Chuck Noll is best known for his time spent as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1969 – 1991. During his time as the Steelers coach, he won four Super Bowls and coached some of the greatest players in NFL history. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and was recently announced to the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.
Things did not start off well for Noll and the Steelers. In his first three seasons, the Steelers were a combined 12 – 30. While the record was paltry, Noll was accumulating talent that would eventually help the Steelers win Super Bowls. The notable players drafted include “Mean” Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood, Terry Bradshaw, Mel Blount, Jack Ham, Dwight White and Ernie Holmes.
Noll was considered a quiet man. His coaching style was more of a teacher than a motivator. Long-time NFL linebacker Andy Russell described an exchange between Noll and himself where Noll told Russell to move his foot a few inches over for how he was lined up. Russell did as Noll told him and he was able to maneuver around blockers better.
As a player, he played for the Cleveland Browns under the legendary Paul Brown and he was an assistant coach under Sid Gilman and Don Shula. He also employed numerous coaches who would go on to become head coaches like Tony Dungy, Bud Carson and John Fox. After his coaching career ended, Noll was still part of the Steelers family as he was given an administrator role from 1992 – 2013. In 2014 Noll passed away but his legacy continues.