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Tigers fall, need win to host first round -2/27/2015, 10:20 AM

Tiger women, MIAA champs, hang on -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

Monarchs survive on senior night -2/27/2015, 12:17 PM

With KU back in control, Jayhawks prepare for 'high drama' -2/27/2015, 10:19 AM

Nino Williams takes long road to success at Kansas State -2/27/2015, 10:18 AM

Sub-state basketball pairings -2/26/2015, 10:37 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Younger part of youth movement for Railers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

Big 12 reprimands K-State after court-storming -2/26/2015, 10:53 AM

Hays High's top four headed to Salina -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- HDN area state qualifiers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Porsch seeks a repeat in state finale -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Freshman Hutchinson leads young group of Redmen -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Norton steps up again to have shot at 3-2-1A state crown -2/26/2015, 10:50 AM

Shockers fight past Indiana State, set up big Saturday -2/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Rhoades back at state -- this time in 4A -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP survives Plainville -2/25/2015, 11:26 AM

K-State issues apology -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

HHS swept at Dodge -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/25/2015, 10:21 AM

Royals still hoping for Starling to break out -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Penske revels in Logano's victory at Daytona 500 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcat's win throws a roadblock at Jayhawks -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Feb. 23 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcats get it done -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

No-name Hahn wins Northern Trust Open -2/23/2015, 10:24 AM

FHSU softball splits on Sunday in Minnesota -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Logano wins first Daytona 500 -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Lutz: VanVleet has another day to remember -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

VanVleet takes Wichita State's assists title in win -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

'Cats seek confidence before game with KU -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

Perry Ellis, No. 8 Kansas rebound from loss, beat TCU -2/22/2015, 12:47 PM

Baylor drills K-State -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

Monarch girls run away from Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:38 PM

TMP wins physical game at Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Mathews all-state for HHS -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

HHS wins at Garden, jumps back into WAC race -2/22/2015, 12:41 PM

Wrestling roundup -- Hays High sends four to 4A state -2/22/2015, 8:19 PM

Victoria puts together complete game in win at Ness City -2/22/2015, 12:40 PM

HHS girls fall down early, lose at Garden -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Earnhardt Jr. makes Duel history, Patrick qualifies -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

HHS sends relays to state -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Tiger baseball takes two from UCM -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Gene Stephenson says he's filed his own appeal -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

TCU takes out K-State -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Bohuslavsky keys win for Tiger women -2/19/2015, 10:59 AM

Tiger men rally for MIAA win -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women No. 1 in Central Region -2/18/2015, 5:04 PM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/18/2015, 11:22 AM

Barton's Hensley named Player of the Week -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

TMP boys win, girls fall in Great Bend -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

K-State hopes to build some momentum at TCU -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

Two in a row for HHS girls -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

Hot early, HHS boys get win at Abilene -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

All is possible at Daytona -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

WVU tops Jayhawks in wild finish -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chiefs can find impact receiver in NFL draft -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chargers set sights on LA, push San Diego officials for action on stadium -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Defense a constant for Shockers -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

FHSU, UCM series moved to Hays -2/16/2015, 10:55 AM

KU prepares for full-court press -2/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Foster lifts Kansas State past Oklahoma on Saturday -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Three Tigers crowned MIAA champs -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Bowyer, after crash, slams qualifying format -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Phillipsburg girls knock off TMP at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Hays High girls snap losing skid -2/15/2015, 2:21 PM

Hays High stunned by Liberal at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger women's streak halted at Pitt State -2/15/2015, 10:26 AM

Tiger softball 1-3 to start season -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger men fall at Pitt -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tigers drop to 0-2 with losses to Mines, Regis -2/15/2015, 1:10 AM

KU coach kicks off tour in Hays -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

K-State guard Johnson laughs off hecklers at W. Virginia -2/13/2015, 10:13 AM

The Tigers' do-it-all Shaw -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

Samac staying on court, providing big games for Tigers -2/13/2015, 11:09 AM

Wichita State baseball players see winning as antidote to distractions -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals, Herrera agree -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals purchase contract of Derek Gordon -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

KU's Ellis near 1,000 points -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Hoxies' record just a matter of time? -2/12/2015, 3:26 PM

New coach, new season for FHSU softball -2/12/2015, 11:25 AM

Tigers look for better pitching in 2015 -2/12/2015, 10:14 AM

Shox roll to win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

Kansas State rally again falls short at W. Virginia -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

