahan and Tom Coughlin to make it in before Cowher. They both have have more career wins, and won 2 Super Bowls (Coughlin won’t be eligible until 2020). I could also see Mike Holmgren going in before Cowher. He also won one Super bowl, but went to 3, and has more career wins. It’s worth noting that Cowher’s career winning percentage is better than all three of the above mentioned coaches. It might not be this year, but I believe Cowher deserves to be in the Hall of Fame one day.

Pack in the Pros

Joe Thuney Wins 2nd Super Bowl Ring!

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The New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII last night, giving former NC State All-American Offensive Lineman Joe Thuney his second Super Bowl ring.

Thuney made NFL history last night, becoming the first player to start in 3 Super Bowls in their first 3 seasons.

He has been a rock of consistency at offensive guard for the Pats ever since they drafted him in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft, starting every single game since day one…51 straight games.

Thuney joins Mike Cofer and Perry Williams as the only players in NC State history to win 2 Super Bowls.

Joe Thuney – LI & LIII – Offensive Guard – New England Patriots
Mike Cofer – XXIII & XXIV – Kicker – San Francisco 49ers
Perry Williams – XXI & XXV – Cornerback – New York Giants

His 3 Super Bowl appearances are the 2nd most in NC State history.

Jim Ritcher – 4
Joe Thuney – 3
Mike Cofer – 2
Perry Williams – 2
Mike Jones – 2
Torry Holt – 2
Russell Wilson – 2
J.R. Sweezy – 2
Steven Hauschka – 2
(Bill Cowher – 2 – as a head coach)

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Former NC State ROY Dennis Smith Jr has been Traded to the New York Knicks

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Dennis Smith Jr., former NC State ACC Freshman of the Year, has officially been traded to the New York Knicks.

It’s fitting that Smith landed in New York, considering he just dropped his 2nd career triple-double in Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.

After it was all said and done, the Knicks will have roughly $71 million in salary cap space heading into the summer, which could pay two max salary players to package with Dennis.

Top targets: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard.

The buzz around Durant has been that New York might be his most likely destination.

Through 101 games over the past two seasons with the Mavericks, Smith finished his time there averaging 14.5 points and 4.9 assists.

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Former NC State WR Alvis Whitted Named Wide Receivers Coach for Green Bay Packers

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Former NC State Wide Receiver Alvis Whitted has been named the Wide Receivers Coach for the Green Bay Packers.

Whitted has spent the past 9 seasons as the Wide Receivers Coach at Colorado State, developing 3 All-Americans in that span (Michael Gallup, Rashard Higgins, and Preston Williams).

Prior to becoming a coach, Whitted spent 9 years as a wide receiver himself in the NFL, spending 4 years with the Jacksonville Jaguars (who drafted him in the 7th round of the 1998 NFL Draft, with the 192nd overall pick), and 5 with the Oakland Raiders.

He finished his NFL career with 74 receptions for 1,030 yards and 6 touchdowns.

At NC State, Whitted compiled 29 receptions for 461 yards.

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Nate McMillan is the 26th Coach in NBA History to Win 600 Games

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Former NC State Guard Nate McMillan became the 26th coach in NBA history to win 600 regular season games this week.

McMillan played 2 years at NC State, and was a captain for the 1985-86 squad. Despite only 2 years worth of stats, McMillan ranks 9th all-time in assists, and ranks 5th in assist-to-turnover ratio.

In 1986, McMillan was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics with the 30th pick in the 2nd round.

McMillan played 12 seasons in the NBA, all for Seattle. He ranks 2nd all-time in assists in SuperSonics history. Seattle retired his #10 jersey on March 24th, 1999.

He has spent the past 2o years coaching, with 15 of those being as a head coach.

McMillan is in his 3rd year as the head coach of the Indiana Pacers.

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