For the past 32 seasons, I have had the honor and privilege to be a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers team and family. It was an opportunity that I did not take lightly. To be part of one of the most historic franchises in professional sports is special. I have worked with only three head coaches in the past three decades, including Hall of Fame coaches Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher, and future HOF coach Mike Tomlin. There have been many special assistant coaches that have been part of my career with the club as well. And I will never forget the countless players that I worked with, both Hall of Famers and athletes spending just a few days with us for a tryout. So many memories and great experiences. Almost 600 games, 30 training camps at Saint Vincent College, four Super Bowls, and two Super Bowl parades!
I want to thank the Rooney family for taking a chance on a Penn State graduate who was working at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., in 1991. I have been fortunate to have worked for the best ownership in the National Football League. When I began my career, Tom Donahoe was the Director of Football Operations and later I worked for Kevin Colbert. Both are quality folks who helped shape the team. And this team is on the rise under the leadership and management of Omar Khan and his staff.
It is the people in this organization that makes the Steelers unique. From media relations, scouting, community relations, content team, the business office and all the support staff. They are all good people who share a passion for winning. And that is just the group at our practice facility. There are more folks at Acrisure Stadium and at North Shore offices who are a part of this great team as well.
The one group I truly need to mention is the medical staff. Without them, no way do I last 32 years with the Steelers. Dr. Jim Bradley is respected by his peers in the NFL and around the country. He is absolutely an ally of Certified Athletic Trainers and the best orthopedist I have ever been around. Tony Yates, Joe Maroon, Mark Duca and Craig Mauro are special as well. And the recent addition of Aaron Mares and David Okonkwo provides skilled clinicians that will serve the club for years to come. The Steelers have the best physicians in the NFL, and there are many more docs that I did not mention, but I am thankful for as well.
Sports Medicine is more than just physicians and athletic trainers. I must recognize some awesome strength coaches who work in concert with us. Garrett Giemont, Marcel Pastoor, Rodain Delus, and Chet Fuhrman are all true professionals. Our equipment folks, including but not limited to, Adam Regan, Pat Noone, Rodgers Freyvogel, and HOFer Tony Parisi; thanks for your help with the best, correctly fitted protective gear for those injuries. Thanks to the video department's Bob McCartney and others for finding those injuries so we could learn about them and maybe protect our athletes better in the future. I would like to recognize some others that are a big part of the Steelers Sports Medicine Staff our sports nutritionist Kim Schwabenbauer, the training table/cafeteria staff, our massage therapist Dave Sanctis, our team dentist Rick Gottlieb, and our chiropractor for the last 20 years, Brad Klueber.
I also want to thank Steelers Nation. I will miss the games this fall, especially as the team comes out on the field at Acrisure Stadium and hear the roar of the crowd and experience that sea of swirling Terrible Towels. Believe me when I say, I will never forget the feeling you provided for the last 32 seasons at Three Rivers Stadium, Heinz Field, and Acrisure Stadium – and at most road games too. Steelers Nation travels well away from Pittsburgh. Thank you for your support and giving us love!
Finally, I want to thank my family. My wife Emily was always supportive, and she did more than her share raising Erin, Nick, and Luke; especially during the season. The City of Pittsburgh will remain my home; it is where we became a family. And you can count on me waving my Terrible Towel this fall whether it is in the stands as a spectator or in my living room as part of Steelers Nation.
I am a Steeler for life!
John Norwig, Steelers head athletic trainer