Remembering legendary Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Noll
JUN 14, 2014 10:26a ET
Chuck Noll was much more than the man behind the Steel Curtain. The coach, who died Friday in Pennsylvania at 82, was an integral component in turning a struggling franchise into a Super Bowl dynasty.
The football world reacted as such in remembering and appreciating the four-time Super Bowl champion coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"He had a really interesting perspective on life," former linebacker Andy Russell, who was in his fourth NFL season when Noll became head coach in 1969, said to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "He'd tell us life is a journey and you never arrive. He was always telling us at some point to find our life's pursuit. I love the guy. He was a tremendous mentor in my life."
Ironically, Noll wasn't the first choice of the Steelers. That was Joe Paterno. When the Penn State legend turned the job down, then-Baltimore Colts coach Don Shula suggested Pittsburgh hire Noll, one of his assistants.
Of that, a dynasty was born.
"Chuck always said that if he has to waste time or spend time motivating players, he's going to get rid of those kind of people," Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Ham told the Post Gazette. "He coined the phrase 'self-starters.' I always knew (he) was going to be fair, no matter if you were (Terry) Bradshaw or the 45th guy on the team."
Under Noll, the Steelers won four Super Bowls. He coached the team from 1969-91, being replaced by Bill Cowher.
"He will go down as the guy who helped create the mystique that exists now with the Steelers," Cowher told the paper.
Across social media there were many condolences offered to the former 20th-round draft pick out of Dayton. He was selected by the Cleveland Browns.
I fell in love with football watching Chuck Noll coach the Steelers! God Bless you Coach....RIP— mark schlereth (@markschlereth) June 14, 2014
RIP CHUCK NOLL.. #LegendsNeverDie— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) June 14, 2014
All you need to know about Chuck Noll: he took over a team that had 8 losing seasons in '60s. Won four Super Bowls in '70s.— Alan Robinson (@arobinson_Trib) June 14, 2014
1970 top pick in NFL Draft Terry Bradshaw in Pittsburgh w dad William & Coach Chuck Noll (center). # Pro FootballHOF pic.twitter.com/6KR8r5JnJ4— Greg Aiello (@gregaiello) May 5, 2014
R.I.P Chuck Noll..... One of the greatest to ever do it!— DonteHitner (@DonteWhitner) June 14, 2014
The guy who gave Tom Landry fits. RIP http://t.co/Pyr2ROAWGp— David Lee Parker (@rekrapeeldivad) June 14, 2014