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Art Rooney: Chuck Noll taught organization what it took to be a winner

Noll Getty Images

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.

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30 Responses to “Art Rooney: Chuck Noll taught organization what it took to be a winner”
  1. greenbaydean says: Jun 14, 2014 12:18 PM

    The best complement I can give Chuck Noll is that I hated his teams because they were always so damn good…. RIP Chuck

  2. jtm12180 says: Jun 14, 2014 12:20 PM

    All morning, I’ve seen all NFL fans paying respect to Noll…that in itself says everything you need to know about his legacy and what he means to the game

  3. cometkazie says: Jun 14, 2014 12:21 PM

    He had his priorities straight.

  4. blackngold4life says: Jun 14, 2014 12:28 PM

    STEELERNATION MOURNS THE DEATH OF AN NFL LEGEND

  5. joetoronto says: Jun 14, 2014 12:30 PM

    RIP, Chuck.

    I wish I could forget how much you cried when your Steelers played the Raiders.

    But I can’t.

  6. dickson29 says: Jun 14, 2014 12:30 PM

    Chuck Noll set the bar for every NFL coach. He made the Steelers the Steelers. Here we go Steelers here we go!

  7. oldcracker says: Jun 14, 2014 12:52 PM

    I have to admire the Rooney family for sticking with Coach Noll, especially in the beginning. For years, the Steelers were the laughing stock of the NFL (think of the new Browns). They couldn’t do anything right. Then came the hiring of Chuck Noll. I believe he only had 1 win that first year. It looked like the “same old….” However, the Rooney’s stuck with the guy and soon the Steelers were playing respectable football.

    I don’t know, or even care, how all the numbers stack up (other than the rings) but I appreciate the CHANGE he brought to Pittsburgh. The change in attitude, the change in play, and the change in results. However, it took the Rooney family to believe in him and stick with him.

    RIP, Coach Noll and God bless all involved.

  8. realnflmaster says: Jun 14, 2014 12:54 PM

    He’s was a good coach, but he was never as great as Rex Ryan.

  9. bobzilla1001 says: Jun 14, 2014 1:13 PM

    The first lesson in winning the Coach taught the organization was to install a player-scouting department. Back when drafts were held in Februarys, the Steelers were usually way ahead of the curve, selecting both future Hall-of-Famers and key contributors from obscure outposts.
    By all accounts, Noll, although often accused of being stubborn, relied heavily on his scouting department. He and Art Rooney Jr. debated over Franco Harris or Robert Newhouse as the team’s first pick in the ’72 draft. Noll preferred Newhouse. Fortunately, Noll relented, finally giving way to Rooney’s choice.
    Can’t imagine the Steelers without Franco Harris … or without Chuck Noll.

  10. filthymcnastyi says: Jun 14, 2014 1:14 PM

    Pittsburgh…the TRUE Title Town despite the lies those peeps from Wisconsin wanna peddle!

  11. halftermguv says: Jun 14, 2014 1:18 PM

    Chuck Noll made my father and I life long Steelers fans and for that gift I thank him. For 30 years we either watched the games together or talked on the phone after the game. Another Father’s Day approaches and I’ll miss my Dad but the memories of Super Bowls and Noll’s Steelers are priceless.

  12. lks311 says: Jun 14, 2014 1:19 PM

    First, my condolences to the Noll Family and the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. Noll was indeed a great coach who turned around the fortunes of, what was then, the worst franchise in the history of the NFL…bar none. For that alone, he has a place on the Mt. Rushmore of NFL Coaches.

    Second, this is the reason I never lose hope that my Lion fandom will one day be rewarded. You just need a spark to change history.

  13. nflpropickemking says: Jun 14, 2014 1:23 PM

    I remember when he labeled the Raider secondary “criminal element” after George Attickson nearly took Lynn Swans head off.He might have been right,but the Steelers had some rough dudes on their team also(Lambert-Hamm-Green-Blount-Greenwood-just to name a few)For me it was the best rivalry of all time,5 times they met in AFC championship game and the winner went on to win Super Bowl.I was a Raider fan and hated the Steelers,but looking back now I have soo much respect for them and their coach Chuck Knoll…….Rest in Peace buddy,you’ve earned it.

  14. nflpropickemking says: Jun 14, 2014 1:26 PM

    Sorry Chuck Noll……..

