Chuck Noll

Charles Henry Noll (January 5, 1932 – June 13, 2014) was a professional American football player, assistant coach and head coach. His sole head coaching position was for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1969 to 1991. When Noll retired after 23 years, only three other head coaches in NFL history had longer tenures with one team.[1]

After a six-year playing career that included two NFL Championships as a member of his hometown Cleveland Browns, and several years as an assistant coach with various teams, in 1969 Noll took the helm of the then moribund Steelers (which had played in only one post-season game in its previous 36 years, a 21–0 loss), and turned it into a perennial contender. As a head coach, Noll won four Super Bowls, four AFC titles, and nine Central Division championships, compiled a 209–156–1 overall record, a 16–8 post-season record, and had winning records in 15 of his final 20 seasons.[2] His four Super Bowl victories rank second behind Bill Belichick for the most of any head coach in NFL history.

Between his playing and head coaching tenures, Noll won a total of six NFL Championships as well as one AFL Championship, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993, his first year of eligibility.

Noll built the team through astute drafting and meticulous tutoring. During his career, he was notable for the opportunities he gave African Americans, starting the first African American quarterback in franchise history, and having one of the first black assistant coaches in league history. He was frequently credited with maintaining the morale of the Western Pennsylvania region despite a steep economic decline by fashioning a team of champions in the image of its blue collar fan base.

Chuck Noll
Posed photograph of Noll in a football uniform without a helmet in a three-point stance
Noll in 1954
No. 65
Position:Guard & linebacker
Personal information
Born:January 5, 1932
Cleveland, Ohio
Died:June 13, 2014 (aged 82)
Sewickley, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school:Benedictine (Cleveland, Ohio)
College:Dayton
NFL Draft:1953 / Round: 20 / Pick: 239
Career history
As player:
As coach:
As administrator:
Career highlights and awards
As Coach
As Executive
Head coaching record
Regular season:193–148–1 (.566)
Postseason:16–8 (.667)
Career:209–156–1 (.572)
Player stats at PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Biography

Early life

Childhood

Noll was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the youngest of three siblings (by eight years) of William Noll (a butcher, frequently unable to work owing to Parkinson's disease) and Katherine Steigerwald Noll (who worked for a florist).[3] The family lived in the house Noll's mother grew up in with her twelve siblings, near East 74th Street,[4] in a neighborhood with a large African-American population,[3] a fact that helps account for Noll's early championing of opportunity for African Americans in the NFL (both players from traditionally black colleges and later as coaches). On a local youth football team Noll played with Harold Owens, the nephew of Olympic star Jesse Owens.[5]

High school/Middle School

Noll attended Benedictine High School. He began working in seventh grade and by time he entered high school, he had saved enough for two year's worth of the $150 tuition. Throughout high school he continued to work, making 55 cent an hour at Fisher Brothers meat market after school.[4] Education was always important to him, so despite the schedule, he studied enough to graduate 28th in a class of 252.[3]

He played running back and tackle on the high school football team, winning All-State honors.[5] During his senior year, he was named to the All Catholic Universe Bulletin team by the Diocese of Cleveland newspaper.[6]

College

Noll planned to attend Notre Dame, but during a practice before his freshman year he suffered an epileptic seizure on the field.[3] Notre Dame coach Frank Leahy refused to take the risk of allowing Noll to play there and so Noll accepted a football scholarship to the University of Dayton. Noll graduated with a degree in secondary education.[5] As a member of the Dayton Flyers football team, he was a lineman, linebacker and a co-captain,[5] and acquired the nickname, the "Pope," for his "'infallible' grasp of the game."[7]

Player for Cleveland Browns

Noll was drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the 239th pick in the 1953 NFL draft. During his first year, the Browns lost to the Detroit Lions in the NFL championship. The next two years the Browns were NFL champions.

