Chuck Noll passes away at 82

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Legendary Steelers coach Chuck Noll, who turned around a long-suffering franchise and made it into one of the most potent dynasties in league history, has died at the age of 82, according to multiple published reports from Pittsburgh.

Noll, who according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review had been dealing with an undisclosed illness along with back problems, died in his sleep on Friday night.

Hired in 1969 at age 37, Noll coached the team through the 1991 season.

After acquiring Joe Greene and Terry Bradshaw in back-to-back drafts, Noll helped guide the Steelers toward a string of memorable moments, from the Immaculate Reception made by then-rookie Franco Harris in 1972 to the 1974 season, which started with one of the best drafts in NFL history (Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, Mike Webster), and ended with the team’s first ever league championship, a 16-6 Super Bowl win over the Vikings.

This year, the Steelers will commemorate the 40th anniversary of a championship that was 42 years in the making.

The Steelers won the Super Bowl the next year over the Cowboys and then, after two years not playing in the title game, they won two more, another over the Cowboys and one over the Rams.

“Chuck Noll is the best thing to happen to the Rooneys since they got on the boat in Ireland,” said Art Rooney Jr., the eldest son of Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr., has said, via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Only 59 when he left the Steelers, Noll amazingly never received serious consideration for other NFL jobs.  He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993, his first year of eligibility.

We extend our condolences to Coach Noll’s family, colleagues, players, friends, and the Steelers organization.

100 responses to “Chuck Noll passes away at 82

  1. Chuck was what football was all about. He was part of what I identified as the roots that developed into the powerhouse the NFL is today. RIP. Damn that Steelers team was good too.

  2. From a Browns fan who suffered through Chuck Noll’s conversion of the Steelers into a dynasty – RIP to a great coach and great man. An NFL legend in every sense.

  3. THIS IS A VERY VERY VERY SAD DAY, EMPEROR CHAZ IS DEAD. HE WAS A GREAT MAN, GREAT COACH, AND GREAT PERSON. AND WILL ALWAYS BE IN MY HEART FOR WHAT HE DID FOR PITTSBURGH, THE STEELERS, AND ALL PEOPLE OF PENNSYLVANIA. I AM SO HAPPY I WAS AT THE CRYBABY SEATTLE GAME AT HEINZ IN 2007 TO GIVE HIM ANOTHER, BUT SADLY THE LAST, STANDING OVATION. GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU COACH NOLL.

  4. Chuck Noll single-handedly changed the history books for the Pittsburgh Steelers by assembling and leading a team of legendary players to major success. He was a man of few words and strong convictions, I remember when he refused to shake Sam Wyche’s hand after a game because of how he felt about him. He was one of the best coaches in history, but also a very unique person in his personal life from what I have read about him. The Emperor will always be remembered by Steeler Nation. Sympathy to the family. RIP.

  5. I always respected Coach Noll in that he knew it wasn’t about him. It was about the team. In this current era, many owners, coaches and players should try to emulate Chuck Noll’s humility.

  6. This man was about so much more than rings and championships. To Steelernation fans everywhere: We feel your pain. We mourn, with you, the passing of a true icon. RIP, Coach Noll.

  7. Greatest coach who ever lived. RIP. Change the Lombardi Trophy to the Noll Trophy.

  8. for a guy who won a lot, never would know…Humble, classy and treated EVERY PLAYER on roster the same…
    A Cleveland boy who did great things….
    RIP Emperor Chas

  9. Mr. Noll. As a life long Steeler fan I just want to say Thank-you.

    You will be missed. R.I.P.

  10. RIP coach. I’ll never forget meeting Chuck and his wife at an old Mexican restaurant in Ft Myers Fla at the bridge going to Cape Coral, after winning Super Bowl 9. I asked coach do you think we will again, he said yes. I thought to myself after watching the Steelers lose and lose and lose it will never happen again. Thanks coach you made us a champion in Pittsburgh.

  11. Lived a good life, died a natural death, will be remembered for many more years.

    No more you can ask for from life.

  12. Coach Noll — brought a toughness and discipline to Steeler football that had never been seen. He was a no-nonsense, no b.s. coach who schooled the heck out of fundamental football.

    Outside of football, he was amazingly knowledgeable on so many topics — piloted his own aircraft too. Just an amazing guy.

    Coach Noll — will be deeply missed, and I expect Steeler Nation to let loose with a show of gratitude for Coach Noll on Opening Day -and- when we host the Saints to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Super Bowl IX.

