Chuck Noll, a hall of call coach that led the Pittsburgh Steelers to an extraordinary four Super key titles in the 1970s and molded the team into one of the greatest empires in pro football history, died Friday in ~ his house in Sewickley, Pa. He to be 82.
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His death was announced by the nationwide Football League. He had Alzheimer’s an illness and other ailments.
Mr. Noll to be a square-jawed former lineman that led the Steelers out of a long background of mediocrity. Seldom illustration attention to himself, he became one that his sport’s biggest coaches and remains the just coach in NFL history to success the super Bowl 4 times.
His teams had plenty of stars — Mr. Noll drafted and also developed 10 hall of Fame football player — but the true measure up of the Steelers throughout his 23-year tenure acquired from thoroughly preparation and also a cohesive team spirit. He guided the team to prominence by following a meticulous, old-school format of follow to the fundamentals of the sport.
No aspect of football escaped Mr. Noll’s attention. In ~ times, he would interrupt practice to teach professional players the proper means to place their feet or i think a three-point stance.
“You can’t make a great play,” that said, “unless you first do the in practice.”
Mr. Noll had never been a head coach till he to be hired to take end the hapless Steelers franchise in 1969. His team perfect a miserable 1-13 in his very first season.
“When Chuck came to be our head coach, he carried a change to the whole society of the organization,” Steelers president arts Rooney II said in a statement. “He collection a brand-new standard for the Steelers the still is the foundation of what we do and who we are.”
Mr. Noll carried an unusual stability to the franchise by building a core of football player through mindful drafting. In his very first 16 years in Pittsburgh, Mr. Noll traded for just 10 players.
He drew on his background together a teacher come prepare his players endlessly in practice.
“The one nightmare I always had,” that said, “was going right into a video game unprepared.”
The an initial player Mr. Noll drafted in 1969 was defensive tackle “Mean” Joe Greene, who became the cornerstone of Pittsburgh’s impregnable “Steel Curtain” defense. In the next few years, Mr. Noll — that acted as the team de facto basic manager as well as coach — drafted together standout defenders together cornerback Mel Blount and linebackers Jack Ham and also Jack Lambert.
His offensive unit involved include quarterback terrycloth Bradshaw, running earlier Franco Harris, facility Mike Webster, and wide receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. All of them entered the agree Football room of Fame.
“The single most important thing we had in the Steelers of the 1970s,” Mr. Noll said, “was an ability to work-related together.”
The Steelers had their breakout season under Mr. Noll in 1972, when they perfect 11-3. In their first playoff game, against the Oakland Raiders, Bradshaw threw a long pass to plan for man “Frenchy” Fuqua. The sphere was deflected by Raiders defensive ago Jack Tatum, then captured on the run over his shoe top by Harris, that raced into the finish zone because that the win touchdown.
The play, forever known as the “Immaculate Reception,” provided Pittsburgh a 13-7 victory and is taken into consideration one of the greatest moments in NFL history.
After the 1974 season, the Steelers winner their first Super Bowl, beating the Minnesota Vikings 16-6. A year later, the Steelers winner again, beating the Dallas Cowboys 21-17.
Pittsburgh went back to the super Bowl against the Cowboys after ~ the 1978 season. Once Dallas linebacker thomas “Hollywood” Henderson mocked Bradshaw’s intelligence, Mr. Noll yielded one that his many dry, pithy comments: “Empty barrels make the many noise.”
Bradshaw was called Most valuable Player that the at sight Bowl together the Steelers beat the Cowboys 35-31. The next year, Bradshaw winner his 2nd straight Super bowl MVP award, engineering a fourth-quarter comeback to command Pittsburgh come a 31-19 win over the Los Angeles Rams, giving Mr. Noll his fourth Super key title in six years.
During the eight seasons from 1972 with 1979, Mr. Noll’s team was 88-27-1. The Steelers to be the most powerful team that the 1970s in the way Vince Lombardi’s green Bay Packers were the optimal team that the 1960s and also Bill Walsh’s san Francisco 49ers overcame the 1980s.
Yet Mr. Noll was not called the NFL coach that the year till 1989, two years prior to he retired. If the snub bothered him, he never ever admitted it.
“The thrill no in the winning,” the said, “it’s in the doing.”
Charles Henry Noll was born Jan. 5, 1932, in Cleveland.
He to be a 1953 graduate the the university of Dayton, climate played seven years for the Cleveland Browns as a guard and also linebacker under Paul Brown, a coach Mr. Noll cited as his biggest influence. He later on spent 6 years as an assistant coach come Sid Gillman that the san Diego Chargers, then three years together a protective backfield coach through the Baltimore Colts under Don Shula.
Mr. Noll was known as a man of sleek tastes, v an attention in well wines, science and literature. He was a scuba diver and private pilot and also had continuous seats in ~ the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He was inducted right into the agree Football room of call in 1993.
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Survivors include his mam of 58 years, Marianne; a son; and also two grandchildren.
“I’m a teacher,” that told Sports illustrated in 1980. “Players win, coaches teach them. Ns teach.”