The Steelers have lost one of the greatest football coaches of all time. The men who currently own the franchise have issued statements of tribute to the late Chuck Noll, who presided over a stunning transformation of the organization and died Friday at the age of 82.
“As for the football end of it, I think he ranks with [George] Halas and [Vince] Lombardi,” Dan Rooney said. “There are many other good coaches over the history of the NFL, but I think Chuck Noll ranks up there with those other two guys right at the top. No other coach won four Super Bowls, and the way he did it was with dignity. His players were always his concern, both in treating them well and giving them what they needed to succeed on the field. . . .
“He never won Coach of the Year until 1989, but he didn’t care about those things. He did what he felt was right, and it carried over obviously to the football team. Chuck Noll was a coach who always was concerned with the basics of the sport. He always used to say, ‘This game is blocking and tackling,’ and to him that was playing the game the way it should be played.”
Dan’s son, Art Rooney II, explained that Rooney’s style made a huge impact on the team.
“When Chuck became our head coach he brought a change to the whole culture of the organization,” Art II said. “Even in his first season when we won only one game, there was a different feel to the team. He set a new standard for the Steelers that still is the foundation of what we do and who we are. From the players to the coaches to the front office down to the ball boys, he taught us all what it took to be a winner.”
Noll set an example that should be appreciated, understood, and applied throughout the sport of football, all other sports, and all industries.