Although the undersized Noll was drafted as a linebacker,[8] Coach Paul Brown used him as one of his "messenger guards" to send play calls to the quarterback (beginning with Otto Graham). Brown recalled that Noll soon "could have called the plays himself without any help from the bench. That's how smart he was."[7] According to Art Rooney, Jr. (director of scouting for the Steelers before and during most of Noll's tenure), however, Noll felt demeaned by Brown's use of him in that way and "disliked the term 'messenger boy' so much that as coach of the Steelers he entrusted all the play calling to his quarterbacks."[9]

Noll was paid only $5,000 per season with the Browns and so while there he acted as substitute teacher at Holy Name High School[10] and sold insurance on the side.[4] During that period Noll also attended Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at night. He told Dan Rooney that he decided against becoming a lawyer because "he didn't really like the constant confrontation and arguments that come with being a lawyer."[11]

Instead, when Noll lost the starting guard position to John Wooten, he chose to retire at age 27 expecting to begin his coaching career at his alma mater. He was surprised, however, when he was not offered an open position on the University of Dayton coaching staff.[12] He was offered a position by Sid Gillman on the staff of the Los Angeles Chargers, during its inaugural season.[8]

Coaching career

Assistant coaching career

Noll was an assistant coach for the American Football League's then Los Angeles and later San Diego Chargers from 1960 to 1965. He then became assistant to head Coach Don Shula of the NFL Baltimore Colts from 1965 to 1968, when he was selected as the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers' head coach.

Noll is considered part of Sid Gillman's coaching tree. He later remembered Gillman as "one of the game's prime researchers and offensive specialists. In six years, I had more exposure to football than I normally would have received in 12 years."[12] During Noll's six-year tenure with the Chargers, where he was defensive line coach, the defensive backfield coach and defensive coordinator, the team appeared in five AFL championship games.[13] Gillman said that Noll "had a great way with players," specifically "If a guy didn't do the job expected, Chuck could climb on his back."[14] Massive defensive tackle Ernie Ladd said that Noll was a "fiery guy" but also "the best teacher I ever played under." "He and I were always fighting, always squabbling, but he had a great way of teaching. I take my hat off to Chuck. He was one of the main reasons for our success."[14] The defensive line under Noll became known as the "Fearsome Foursome," and during 1961 defensive end Earl Faison was named AFL rookie of the year.

During Noll's time at Chargers, Al Davis was also an assistant and scout. Davis would later become coach and general manager of the Oakland Raiders, the principal AFC rival of the Steelers' in the 1970s.

With the Colts, Noll was defensive backfield coach and later defensive coordinator. Together with assistant coach Bill Arnsbarger the Colts employed shifting alignments of rotating zone and maximum blitz defensive packages.[15] In 1968, Noll's last season as defensive coordinator, the Baltimore Colts compiled a record of 13–1 and tied the NFL season record for fewest points allowed (144).[16]

Shula was impressed by Noll's approach: "He explained how to do things and wrote up the technique. He was one of the first coaches I was around that wrote up in great detail all of the techniques used by players—for example, the backpedal and the defensive back's position on the receiver. He was like a classroom teacher."[4]

The 1968 Colts won the NFL championship by routing the Cleveland Browns 34–0 in Cleveland, but were shocked by the upstart AFL champion New York Jets, 16–7, in Super Bowl III at the Orange Bowl in Miami. The next day Noll interviewed for the head coach position in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Noll was named the 14th head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers on January 27, 1969, after Penn State coach Joe Paterno turned down an offer for the position. He was the youngest coach in NFL history at the time.[17] Steelers owner Art Rooney would later credit Don Shula as the person who recommended Noll as a head coach.[18] Noll implemented a defensive system in Pittsburgh that became the legendary "Steel Curtain" defense. His coaching style earned him the nickname of The Emperor Chaz by sports announcer Myron Cope.[19] Noll was the first head coach to win four Super Bowls, coaching the Steelers to victory in Super Bowl IX (1975), Super Bowl X (1976), Super Bowl XIII (1979), and Super Bowl XIV (1980).

The key to Noll's coaching success during this run was the Steelers' skill in selecting outstanding players in the NFL college player draft. Noll's first round one pick was Joe Greene, a defensive tackle from North Texas State, who went on to become a perennial All-Pro and anchor the defensive line. During the next few years, the Steelers drafted quarterback Terry Bradshaw (Louisiana Tech) and running back Franco Harris (Penn State) as round one picks. In the 1974 draft, Noll and the Steelers achieved a level of drafting success never seen before or since, when they selected four future Hall of Fame players with their first five picks: wide receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, middle linebacker Jack Lambert, and center Mike Webster. To this day, no other draft by any team has included more than two future Hall of Famers.

