One of the most underrated and overlooked leaders in football – undoubtedly by his own preference – is Steelers GM Kevin Colbert. With the end of the 2022 draft, Colbert is leaving the franchise after more than 20 years with the team.
His career comes from the book about childhood dreams that come true. As a teenager growing up in Pittsburgh when the Steelers became prominent in the 1970s, Colbert attended Robert Morris University, playing basketball and baseball (he was Robert Morris’ head baseball coach in 1981) before landing in football.
At Ohio Wesleyan, he worked in two sports, worked as an assistant coach on the football team and again served as head baseball coach in 1984. That was when football took over and he found the NFL, starting as a BLESTO scout before attracting Don Shulas and the dolphins’ attention. After five years in Miami, Colbert became the professional Scouting Director of Lions for a decade, from 1990 to 1999.
Then came his opportunity to come home. In 2000, he was hired as director of football operations by the Steelers. A decade later, the man who had become it actually GM received the title. He added a VP designation in 2016.
At his last press conference after the completion of the 2022 draft, Colbert fought back his emotions.
“I would not say better than that,” Colbert said when asked how he left the organization. “I’m proud to say we added it [trophy] room. It was four trophies. There were four when we got here. And you knew the task. You’re thinking of DMR [the late Dan Rooney] and being able to add to that space means a wealth. That does not mean it is over. The next step, I think, is to get more than that, and we will never lose it. But it means a lot. ”
Colbert meant a lot to the Steelers. On Scouting Combine (we rebroadcast the interview for this article), Colbert left the door open to stay. In a very informative look back at Colbert’s career, Gerry Dulac from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains that Colbert is currently expected to continue in another role.
Colbert made it clear he did not want to be an obstacle for the next GM. The next GM, whoever it may be, would be very wise to keep a permanent seat at the table for a man who will do what he has always done. His work. Incredibly good, and without wasting any time trying to get others to notice what an amazing piece of work he did.