Bill Cowher was unsuccessful in luring one of the best offensive minds of the 1990s to his coaching staff when he became Pittsburgh Steelers head coach in 1992, and lived to tell a fruitful story about it.
Cowher -- a 2021 electee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- was recently asked if he tried to hire eventual Super Bowl-winning head coach Mike Shannahan to be his offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh.
"Yeah, I did -- I actually offered him the job," Cowher said on The Adam Schein Podcast. "And he had come in, we talked and I said 'Man, he's the best guy I've talked to.' And he said 'You know what Bill? I'd come, but I think I have a better chance at turning this around in San Francisco.'"
Shannahan's decision to rebuff Cowher's offer actually worked out well for both sides.
With Shannahan off the table, Cowher tabbed former New England Patriots head coach Ron Erhardt as the offensive coordinator. Erhardt would serve in this role for the first four of Cowher's 15 seasons as Steelers head coach. In his final season with the team, the Steelers won the AFC Championship before losing to the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX.
Meanwhile, Shannahan took a job as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach with the 49ers -- the team that his son, Kyle, is now the head coach of. Following three years on George Seifert's staff, Shannahan succeeded Wade Phillips as the head coach of the Denver Broncos, ultimately helping John Elway to win Super Bowl titles in his final two NFL seasons.