A meticulous coach, Noll was known during practice to dwell on fundamentals—such as the three-point stance—things that professional players were expected to know. For instance, Andy Russell, already a Pro Bowl linebacker before Noll arrived and one of the few players Noll kept after purging the roster his first year, was told by Noll that he didn't have his feet positioned right.[20] As a result of Noll's attention to detail, Russell went on to become a key member for the first two Super Bowl teams and started the linebacker tradition that continues today in Pittsburgh.

Noll was a well-read man who valued education and expected likewise from his team, so he sought players who studied useful or practical subjects in college and had interests outside of football. "I didn't want to pick guys who just took wood shop or some other easy course they could breeze through to play football." he explained.

While most of his contemporaries, as well as current NFL head coaches, enforced strict curfew rules on its players, Noll was very lax on off-the-field behavior. This was shown at Super Bowl IX. While Noll's counterpart — Minnesota Vikings head coach Bud Grant — strictly kept his team in their hotel rooms except for practice before the game, Noll told his team upon arriving in New Orleans to go out on Bourbon Street "and get the partying out of your system now."[21]

The hallmark of the team during the 1970s was a stifling defense known as the Steel Curtain. Linemen L. C. Greenwood, Joe Greene, as well as Ernie Holmes and Dwight White, linebackers Jack Ham, and Jack Lambert had a collective level of talent unseen before in the NFL.

The teams that won Super Bowls IX and X used a run-oriented offense, primarily featuring Franco Harris and blocking back Rocky Bleier. Over the next few years, Terry Bradshaw matured into an outstanding passer, and the teams that won Super Bowls XIII and XIV fully utilized the receiving tandem of Lynn Swann and John Stallworth.

Noll was notoriously shy and did not like the media or give many interviews. His 1970s teams were so talented that his contributions as head coach (and architect of the team) often were overlooked.

In 1989, Noll finally achieved some recognition as NFL Coach of the Year, when he guided the Steelers into the second round of the playoffs. The team was not especially talented and lost its first two regular season games by scores of 51–0 and 41–10. However, Noll did a remarkable job in keeping the team focused and steadily improving its play as they made the playoffs and played competitively in two playoff games.

Post-coaching life

Noll retired as Steelers head coach after the 1991 season with a record of 209–156–1, regular season and postseason combined. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

The last team he coached gave him a gift of a stationary bicycle, which he avidly used.

Noll maintained a residence in suburban Pittsburgh, however he spent some time at his Florida home. His mobility was limited by chronic back problems. Noll held the ceremonial title of Administration Adviser in the Pittsburgh Steelers' front office but had no real role in the team's operations after his retirement. He spent about half the year in Pittsburgh with his wife Marianne. Their son, Chris, is a teacher in a private high school in Connecticut.[22]

Noll died of natural causes in his suburban Pittsburgh condo on June 13, 2014, having suffered for years from Alzheimer's disease, a heart condition and back problems.[17] Noll's funeral was held on June 17, 2014 at St. Paul's Cathedral in Pittsburgh.[23]

Legacy

Chuck Noll field
Chuck Noll Field at Saint Vincent College. Here, Saint Vincent returns to college football in a game against Gallaudet University.

Noll's legacy includes providing opportunities for African Americans. Under Noll, Joe Gilliam became the league's first African American starting quarterback just a few seasons after the AFL started Marlin Briscoe, and James Harris (Gilliam started ahead of Terry Bradshaw briefly during the 1974 season). In 1975, Franco Harris became the first African American to win the Super Bowl MVP award. During the 1980s, Tony Dungy (who briefly played under Noll in the late 1970s) got his start as an NFL assistant coach, initially as the Steelers' Defensive Backs Coach, and later he became the first African-American Coordinator in the NFL. Noll strongly promoted Dungy as a well-qualified head coaching candidate, but it did not happen for Dungy with the Steelers when Noll retired after the 1991 season. However Dungy did become head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and later became the first African American coach to win a Super Bowl (XLI) with the Indianapolis Colts.

On August 2, 2007, the field at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania was dedicated and renamed Chuck Noll Field in honor of the former coach. For more than 40 years the Steelers have held their summer camp at St. Vincent College, as it was Noll's idea to take the team away from the distractions in the city to prepare for the season each year.

Chuck Noll was honored on October 7, 2007 at Heinz Field during the pre-game ceremonies.

