Chuck Noll - 1969


1969 media guide photo of Chuck NollAll his life, Chuck Noll, the new Steeler coach, has been ready to react to an emergency. It started in high school, continued in College and followed him to pro football.

At Benedictine High in Cleveland, where he grew up, Noll started his jack-of-all-trades career as a running back. When the coach needed a tackle, the agreeable tow-head quietly made the switch, wound up on the All-State team and earned a scholarship to the University of Dayton.

Chuck Noll at the University of Dayton 1952At Dayton it happened all over again. Noll started as a tackle, but when a leak developed at linebacker, Noll was tabbed to plug the hole, doing it well enough to become captain of the Flyers, a member of the All-State team, and earn a shot at a pro career as the twenty-first choice of the Cleveland Browns.

Paul Brown, recalling that Noll had started as a lineman, converted him into a guard, a messenger boy lineman who alternated at running plays in to the quarterback. "After a while," said Brown the other day, "Chuck could have called the plays himself without any help from the bench. He was that kind of a football student."

Inevitably, another emergency arose in Cleveland when Tommy Thompson, one of the Brown's linebackers, wrecked a knee.You guessed it. Noll again was the fall guy, playing Thompson's post until 1959.

Noll was too young to quit when he did, a frisky 27 with a career ahead of him, but he wanted to coach. "I had a chance to coach at Dayton," he recalled. "I talked it over with my wife, Marianne, and we agreed that, since I wanted to coach eventually, this was the time to start." Ironically, in one of football's petulant whims, Noll did not get the job.

Instead, he was hired by Sid Gillman, then in the process of organising the San Diego Chargers. In five of his six years there, the Chargers won the Western title. "Congratulations on your choice of Chuck Noll," wired Gillman to Art Rooney the day the Steelers announced their choice. "He's the future coach of the year."

Noll moved back to Baltimore and the National Football League in 1966 when his old friend, Don Shula, needed a defensive coach to replace St. Louis-bound Charley Winner.


September 21st Steelers 16
September 28th Steelers 27
Philadelphia 41
October 5th Steelers 14
St. Louis 27
October 12th Steelers 7
New York 10
October 18th Steelers 31
Cleveland 42
October 26th Steelers 7
Washington 14
November 2nd Steelers 34
Green Bay 38
November 9th Steelers 7
Chicago 38
November 16th Steelers 3
Cleveland 24
November 23rd Steelers 14
Minnesota 52
November 30th Steelers 10
St. Louis 47
December 7th Steelers 7
Dallas 10
December 14th Steelers 17
New York 21
December 21st Steelers 24
New Orleans 27

Chuck Noll's first draft:

  1.   Joe Greene  (DT), North Texas State  
  2.   Terry Hanratty (QB), Notre Dame
  2b. Warren Bankston, (RB), Tulane (choice from San Francisco)
  3.   Jon Kolb (C), Oklahoma State
  4.   Bob Campbell, (RB), Penn State
  5.   Choice to St. Louis.
  6.   Choice to Green Bay
  7.   Charles Beatty, (DB), North Texas State
  7b. Chadwick Brown (OT), East Texas State
  8.   Joe Cooper  (WR), Tennessee State
  9.   John Sodaski (DB), Villanova
10.   L. C. Greenwood (DE), Arkansas AM & N.
11.   Clarence Washington (DT), Arkansas AM & N
12.   Doug Fisher (LB), San Diego State
13.   John Lynch (LB), Drake
14.   Bob Houmard (RB), Ohio University
15.   Ken Liberto (WR), Louisiana Tech
16.   Dock Mosley (WR), Alcorn A & M
17.   Bill Eppright (K), Kent State

CHUCK NOLL BY YEAR  1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979

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