  13. From a Packer fan, condolences to the Noll family and to the Pittsburgh Steelers and their fans. The Steelers are one of the most respected franchises in the NFL, in no small part due to the efforts of Chuck Noll.

  14. Truly one of the NFL’s legendary coaches and one of the reasons it grew to become Americas game over baseball.

    Well done coach – Rest In Peace.

  15. A day of great sorrow in PA. RIP Mr. Noll, and all due respect to your family. Packer Nation sheds a tear today. Thanks for the memories!

  16. I had been watching a lot of the Superbowl highlights and documentaries I had DVR’d recently. It brought back a ton of great childhood memories from the first couple of superbowls. This man, in some part, contributed to those great memories. Great man, great teacher, great coach! Much respect! R.I.P.

  17. From a Seahawk fan, if I could lower the 12th Man flag to half mast today I would. R.I.P. Coach Noll. Sympathies to your family, and Steeler nation.

  18. As a Steeler fan growing up, I don’t ever remember him yelling, or really much of anything about him- the focus was always on the players. Any special memories anyone can share?

  19. R.I.P. to the greatest coach to ever live. You will be remembered forever as the best. You turned the Steelers from a joke to the best franchise in the league. Thank you

  20. May you rest in peace Coach Noll, thank you for all the great football memories and even more for all the valuable life lessons you taught and adhered to.

  21. Chuck Noll never got the recognition he deserved for all of his accomplishments. He made the Steelers who they are and remains the only head coach with four Super Bowl wins. He deserves to mentioned with Lombardi, Halas, Brown, Shula and Walsh amongst the greatest coaches in NFL history. Thank you coach. R.I.P. You will be greatly missed.

  22. Chuck Noll was the ONLY reason I’ve been a Steelers fan since 1970, when the franchise first started to show signs of life with a 5-9 record after a 1-13 season in 1969.
    Prior to Mr. Noll, the Steelers were merely afterthoughts in Pittsburgh, taking a backseat to the Pirates and to Penn State football.
    People forget that the Steelers were well on their way to greatness, even before their remarkable 1974 draft, compiling 11-3 and 10-4 records in 1972 and ’73.
    This is truly a sad and somber day for Steelers Nation. RIP, Coach Charles Henry Noll.

  23. RIP Coach Noll. Much respect from Packer Nation. Noll played too – University of Dayton, and Cleveland Browns. Amazingly he did not win Coach of the Year until 1989, but that’s okay, he was Coach of the 70s.

  24. Google the clip of Chuck Noll giving Jerry Glanville the business. Priceless. Rest in peace.

  25. The Steelers captured my heart 37 years ago, and for me, Chuck Noll will always be THE coach. Not enough words to say thanks for the memories. Deepest condolences to all who knew and loved him. He never has been and never could be replaced.

    RIP

  26. One of the Great Ones ….. I’m a life long Patriot’s fan, but you had to respect Chuck Knoll and those great Steeler’s teams. Today’s Steelers embarrass the legacy of those great teams of Chuck Knoll.

  27. Growing up in Pittsburgh during the Steelers dynasty years was very special and was never taken for grantide. Some kids never get to share those moments with their dad or families because their teams never achieve that level of succcess.

    Remembering today the man that made that possible for many Pittsburghers. He created the stability and the standards that the Steelers are known for while staying out of the lime light. He never thought he was bigger than the game and knew the game was just part of life.

    Congratulations on YOUR life’s work Coach! Rest in Peace Emporer Chaz. Pittsburgh is sad but grateful today.

  28. Packers Nation passes along their sincerest condolences to Steelers fans and football fans around the world. Truly one of the most intelligent and successful NFL coaches of all times. Chuck Noll lives on forever in NFL history.

  29. One of the greats, at a time when coaches didn’t try so hard to make themselves larger than the game. As a boy growing up in Northern California the Steelers were on TV a lot. I remember the SBs in the 70s fondly. RIP coach.

  30. Sad day for Steelers fans as well as fans of the NFL. RIP Mr Noll.

    On a side note: Anyone that wasn’t wearing Steeler colored glasses or had skins in the game knows that Seattle got jobbed in Super Bowl XL.

  31. Chuck Noll was THE greatest coach to ever stand on the sidelines.
    We are Steeler Nation because of you.
    You will be sorely missed

  32. Big loss for the NFL. Sorry to hear of his passing. What a legacy he leaves behind. Tip of the cap to you, sir.

  33. Old School Raiderfan sends his condolences.

    Thinking of the dynasty era this morning and a key contributor.