On September 30, 2011, Pittsburgh honored Noll by naming a new street after him. Chuck Noll Way connects North Shore Drive to West General Robinson St. The street runs along Stage AE, on the North Shore of Pittsburgh.[24]

Head-coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
PIT 1969 1 13 0 .071 4th in NFL Century
PIT 1970 5 9 0 .357 3rd in AFC Central
PIT 1971 6 8 0 .429 2nd in AFC Central
PIT 1972 11 3 0 .786 1st in AFC Central 1 1 .500 Lost to the Miami Dolphins in AFC Championship Game
PIT 1973 10 4 0 .714 2nd in AFC Central 0 1 .000 Lost to the Oakland Raiders in AFC Divisional Round
PIT 1974 10 3 1 .750 1st in AFC Central 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl IX Champions
PIT 1975 12 2 0 .857 1st in AFC Central 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl X Champions
PIT 1976 10 4 0 .714 1st in AFC Central 1 1 .500 Lost to the Oakland Raiders in AFC Championship Game
PIT 1977 9 5 0 .643 1st in AFC Central 0 1 .000 Lost to the Denver Broncos in AFC Divisional Round
PIT 1978 14 2 0 .875 1st in AFC Central 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl XIII Champions
PIT 1979 12 4 0 .750 1st in AFC Central 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl XIV Champions
PIT 1980 9 7 0 .563 3rd in AFC Central
PIT 1981 8 8 0 .500 2nd in AFC Central
PIT 1982 6 3 0 .667 2nd in AFC Central 0 1 .000 Lost to the San Diego Chargers in AFC Wild Card Round
PIT 1983 10 6 0 .625 1st in AFC Central 0 1 .000 Lost to the Los Angeles Raiders in AFC Divisional Round
PIT 1984 9 7 0 .563 1st in AFC Central 1 1 .500 Lost to the Miami Dolphins in AFC Championship Game
PIT 1985 7 9 0 .438 2nd in AFC Central
PIT 1986 6 10 0 .375 3rd in AFC Central
PIT 1987 8 7 0 .533 3rd in AFC Central
PIT 1988 5 11 0 .313 4th in AFC Central
PIT 1989 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC Central 1 1 .500 Lost to the Denver Broncos in AFC Divisional Round
PIT 1990 9 7 0 .563 3rd in AFC Central
PIT 1991 7 9 0 .438 2nd in AFC Central
Total 193 148 1 .566 16 8 .667

See also

References

  1. ^ George Halas, 30 years with the Chicago Bears, Curly Lambeau, 29 years with the Green Bay Packers and Tom Landry, 29 years with the Dallas Cowboys. Sean Lahman, The Pro Football Historical Abstract: A Hardcore Fan's Guide to All-Time Player Rankings (Lyons Press: 2008) ["Lahman"], p. 261.
  2. ^ "Chuck Noll Biography". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Gary M. Pomerantz, Their Life's Work: The Brotherhood of the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers (Simon & Schuster: 2013), p. 62
  4. ^ a b c d Valade, Jodie (December 27, 2008). "The invisible legend: A near recluse in retirement, Chuck Noll brought the Browns-Steelers rivalry to life". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d Labriola, Bob. "Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll, 82". Steelers.com. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  6. ^ Bill Livingston & Gregg Brinda, The Great Book of Cleveland Sports Lists (Running Press: 2008), p. 28
  7. ^ a b Rob Ruck, Maggie Jones Patterson & Michael P. Weber, Rooney: A Sporting Life (University of Nebraska Press: 2010) ["Ruck, Patterson & Weber"], p. 169.
  8. ^ a b Mosher, Jerry. "Legendary Steelers coach Chuck Noll dies". Tribune Review. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  9. ^ Art Rooney, Jr. & Roy McHugh, Ruanaidh: The Story of Art Rooney and His Clan (Geyer Printing Co. [for Art Rooney, Jr.]: c2008), p. 241.
  10. ^ Price, Elizabeth (June 19, 2014). "Letter to the Editor". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  11. ^ Dan Rooney (as told to Andrew E. Masich, Andrew & David F. Halaas), Dan Rooney: My 75 Years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL (Da Capo Press: 2007).
  12. ^ a b "Chuck Noll, 1932-2014". Pro Football Hall of Fame. June 14, 2014. Archived from the original on June 29, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
  13. ^ Lahman, p. 260.
  14. ^ a b Ed Gruver, The American Football League: A Year-by-Year History, 1960-1969 (McFarland: 1997) ["Gruver"], p. 97.
  15. ^ Gruver, p. 216.
  16. ^ The record has since been broken by the 1977 Atlanta Falcons (129).
  17. ^ a b Dulac, Gerry (June 14, 2014). "Chuck Noll / Coach who led Steelers to 4 Super Bowl titles". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  18. ^ Pope, Edwin (January 6, 1985). "The Chief". Beaver County Times. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
  19. ^ Pasquarelli, Len (January 6, 2007). "Cowher not universally adored in hometown". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 4, 2008.
  20. ^ Millman, Chad (September 1, 2010). "How Chuck Noll Saved the Steelers". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 14, 2014. Excerpt from Chad Millman & Shawn Coyne, The Ones Who Hit the Hardest: The Steelers, the Cowboys, the 70s and the Fight for America's Soul (Gotham: 2010).
  21. ^ America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions. The 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers
  22. ^ Merrill, Elizabeth (January 22, 2009). "The Lessons of Chuck Noll". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
  23. ^ "Noll Funeral Arrangements". Tribune Review. June 14, 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
  24. ^ "Chuck Noll Gets His Way". Pittsburgh.cbslocal.com. September 30, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2014.