  15. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 14, 2014 1:42 PM

    Well I always say that the first owner in the league that realizes this concept and invests enough effort into the brains of their operation is going to find a very high yield way of capitalizing on taking things to levels of success in sports team ownership that has never been seen before. Somebody is going to wise up eventually and then just watch what happens.

  16. pdmjr says: Jun 14, 2014 1:47 PM

    Coach of the year? Big deal, he was coach of the ages. He won the town over from day one, we all knew the man would win, and did he ever.

  17. abninf says: Jun 14, 2014 2:09 PM

    “As for the football end of it, I think he ranks with [George] Halas and [Vince] Lombardi,” Dan Rooney said.

    ====================================

    Dan Rooney also said “He ranks up there with Halas, Landry and Lambeau”.

  18. 700levelvet says: Jun 14, 2014 2:20 PM

    RIP to a true NFL legend. The talent assembled on his Super Bowl teams was mind boggling. It’s truly a shame their fan base doesn’t carry themselves with the same humility and grace.

  19. billclintonspetkraken says: Jun 14, 2014 2:21 PM

    RIP from Viking Nation.

    You beat the Vikings in the Superbowl fair and square. Respect.

  20. mackcarrington says: Jun 14, 2014 3:48 PM

    Noll was a wise coach. He called Merrill Hodge the “dumbest football player he’d ever seen.”

  21. scw1993 says: Jun 14, 2014 4:12 PM

    Condolences to the Noll family, and Steeler nation.

  22. ztm54 says: Jun 14, 2014 5:16 PM

    The only thing that ever made The Emperor smile was beating the tar out of Jerry Glanville’s Oilers in the ’89 playoffs. Priceless!!!!!

    Best Story ever told was Rocky Bleier’s version of the “Two Monks.”

    Funniest story ever is Jon Kolb’s version of the “Alligator and the Playbook.”

    Best Motivational Speech ever told : “They think they won the G.D. Super Bowl yesterday!” Chuck Noll adressing his team before the ’74 AFC Championship in Oakland.

  23. Nofoolnodrool says: Jun 14, 2014 5:16 PM

    Noll was a wise coach. He called Merrill Hodge the “dumbest football player he’d ever seen.”

    Even in a somber moment some trolls can’t controlled themselves. Coach Noll deserves more respect, but some of today’s youth can only spell respect.

  24. audient says: Jun 14, 2014 5:53 PM

    Browns fan here. Respect for Chuck Noll. RIP.

  25. tedmurph says: Jun 14, 2014 7:38 PM

    Noll was a wise coach. He called Merrill Hodge the “dumbest football player he’d ever seen.”

    Even in a somber moment some trolls can’t controlled themselves. Coach Noll deserves more respect, but some of today’s youth can only spell respect.

    In what way does that statement disrespet Noll? If anything, it should add to his legend.

  26. tedmurph says: Jun 14, 2014 7:41 PM

    Well I always say that the first owner in the league that realizes this concept and invests enough effort into the brains of their operation is going to find a very high yield way of capitalizing on taking things to levels of success in sports team ownership that has never been seen before. Somebody is going to wise up eventually and then just watch what happens.

    What the heck are you talking about?

  27. kobebetterthanjordan says: Jun 15, 2014 12:13 AM

    Respect for having to listen to terry bradshaws laugh for all those years. Only coach with 4!? What about my Niners Billy Walsh!?

  28. stillers213 says: Jun 16, 2014 9:02 AM

    The 1979 team was the last Superbowl winner with all home grown players. Noll’s ability to find and develop players from small schools is what seperated him from other coaches back then. How many teams would have drafted Lambert in the 2nd round in 1972? The guy was about 200 lbs soaking wet. Nobody even knew who Stallworth was when he was drafted. Noll and his scouting department (Bill Nunn in particular) is what set the Steelers success in motion.

  29. stillers213 says: Jun 16, 2014 10:21 AM

    Oops, I meant 1974

  30. bblocker68 says: Jun 16, 2014 4:53 PM

    QUOTE, “Respect for having to listen to terry bradshaws laugh for all those years. Only coach with 4!? What about my Niners Billy Walsh!?”

    Bill Walsh won 3 Superbowls. ’81, ’84 and ’88.

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