Joe Greene has retired from his post as a special assistant to Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert, the club said Monday.
A 1o-time Pro Bowler at defensive tackle, Greene starred on some vaunted Steelers defenses throughout his career, which ran from 1969-81. After his retirement from the field of play, Greene was the Steelers’ defensive line coach from 1987 to 1991. Thirteen years later, after stints with Miami and Arizona coaching defensive linemen, he returned to Pittsburgh. He evaluated pro and college players in his role with the Steelers’ personnel department.
“There are very few people in the history of the NFL who have had a greater impact on one franchise than Joe Greene has had on the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement issued by the club. “As a player, Joe was the cornerstone of the greatest defense of all time. As a coach, Joe helped Chuck Noll finish his tenure as head coach. Then we were fortunate to have Joe rejoin the organization in our player personnel department for the last nine years, which included two more Super Bowl championships.
“Joe has been an inspiration in this organization in many different capacities over so many years. We will miss Joe Greene, but he will certainly continue to serve as an ambassador of this organization for many years.”
Greene, 66, was the Steelers’ first-round pick in 1969. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in1987.
“When I played, our success was based on the people there — the players, coaches and front office — and I felt the same way when I was in scouting,” Greene said, according to the Steelers. “The people were very important to me, brought me along and made me feel comfortable, and I thought we made a pretty good team together.
“The people that I was working with made it all good for me — made it important to me — made it special. I will miss everyone in the Steelers organization.”