Owned by the Rooneys since joining the NFL in 1933, the Steelers have always been known for their family-like atmosphere. Noll believed strongly in such an environment and fostered it, a sometimes difficult chore while trying to win championships.
Yet the Steelers went from doormats to dynasty under him.
“As for the football end of it, I think he ranks with (George) Halas and (Vince) Lombardi,” Steelers owner Dan Rooney said yesterday. “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.”