RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The N.C. State University football program honored one of its most famous and decorated alumni on Friday night.
NFL legend Bill Cowher, the only former N.C. State player in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was inducted into the Wolfpack Ring of Honor during the Louisville game.
Cowher starred as linebacker for the Wolfpack from 1975-78. He sits seventh in school history in career tackles, including 195 stops in 1978, which still stands as a single-season record.
“The boy from Pittsburgh – came down here in the most formative years of my life,” Cowher said. “A lot of it was me growing up to be a man on that football field down there. It shaped my entire life. I met the mother of my three daughters. I have seven grandkids to this date. So coming back here is very special. Tonight is very special, and I feel very humbled by it all.”
Following graduation, Cowher played five years in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns, before entering the coaching ranks at 28 years old. He eventually became the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1992, where he compiled a 161-99-1 overall record in 15 seasons.
During his time in Pittsburgh, Cowher led the Steelers to eight division titles, 10 playoff berths, six AFC Championship games and two Super Bowl appearances. In 2006, he guided his team to victory in Super Bowl XL.
“Throughout his career, Bill Cowher has epitomized what Wolfpack football is all about,” N.C. State football head coach Dave Doeren said in a released statement. “He is a true mentor, leader, and icon in the coaching profession, and we are so proud to be able to honor him in Carter-Finley Stadium alongside other NC State legends.”
“Bill Cowher has left an indelible mark on the game of football and is certainly beloved by Wolfpack Nation,” N.C. State Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan said in a released statement. “It is an absolute privilege to recognize his remarkable contributions and celebrate his outstanding career.”
Since resigning as head coach of the Steelers in January 2007, Cowher has worked as a studio analyst on CBS NFL Today.
He was officially selected as an inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020.