External links

1969 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1969 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 37th in the National Football League. It would mark a turning point of the Steelers franchise. 1969 was the first season for Hall of Fame head coach Chuck Noll, the first season for defensive lineman "Mean Joe" Greene and L. C. Greenwood, the first season for longtime Steelers public relations director Joe Gordon, and the team's last season in Pitt Stadium before moving into then-state-of-the-art Three Rivers Stadium the following season.

Although considered a turning point in the team's history, the results were not immediate; after winning the season opener against the Detroit Lions, the Steelers lost every game afterwards to finish 1–13. The Steelers became the first team in NFL history since the 1936 Philadelphia Eagles to win its season opener and lose every remaining game, a feat not matched until 2001 when the Carolina Panthers won its season opener against Minnesota before losing every game en route to a 1–15 finish. The Steelers finished 1969 4th in the NFL Century Division and tied with the Chicago Bears for last in the NFL. With the Steelers finishing 1–6 at Pitt Stadium, it marked the last time the Steelers finished the season with a losing record at home until 1999.

As a result of their 1–13 records, Art Rooney of the Steelers won a coin toss with George Halas of the Bears to determine who would select Louisiana Tech quarterback Terry Bradshaw (the consensus number 1 selection among league teams) with the number one pick in the 1970 draft. By modern NFL tiebreaking rules, the Steelers would have automatically been given the first pick anyway, as the Bears' one win came against the Steelers in Week 8.

1973 Pro Bowl

The 1973 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 23rd annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1972 season. The game was played on Sunday, January 21, 1973, at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas. It was the first Pro Bowl not to be played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.The final score was AFC 33, NFC 28. O. J. Simpson of the Buffalo Bills was named the game's Most Valuable Player.Attendance at the game was 47,879. Chuck Noll of the Pittsburgh Steelers coached the AFC while the NFC was led by the Dallas Cowboys' Tom Landry. The game's referee was Dick Jorgensen.Players on the winning AFC team received $2,000 apiece while the NFC participants each took home $1,500.

1977 Pro Bowl

The 1977 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 27th annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1976 season. The game was played on Monday, January 17, 1977, at the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington in front of a crowd of 63,214. The final score was AFC 24, NFC 14.Chuck Noll of the Pittsburgh Steelers lead the AFC team against an NFC team coached by Los Angeles Rams head coach Chuck Knox. The referee was Chuck Heberling.Mel Blount of the Pittsburgh Steelers was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Players on the winning AFC team received $2,000 apiece while the NFC participants each took home $1,500.

1985 Pro Bowl

The 1985 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 35th annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1984 season. The game was played on Sunday, January 27, 1985, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii before a crowd of 50,385. The final score was AFC 22, NFC 14.Chuck Noll of the Pittsburgh Steelers led the AFC team against an NFC team coached by Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka. The referee was Chuck Heberling.Mark Gastineau of the New York Jets was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Players on the winning AFC team received $10,000 apiece while the NFC participants each took home $5,000.

1989 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1989 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 57th season as a professional sports franchise and as a member of the National Football League. They were considered a rebuilding team filled with many young players, especially after the release of longtime center Mike Webster in the offseason. The young team showed its inexperience in the first game of the season, when they lost at home to the archrival Cleveland Browns 51–0. The loss marked the Steelers worst defeat in franchise history. The following week wasn't much better, losing 41–10 to another division rival, the defending AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals.