  34. I’m old enough to remember when the Steelers were a joke, the NFL’s doormat team. Then Chuck Noll arrived, and man, what a turnaround!

    I don’t know how the numbers all line up but, I remember the CHANGE. Change in attitude, change in play, and the change in results. However, not many people noticed until the “emaculate reception.” That team was destined for greatness, and setting the foundation for one of the greatest dynasties of all time. (This coming from a Browns fan watching Paul Brown rule the NFL)

    It’s because of Mr. Noll and the job he did with the Steelers, that I keep my hope for the “new” Browns.

    R.I.P. coach.

  35. As a Packer fan that grew up in the 1970s and 1980s who saw very little winning for my team, Chuck Noll’s team were my 2nd favorite team and my adopted “home team” during that time. I loved watching the Steelers with the vaunted Steel Curtain, Lynn Swann, Terry Bradshaw, Franco, and so many others. It’s amazing when you think of the Steelers winning four SBs, you hear about the players but you almost never hear the name Chuck Noll mentioned. Talk about walking quietly but carrying a big stick.

    Mr Noll deserves more recognition than he got. Maybe in his passing people will give him some much overdue attention.

  36. Coach was a class act all the way.

    That’s more than I can say for some of the jerks here though who are actually clicking “thumbs down” to posts praising Noll and his legacy. What kind of sick moron does something like that?

    Seriously, there were 6 fools who gave the thumbs down to this post:

    “Legend.
    Rest in peace, coach.”

    Stay classy, morons.

  37. Raiders-Steelers-The best rivalry of all time-the most physical and badest teams ever.Thanks Chuck for being a huge part of it,it made me a football fan for life!

  38. Thanks for the memories coach. R.I.P.

    For those who are using this thread to take shots should be ashamed of your selfs.

  39. He’s not really dead as long as we can find a way to remember him.

    RIP Chuck Noll, you were one of the classy ones.

  40. First class individual. Steeler fans are justifiably proud that he was a big part of their team. RIP.

  41. At a time when the Steelers were the worst, Chuck Noll was the best thing they could ever have hoped for. Sometimes the words thank you don’t seem enough, but it’s all I have. Thank you Chuck Noll, for all you did and all you were: The best.

  42. A hated enemy in the day, but nothing but respect for him and the teams he built/coached. A true NFL LEGEND

    RIP Coach

    Sincerley,
    The Raider Nation

  43. I AM SO HAPPY I WAS AT THE CRYBABY SEATTLE GAME AT HEINZ IN 2007 TO GIVE HIM ANOTHER, BUT SADLY THE LAST, STANDING OVATION

    ==========++++

    Classy.

    Come see the CURRENT trophy if you’d like.

  44. Bucs fan here. I’m not a Steelers fan, in fact, anything but. But losing Chuck knoll meant a part of me went too. I remember my dad and I watching the Bucs in their expansion year. A 42-0 loss to the Steelers. I still remember the story in Tampa Tribune on game day. Pathetic for us in Tampa. Cartoon pictures of this sleek jet called the “Steelers” against the bandaged bi-plane Bucs. Some things just stick with you for your whole life. Kudos to you and yours Chuck Knoll. You were a class act and icon to the game.

  45. Steelers-Raiders Raiders-Dolphins Dolphins-Steelers Those were the best games ever!!! When ever any of these teams matched up you know you were in for a treat!! They were always the most tough, nasty, in your face, hard hitting games played. This was football!!! 3 great teams 3 great coaches Knoll, Shula and Madden. We can argue all day who is the best but we can all agree they all belong in the top of the talks. Prayers are with the STEELER NATION FAMILY!! Thank you coach Knoll for the great memories!!!! May God bless you and wrap his arms around you as he welcomes you to your new home in heaven!!! Dolphins nation even shed a tear today.

  46. Thanks for all the memories Chuck Noll. You are one of the best coaches of all time and Steeler history. 4-0 in steeler superbowl wins baby, you certainly built the dynasty. God bless your family.

  47. Thank you Mr. Noll for everything that you have done in life. People do not realize what exactly this man has done not only for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but for players and the game of football. He changed the entire drafting, development, coaching and game-planning strategies for the Steelers in a complete overhaul that took only 3 or 4 seasons to finally break through. 4 Super Bowl Championships in 6 years, two back-to backs, and they came close to getting there in the 2 years in between when injuries and locker room quarrels caused a disruption. He coached and mentored 10 Hall of Fame players if my math is correct and at least 2 more should be there as well (Greenwood and Shell). Unheard of. Rest in peace.

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