John Mitchell, Jr. (born October 14, 1951) is an American football coach and former collegiate player. Over the course of his career, Mitchell has broken several racial barriers and has had the opportunity to work with many icons of the sport. Currently, he is the defensive line coach and assistant head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League (NFL).
As a player, Mitchell was the first African-American to play football for the storied Alabama Crimson Tide. In his second year with the program he became the first African-American co-captain at the school. The next year he became the team's first black assistant coach and also the youngest coach to have ever been hired at Alabama. Later he would break another barrier by becoming the first black defensive coordinator in the Southeastern Conference.
His coaching career has spanned over 37 years during which time he has worked with several icons of the football coaching pantheon, including college coaching greats Bear Bryant and Lou Holtz as well as Bill Belichick and Bill Cowher in the pros. Teams he has coached have won championships at both the college and professional levels.