However, the Steelers clinched the final playoff spot in the last week in the season with a 9–7 record. Chuck Noll, in his 21st season as the team's head coach, was named the NFL's Coach of the Year for the only time in his coaching career.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Steelers would have a memorable come-from-behind overtime victory over the division-rival Houston Oilers 26–23, which saw Gary Anderson kick a game-winning, 50-yard field goal in the extra period. The following week, the Steelers nearly pulled off a major upset against the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium before losing 24–23 on a Melvin Bratton one-yard touchdown run with 2:22 remaining in the game.

Though the Steelers would not make the playoffs again under Chuck Noll (missing in 1990 with an identical 9–7 record and again in 1991 at 7–9 despite a second-place finish that year), the season did set the tone for the team's return to prominence in the 1990s under his successor, Bill Cowher.

Until 2015, it was the last season the Steelers made the playoffs in a season the Super Bowl aired on CBS. Each of the next six such seasons (1991, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012) would see the team missing the playoffs.

1991 NFL season

The 1991 NFL season was the 72nd regular season of the National Football League. It was the final season for legendary coach Chuck Noll. The season ended with Super Bowl XXVI when the Washington Redskins defeated the Buffalo Bills 37–24 at the Metrodome in Minnesota. This was the second of four consecutive Super Bowl losses for Buffalo.

Chuck Noll Field

Chuck Noll Field is a 1,050-seat football stadium in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. It is home to the Saint Vincent College Bearcats football team. Since 2007, Chuck Noll Field has hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers training camp. It is named after former Steelers head coach, Chuck Noll.The Steelers regularly attract tens of thousands of fans to training camp and the Rooney family in conjunction with the College administration have vowed to keep with the tradition and always have the camp open and free to the public.

The field is one of the most storied in the NFL and NCAA with Peter King of SI.com describing it as: ". . . I love the place. It's the perfect training-camp setting, looking out over the rolling hills of the Laurel Highlands in west-central Pennsylvania, an hour east of Pittsburgh. On a misty or foggy morning, standing atop the hill at the college, you feel like you're in Scotland. Classic, wonderful slice of Americana. If you can visit one training camp, this is the one to see."

Craig Veasey

Craig Veasey (born December 25, 1966 in Houston, Texas) is a retired defensive tackle/nose tackle in the NFL. While attending the University of Houston from 1985 to 1989, Craig earned was a 4-year letterman, and a starting 3 of those years. In 1989 as a senior at the University of Houston, he earned the honor of USA Today All-American from the defensive end position for his 17 sacks and 93 tackles. After being selected in the 81 position in the 1990 NFL draft, he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers under Chuck Noll, the Miami Dolphins under Don Shula, and under the Houston Oilers for coaches Jack Pardee and Jeff Fisher. He retired from the Houston Oilers after the 1995 Season

Dan Radakovich (American football)

Dan Radakovich (born 1935) is a former NFL football player and later an offensive line coach who helped coach the Pittsburgh Steelers to multiple Super Bowl wins in the 1970s. He spent 48 years in collegiate and professional coaching before his retirement in 2008.

Radakovich graduated from Penn State in 1957, and immediately began working on the coaching staff of the Nittany Lions, which he continued until 1969. He went Cincinnati in 1970, but joined the Steelers in 1971.

Described as "lean, and blond, a center in his playing days", Radakovich was "a Western Pennsylvania guy who had been on Noll's staff in 1971 but resigned to take a coaching job in college football". Radakovich subsequently returned to working with professional football, where he helped persuade Chuck Noll to draft Franco Harris out of Penn State.

After a stint in Colorado, he coached the Steelers linebackers from 1974-1977. In 1978, Radakovich left Pittsburgh to work on the coaching staff of the San Francisco 49ers, then switched to the Los Angeles Rams in 1979. His last position was as an assistant with Robert Morris University.

Dave Brazil (American football)

Dave Brazil (25 March 1936 – 10 March 2017) was an American football coach who last served with the New York Giants under head coach Jim Fassel. He was the last defensive coordinator for Chuck Noll with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1990-91.

