Chuck Noll - 1975

From the 1975 media guide:

1975 media guide photo

When Chuck Noll became the Steeler head coach in 1969, he set an NFL championship as his goal and planned to reach it by building a team of this calibre through the annual player draft.

From that time until the Steelers won Super Bowl IX, Noll never deviated from this commitment and method of accomplishing it. At a time when respectability would have been accepted by many, he wasn't interested. That could have been achieved sooner than it was but to do so would have been at the expense of delaying the ultimate objective.

Noll's first official act with the Steelers was the player draft and that was when he began to build the team that eventually brought Pittsburgh its first National Football League title.

The Steelers made Joe Greene their initial choice in Noll's first draft. That established a pattern and an early indication of the course he would follow and the results that would come.

It was a pattern that saw the Steelers drafting very wisely, not only in the critical early rounds but throughout the draft. The Steelers had a series of productive drafts which formed the nucleus of the championship team. Forty-three of the 47 players who were in uniform for last season's Super Bowl were either drafted or signed immediately after the draft as free agents by the Steelers.

Of just as great importance as getting the players was what Chuck Noll did with them once he had them. Success was not immediate. Along with his team, he suffered through the growing process. There were disappointments and periods of frustration. It was four seasons until he had a winning team. It began with what appeared to be a disastrous year when the team won only one game. But in each of his early years there was unmistakable progress and the record improved.

It was during this time that Noll sold himself to his players and Steeler fans. In those early days, the Steelers and their coach were even impressive in losing. There was little doubt that Noll's low-key, patient approach had his football team heading in the right direction.

In 1972 the Steelers made their big breakthrough. They won their first division title and narrowly missed going to the Super Bowl, losing in the AFC title game to Miami by a 21-17 score. Last season they made the playoffs for the third straight year and Noll became the first coach in the team's history to register three consecutive winning seasons.

Now the challenge is to remain on top. He has responded to challenges all of his life and in typical Noll-fashion is looking to the present and future and not to the past which makes this one is biggest. He approached the 1975 season with the same determination he did his first.

When Noll came to the Steelers, he had an ideal background for an NFL head coach. He had played football competitively at all levels and spent a nine year apprenticeship as an assistant coach in pro football. At each plateau, he had been successful.

The things not known about him were the same questions that are asked about every coach who is starting his first head job. What about the intangibles? And although he did not win right away, he firmly established himself as a top coach by the way he handled his team, never losing control of the squad and maintaining an excellent rapport with the players which has existed on every Steeler team Chuck Noll has coached.


September 15th Steelers 37
San Diego 0
September 22nd Steelers 21
Buffalo 30
September 29th Steelers 42
Cleveland 6
October 6th Steelers 20
Denver 9
October 13th Steelers 34
Chicago 3
October 20th Steelers 16
Green Bay 13
October 28th Steelers 30
Cincinnati 24
November 3rd Steelers 24
Houston 17
November 10th Steelers 28
Kansas City 3
November 17th Steelers 32
Houston 9
November 25th Steelers 20
New York Jets 7
December 1st Steelers 31
Cleveland 17
December 8th Steelers 35
Cincinnati 14
December 14th Steelers 3
Los Angeles 10
December 22nd Steelers 28
Baltimore 10
AFC Championship Game
December 29th Steelers 16
Oakland 10
Super Bowl X
January 12th Steelers 21   Dallas 17

Chuck Noll's sixth draft:

  1.    Dave Brown (DB), Michigan - acquired in 1976 by Seattle in their          expansion draft.
  2.    Bob Barber (DE), Grambling
  3.    Walter White (TE), Maryland
  4.    Harold Evans (LB), Houston
  5.    Brent Sexton (DB), Elon
  6.    Marvin Crenshaw (OT), Nebraska
  7.    Wayne Mattingly (OT), Colorado
  8.    Tom Kropp (LB), Kearney State (choice from Kansas City)
  8b.  Al Humphrey (DE), Tulsa
  9.    Eugene Clark (G), UCLA (choice from New England)
  9b.  Bruce Reimer (RB), North Dakota State
10.    Kirk Heyer (DT), Kearney State (choice from New England)
10b.  Archie Gray (WR), Wyoming.
11.    Randy Little (TE), West Liberty State, West Virginia
12.    Greg Murphy [DE), Penn State
13.    Robert Gaddis (WR), Mississippi Valley
14.    Mike Collier (RB), Morgan State
15.   Jim Thatcher (WR), Langston (choice from Kansas City)
15b. Marty Smith (DT), Louisville
16.   Miller Bassler (TE), Houston
17.   Stan Hegener (G), Nebraska

Chuck Noll 1976>>>

Chuck Noll Index>>>

The Steelers History index>>>