Chuck Noll

By Allyson Turner..CBS Sports

When Steelers owner Art Rooney hired Chuck Noll in 1969, the Steelers had never won a playoff game. Despite his first-season record of 1-13, the Steelers would improve in 1970 and 1971 and earned a playoff berth in 1972. In 1974 and '75 the Steelers beat Minnesota and Dallas in Super Bowls IX and X, respectively. The team would win a second string of consecutive Super Bowl titles, beating Dallas (XIII) and Los Angeles (XIV).

Noll would build the Steelers dynasty through the draft, and his first-round draft pick was defensive tackle Joe Greene. The following year, Noll would use his No. 1 pick to choose Terry Bradshaw. Noll drafted future Hall of Famers Franco Harris, Mike Webster, Jack Lambert, Jack Ham and Mel Blount. It was under Noll's direction that 'The Steel Curtain' evolved.

Noll played for the Cleveland Browns from 1953-59, first playing guard before switching to linebacker. He played in four NFL championship games and on two championship teams. He played college football for the University of Dayton and was Cleveland's 20th-round pick in the 1953 draft.

He retired after the 1991 season with 209 career victories, ranking fifth all time. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993, his first year of eligibility.

Who do you most admire in football, past or present? Why?
The one that influenced me the most is Paul Brown. His success and his control and his ability to teach.

For each of the following sports figures, what is the first thought that comes to mind?

  • Terry Bradshaw: Great quarterback.
  • Mean Joe Greene: Great defensive tackle.
  • Mel Blount: Grace in motion, especially on a horse.
  • Sid Gillman: A great person.
  • Don Shula: Likewise.
  • Jack Lambert: The most focused individual I've been around.

    What was the highlight of your career?
    It's not the Super Bowls, but, whenever you go into anything -- and this is something I've tried to get across to kids when I talk to them -- [it] is the feeling of belonging. When I was drafted and went to training camp, when I found out, 'Hey I can make this team,' that was a big thing. When I went into coaching, I was hired by Sid Gillman with no coaching experience. This was when the AFL had just started but when I finally got on the field and taught a few techniques and guys said, 'Hey I belong,' those are the things I remember more than anything.

    What was the low point?
    One thing about football is that it is very humbling. You are gonna lose some and when you work hard enough, you win some. The losing is always the low point.

    Of all the Super Bowls victories and all of your accomplishments, which are you most proud of?
    That's a hard question because each one is unique and different and I enjoyed them all. The first Super Bowl was defensive-oriented and our offense was more of a goal line offense. The second one was that way as well. The third and fourth, the offense blossomed because of guys like Stallworth and Swann, our running backs and also rule changes helped that offense be successful.

    What was the best piece of advice you were ever given?
    Be yourself. I learned that from one of my high school coaches, Abe Stroschneider.

    Is there any player, past or present, that you would've liked to coach?
    I think the ones I was coaching were pretty good. We had some good people and I played with some good people.

    What do you miss most?
    I have been to 39 professional training camps and if I miss anything it's the camaraderie with the people that are involved.

    Is there anything that you don't miss?
    There a lot of things that poke at your ego, that knock you down that I don't need anymore in my life.

    Who had the greatest influence in your life?
    My high school coach, Abe Stroschneider, and of course, my parents.

    What in your life are you most grateful for?
    My wife.

    What is a perfect day?
    The sun has to shine and that's all it takes.