1968 University of Holy Cross (DC&OC)

1969-1970 (University of Tulsa) (DB)(LB)

1972-1974 (Eastern Michigan University (DC&OC)

1975 (Detroit Wheels - WFL (DC)

1976 (Chicago Wind - WFL (LB&DL)

1980 (Boston College) (DC)

1981-1982 (Kent State University) DC

1984-1985 Kansas City Chiefs (DB)

1986-1988 Kansas City Chiefs (LB)

1989 Pittsburgh Steelers (LB)

1990-1991 Pittsburgh Steelers (DC)

1992-2003 New York Giants (LB)DQC)

Dick Hoak

Richard John Hoak (born December 8, 1939) is an American former football player and coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college for Penn State, and was selected by the Steelers in the seventh round of the 1961 NFL Draft. He was a running back for the Steelers from 1961 to 1970, and then became the longest tenured coach in the team's history, from 1972 to 2007.

Dwight Stone (American football)

Dwight Stone (born January 28, 1964) was an American football running back, wide receiver, and kick returner in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Carolina Panthers, and the New York Jets for 14 years. Stone originally signed with Pittsburgh as an undrafted free agent in 1987. Stone was the only undrafted free agent to make the opening day roster. He was an outstanding special teams gunner and kick returner for eight years with the Steelers. He was timed at 4.20 in the 40 yard dash and bench press 225 (28). Former Steelers coach Chuck Noll said that Stone was "the fastest player I've ever coached over 40 yards." He played college football at both Middle Tennessee State University and Marion Military Institute as a running back and averaged 7 yards per rush and scored over 40 touchdowns in his college career. He played high school football at Florala High School.

After retiring from the NFL, he became a police officer for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department in Charlotte, NC where he served as both a school resource and patrol officer for 13 years. He retired from CMPD in 2015.

Leon Searcy

Leon Searcy (born December 21, 1969) is an American football coach and former player. He currently works as a radio personality in Jacksonville, Florida.

Searcy is a former NFL offensive lineman who played primarily with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars in an 11-year career from 1992 to 2002. He was drafted in the first-round, 11th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers following his graduation from the University of Miami in the 1992 NFL Draft. The first draft pick in the post-Chuck Noll era. Beginning in 1993 (his second year) Searcy was installed at the right tackle position. He stayed until he left the team for the Jacksonville Jaguars as a free agent in 1996.Searcy spent one season with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001 before signing with the Miami Dolphins in 2002. He tried to earn a starting position with Miami, but ultimately he was placed on the injured-reserve list. After the 2002 season, he retired.

From 2004 to 2006, Searcy was the offensive line coach at Florida International University in Miami, Florida.

Searcy was interviewed about his time at the University of Miami for the documentary The U, which premiered December 12, 2009 on ESPN.

Searcy also appeared in the episode "Broke," part of ESPN's 30 for 30 series of sports documentaries, discussing the high percentage of professional athletes who suffer financial problems, detailing an episode in which a girlfriend stole $600,000 from him.

List of Pittsburgh Steelers head coaches

The Pittsburgh Steelers franchise has had 16 head coaches throughout its history. Founded as the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1933, the name was changed to the Steelers prior to the 1941 season to celebrate the city's heritage of producing steel. Joe Bach served two separate terms as head coach and Walt Kiesling served three separate terms. During the 1943 and 1944 seasons, due to the number of players who fought in World War II, the Steelers combined their team with Philadelphia and Chicago, respectively. During these seasons, Kiesling shared coaching duties with Greasy Neale and Phil Handler, who have not been included within this list.

Struggling for much of the franchise's early years, the team's first season with more wins than losses was coached by Jock Sutherland in 1942. In 1947, under Sutherland, the Steelers played their first playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Ten of the 16 head coaches spent their entire professional coaching careers with the franchise, including Kiesling, John McNally, and Chuck Noll, who have also been voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. One of only four men to coach the same team for 23 years, Noll retired in 1991. Bill Cowher, who was Noll's replacement, coached the Steelers to their fifth Super Bowl victory, in 2005. The Steelers' sixth Super Bowl win came in Super Bowl XLIII, while head-coached by Mike Tomlin, the team's current head coach.

List of Super Bowl head coaches

This is a list of Super Bowl head coaches.

