PITTSBURGH - Former Pittsburgh Steelers are among those sharing their thoughts on Chuck Noll, the team’s legendary four-time Super Bowl winning coach who died on Friday at the age of 82.
Former Steelers offensive lineman Craig Wolfley said, "Chuck was a tangible part of my life, not just when I was with the Steelers, but for the rest of my life because there was an expectation that I brought forward from my career where it didn't end with football. It was about, what are you going to do with the rest of your life?”
Noll spent 23 seasons as head coach for the Steelers, but his impact on former players stretched beyond the field.
Rocky Bleier said, "When you start talking about fundamentals and lessons of life, all of a sudden, you hear yourself saying the same things that Chuck Noll told us.”
Steelers President Art Rooney II released the following statement:
“When Chuck became our head coach he brought a change to the whole culture of the organization. Even in his first season when we won only one game, there was a different feel to the team. He set a new standard for the Steelers that still is the foundation of what we do and who we are. From the players to the coaches to the front office down to the ball boys, he taught us all what it took to be a winner.”
Terry Bradshaw said, “He was a tough coach to me, and I spent more time with him than anybody, so I know. I learned how to be mentally tough with him, and for that I can never say thank you enough, because that got me through divorces, Super Bowls and those times when I had bad moments in big games.”
Political leaders are also reflecting on Noll’s life and legacy.
“Chuck Noll's passing is more than the loss of the man who created Steeler Nation. It is the passing of a husband, a father, and a wise and steady counselor to a generation of players and employees of the most storied franchise in football,” Gov. Tom Corbett and his wife, Susan Corbett, said in a statement.
Mayor Bill Peduto said, “Growing up as a kid in the 1970s was a magical time in Pittsburgh history. Our city wouldn't be what it was then -- or now -- without The Emperor Chuck Noll.”