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Steelers

Steelers' Tomlin reinforces commitment to fatherhood

| Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mike Tomlin has said he follows the example set by Tony Dungy.

The Steelers' coach continued to do so Tuesday when he officially became the 43rd NFL spokesman for All Pro Dad, a program that aims to strengthen the relationship between fathers and their children.

Dungy has been involved with the program that is part of Family First, a nonprofit organization, and appears to a natural fit for Tomlin.

Tomlin is a father of three, and he reiterated yesterday that while coaching the Steelers is a top priority, his family is the most important thing in his life.

"Being a husband to my wife, Kiya, being a father to my three children, that's who I am and that's why being associated with All Pro Dad's is extremely important to me," Tomlin said during a news conference at the Steelers' South Side facility. "I look forward to encouraging other fathers to spend time with their children. It's something we're all capable of doing."

Tomlin and his family will take part in the Steelers' All Pro Dad Father & Kids Experience, which will be held June 9 at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex.

Family First president Mark Merrill said All Pro Dad recommends three simple ways in which fathers can forge and maintain close relationships with their kids: spend one minute a day, one hour a month and one day a year with them.

Tomlin said he knows the importance of such relationships because he has had a close one with his stepfather since he was 8 years old.

He also relayed a story about Dungy, who gave him his first NFL coaching job, to emphasize the value that should be put on family.

Less than 48 hours after Dungy's Indianapolis Colts won the Super Bowl in February, Tomlin called his former boss and close friend to congratulate him (a world championship had been the one thing missing from Dungy's coaching resume).

Tomlin asked Dungy what he was doing, and Dungy said he was stuck in traffic because he was taking his kids to school.

"Those are the lessons you continue to learn from him," Tomlin said. "I think proper priorities in life are essential for success."

Additional Information:

Tomlin's cause

What: All Pro Dad Father & Kids Experience

When: 9 a.m. to noon June 9

Where: UPMC Sports Performance Complex

Cost: $10 per father and up to four kids (ages 5 or older); advance registration is required.

To register: Call 1-800-956-8300 or go to www.AllProDad.com

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