You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Colts/NFL

  • Clausen angling for Bears’ backup QB
    Almost as soon as he signed with the Chicago Bears, Jimmy Clausen got some tutoring on the offense from Jay Cutler. If everything goes according to plan, his knowledge of the system won’t be tested in a meaningful way.
  • Colts back Ballard out for season
    Colts running back Vick Ballard spent 10 months working his way back from a serious injury. Now he has to do it again.
  • Manzielmania reigns over Browns’ camp
    There were No. 2 jerseys everywhere, ringing the practice fields in various shapes, sizes and colors.
Advertisement

Steelers’ Hall of Fame coach dies

Led Pittsburgh to 4 Super Bowl wins

Noll

– Chuck Noll, the Hall of Fame coach who won a record four Super Bowl titles with the Pittsburgh Steelers, died Friday night at his home. He was 82.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner said Noll died of natural causes.

Noll transformed the Steelers from a long-standing joke into one of the NFL’s pre-eminent powers, becoming the only coach to win four Super Bowls.

He was a demanding figure who did not make close friends with his players, yet was a successful and motivating leader.

The Steelers won the four Super Bowls over six seasons (1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979), an unprecedented run that made Pittsburgh one of the NFL’s marquee franchises, one that breathed life into a struggling, blue-collar city.

“He was one of the great coaches of the game,” Steelers owner Dan Rooney once said. “He ranks up there with (George) Halas, (Tom) Landry and (Curly) Lambeau.”

Noll’s 16-8 record in postseason play remains one of the best in league history. He retired in 1991 with a 209-156-1 record in 23 seasons, after inheriting a team that had never won a postseason game. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

Noll worked so well with Steelers President Rooney that the team never felt the need to have a general manager.

When he retired, and was replaced by Bill Cowher, only four other coaches or managers in modern U.S. pro sports history had run their teams longer than Noll had.

“Chuck Noll is the best thing that happened to the Rooneys since they got on the boat (to America) in Ireland,” Art Rooney II, the former Steelers personnel chief and the son of the team founder, once said.

A former messenger guard for his hometown Cleveland Browns who earned the nicknamed Knute Knowledge – as in Knute Rockne – Noll was an assistant with the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Colts for nine seasons. Then he accepted what seemed a dead-end job in January 1969 as coach of the NFL’s least-successful organization.

Art Rooney Sr. often hired friends and cronies as coaches, and only two of the Steelers’ first 13 coaches had winning records.

Noll was hired only after Penn State’s Joe Paterno turned down a $350,000, five-year offer.

Advertisement