Pittsburgh Steelerettes

The Pittsburgh Steelerettes were the first cheerleading squad in the National Football League, serving as the cheerleaders for the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 1960s. The squad eventually disbanded, and the Steelers to this day are among the few NFL teams that do not have cheerleaders.From their beginning in 1961 until the squad's demise in 1969, all members of the Steelerettes were full-time students at Robert Morris Junior College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Robert Morris was a small Junior College without a football team who had unofficially adopted the Steelers as "their team". An administrator at the College, William Day, also served as the entertainment coordinator for the Steelers. It was his idea to hold tryouts at the College and select a group of young coeds to perform on the field, in hopes of improving lackluster ticket sales to Steelers games.At tryouts, candidates were evaluated on coordination, personality, gymnastics, and appearance. Squad members took a basic football test to prove that they would know when to cheer, and were required to maintain a 2.0 GPA. At games, they performed choreographed jazz routines to live jazz music, performed by Harold Betters and bandleader Benny Benack. They practiced in the school cafeteria or in front of their dormitory. Steelerettes received one free ticket per game as pay.During the 1962 season, the Steelerettes were accompanied by a squad of the NFL's first male cheerleaders, also Robert Morris students, known as the Ingots. The men fired a cannon filled with 12-gauge blanks when the Steelers scored, wearing uniforms of black slacks, white or gold shirts and hard hats. The male group disbanded at the end of one season.By the late 1960s, Robert Morris' student body had grown and the school now had its own football team. The decision to disband was a joint decision between the Rooney family and Robert Morris. Apparently, the cheerleaders wished to wear outfits that were more "modern" and "daring". In response, the owner fired the team. The last squad of Steelerettes left the field after the 1969 season, the first year of Hall of Famers head coach Chuck Noll and defensive tackle "Mean Joe" Greene. Nearly 60 women participated in the squad over their eight seasons.While as of 2018 the team still does not have cheerleaders, in 2007 the team unveiled its new mascot Steely McBeam.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) North division. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC.

In contrast with their status as perennial also-rans in the pre-merger NFL, where they were the oldest team never to win a league championship, the Steelers of the post-merger (modern) era are one of the most successful NFL franchises. Pittsburgh is tied with the New England Patriots for the most Super Bowl titles (6), and has both played in (16) and hosted more conference championship games (11) than any other NFL team. The Steelers have won 8 AFC championships, tied with the Denver Broncos, but behind the Patriots' record 11 AFC championships. The Steelers share the record for second most Super Bowl appearances with the Broncos, and Dallas Cowboys (8). The Steelers lost their most recent championship appearance, Super Bowl XLV, on February 6, 2011.

The Steelers, whose history traces to a regional pro team that was established in the early 1920s, joined the NFL as the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1933, owned by Art Rooney and taking its original name from the baseball team of the same name, as was common practice for NFL teams at the time. To distinguish them from the baseball team, local media took to calling the football team the Rooneymen, an unofficial nickname which persisted for decades after the team adopted its current nickname. The ownership of the Steelers has remained within the Rooney family since its founding. Art's son, Dan Rooney owned the team from 1988 until his death in 2017. Much control of the franchise has been given to Dan's son Art Rooney II. The Steelers enjoy a large, widespread fanbase nicknamed Steeler Nation. The Steelers currently play their home games at Heinz Field on Pittsburgh's North Side in the North Shore neighborhood, which also hosts the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. Built in 2001, the stadium replaced Three Rivers Stadium which hosted the Steelers for 31 seasons. Prior to Three Rivers, the Steelers had played their games in Pitt Stadium and Forbes Field.

Terry Bradshaw

Terry Paxton Bradshaw (born September 2, 1948) is a former American football quarterback who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL). Since 1994, he has been a TV sports analyst and co-host of Fox NFL Sunday. Bradshaw is also an actor, having participated in many television shows and films, most notably starring in the movie Failure to Launch. He played for 14 seasons with Pittsburgh, won four Super Bowl titles in a six-year period (1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979), becoming the first quarterback to win three and four Super Bowls, and led the Steelers to eight AFC Central championships. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989, his first year of eligibility. Bradshaw was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

A tough competitor, Bradshaw is known for having one of the most powerful arms in NFL history. He also called his own plays throughout his football career. His physical skills and on-the-field leadership played a major role in the Pittsburgh Steelers' history. During his career, he passed for more than 300 yards in a game only seven times, but three of those performances came in the postseason, and two of those in Super Bowls. He played very well in the Super Bowl, and in four career Super Bowl appearances, he passed for 932 yards and 9 touchdowns, both Super Bowl records at the time of his retirement. In 19 post-season games, he completed 261 passes for 3,833 yards.

Chuck Noll—championships, awards, and honors

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