Hall of Fame head coach Henry “Chuck” Noll has passed away at the age of 82. Noll was the legendary coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers for 23 years from 1969-1991. His four Super Bowl rings are most in NFL history for a head coach. Chuck was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1993.
Noll won four Super Bowls from 1974-1979, including two pairs of consecutive Super Bowl wins. Super Bowls 9, 10, 13 and 14 belong to him. Two of those wins were against the Dallas Cowboys, the beginning of the notorious Steelers-Cowboys rivalry.
Noll had been under a doctor’s care for an undisclosed illness. His wife, Marianne, found him unresponsive at 9:45 p.m. and called 911. Paramedics pronounced him dead 10 minutes later. In recent years, Noll suffered from severe back pain that limited his mobility and forced him to walk with two canes.
Noll had a career coaching record of 209-156-1, including a playoff record of 16-8. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame just two years after his retirement in 1991. He was chosen in his first year of eligibility.
Noll was known for choosing his words carefully. His often-repeated remark, â€śWhatever it takes,â€ť was short and powerful. It became the slogan for his great coaching career.
Noll inherited a Steelers franchise that had won 18 total games the previous five seasons, and his first team finished 1-13.
By the end of Noll’s fourth season, the Steelers had advanced to the AFC championship game. Two years later, they were Super Bowl champions.
Steelers Hall of Fame wide receiver Lynn Swann said Noll â€śnever gets the credit he deserves for managing one of the great teams in NFL history.â€ť After coaching NFL legends like Swann, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Jack Lambert, “Mean” Joe Green, and the invention of the infamous “Steel Curtain” Swann certainly had a point.
Only a scarce amount of people can say a negative thing about a man who touched so many lives both inside and outside the NFL. There are already shock waves, unsurprisingly, being sent around the entire world of sports after this announcement. The world has lost a true icon. Thoughts and prayers are with the family of the influential coach.
- Justin Hodges is a Staff Writer for ProSportsExtra.com