As the Power progress forward with their season, they will do so under the direction of a new offensive coordinator. The new face: Former sixteen-year NFL quarterback Mike Tomczak. Tomczak will be learning under the wing of Interim Head Coach Derek Stingley, but is very excited by the opportunity.
“I’m excited to be around football,” Tomczak said. “I’m sure that if I’m patient everything is going to work out fine.”
A native of Calumet City, Illinois, Tomczak was named Illinois High School Player of the Year and attended the Ohio State University to continue his career as a Buckeye.
After leaving Ohio State undrafted, Tomczak was signed by the Chicago Bears in 1985 where he won a Super Bowl ring in 1986. In six seasons in Chicago, Tomczak threw 31 touchdowns.
After leaving the Windy City and spending a year being a backup in Green Bay and Cleveland, Tomczak came to Pittsburgh. His time with the Steelers enables him to know what kind of expectations there are in a city that expects success from their football teams.
Tomczak left the Steelers in 2000 and finished his career in Detroit. His sixteen seasons in the NFL yielded him a completion percentage of 55.3% with 88 touchdowns.
Although this is Tomczak’s first experience in the Arena Football League, it is not his first go-around in coaching. In 2010, he served as a coach for Ohio Dominican University at the Division II level.
Because this is his first time dealing with the speed and excitement of the AFL, Tomczak said he’s putting a lot of effort into learning the game from Coach Stingley.
“I’m basically a student right now,” he said. “As far as game planning I have a couple ideas, but it’s pretty much Coach Stingley’s mindset with what we want to do. I’m putting a lot of faith in the coaching staff.”
Although learning the indoor game will be a process for Tomczak, understanding how to win a football game is nothing new. Coach Tomczak has been a vocal force in emphasizing fundamental play to help turn the season around.
“We can control holding on to the football,” he said. “We can control getting the ball back for our offense. If we just worry about what we can control, we have a very good chance of winning football games.”
Although expectations for the team are high, outside of winning football games, Tomczak said his are very minimal.
“I just want to see these guys play with great effort, emotion and toughness,” Tomczak said. “If we can capture those few things right there, it will restore that Pittsburgh Power mentality.”