FHSU wrestling rolls to dual win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

2015 Eight-Man All-Star rosters -2/11/2015, 11:54 AM

Indiana State backcourt thrives with new characters -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Scott City rolls over TMP -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Jayhawks cruise past Texas Tech -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Kansas State braces for Mountaineers' full-court press -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Salina Central outlasts Hays High -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Tigers' Lehman earns seventh MIAA honor -2/9/2015, 1:56 PM

FHSU's Samac earns MIAA men's honor -2/9/2015, 1:56 PM

KBCA rankings, Feb. 9 -2/9/2015, 1:47 PM

Big day for Plainville grad Dani Winters -2/9/2015, 11:24 AM

Cowboys' Forte plays through flu -2/9/2015, 10:17 AM

At KU, Smith played on scout team -2/9/2015, 10:16 AM

North Carolina coaching icon Dean Smith dies at 83 -2/8/2015, 5:19 PM

Wichita State easily beats weakened Missouri State -2/8/2015, 4:52 PM

FHSU men hold off Hornets -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

TMP's Rhoades third in Phillipsburg -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

Sports Scores


Prep basketball


Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48


Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All

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Chuck Noll, Steelers coach who won 4 Super Bowls, dies at 82

Published on -6/14/2014, 6:09 PM

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By Gerry Dulac


PITTSBURGH -- Success was never a destination for Chuck Noll. It was not a road that had an ending, rather always a new beginning. It was a journey, a path that never allowed for complacency or made room for satisfaction. Along the way, the lesson he instructed was always the same, whether it was life or football: Getting to the top is not nearly as difficult as staying there.

No head coach in National Football League history has ever enjoyed as much success as Charles Henry Noll, the only coach to win four Super Bowl trophies. And he did it in a six-year span of the 1970s in which the Steelers, the franchise he transformed from doormat to dynasty, became one of the most dominating teams of any NFL era.

Noll died in his sleep Friday night from natural causes in his Sewickley, Pa., home, leaving behind a legion of admirers that includes former players, coaches and thousands of Steelers fans. He was 82 and had been in ill health for a number of years with Alzheimer's disease, a heart condition and back problems.

"He will go down as the guy who helped create the mystique that exists now with the Steelers," said former coach Bill Cowher, who replaced Noll in 1992 and accumulated 161 victories and one Super Bowl title in 15 seasons with the Steelers, second only to Noll's 209 victories in 23 seasons.

The late broadcaster Myron Cope once dubbed him the "Emperor," the leader of what eventually would morph into Steelers nation. And his professional journey eventually landed him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, alongside nine of the players he coached during their Super Bowl halcyon days.

But, along the way, Noll always traveled with the same dose of humility and purpose, never seeking attention and always trying to prepare his players for a career after football -- a stage he always referred to as "their life's work."

"He had a really interesting perspective on life," said former linebacker Andy Russell, who was in his fourth NFL season when Noll became head coach in 1969. "He'd tell us life is a journey and you never arrive. He was always telling us at some point to find our life's pursuit. I love the guy. He was a tremendous mentor in my life."

Born and raised in Cleveland, Noll and his wife, Marianne, maintained a condominium in Sewickley while also living in Bonita Springs, Fla., never wanting to abdicate their ties to Pittsburgh, which Noll helped transform into the "City of Champions" in the 1970s.

"He had a great curiosity about things totally unrelated to football or sports," said former Steelers publicist Joe Gordon, who has remained one of Noll's closest friends. "He has an amazing appetite for knowledge. It's incredible. Even in the later years, he's the same way. That's the thing that always impressed me about him."

"He was a hell of a man," Gordon said last night. "He was special. He was not your typical football coach, that's for sure."

Noll was a licensed pilot and sailor and was so well-versed in wines, cooking, gardening and home repairs that Cope, a longtime friend, referred to him as a "Renaissance man."

Once, upon arriving at Cope's Upper St. Clair home to tape a pregame radio show in the broadcaster's basement studio, Noll immediately asked about a stereo system that was sitting on the floor, not set up for use. Cope told Noll he had been unable to hook it up.

"Well, out came the spectacles from the pocket and, for 20 minutes, he sets up the stereo," Cope said. "From them on, I called him my handyman."

Noll was 34, the youngest head coach in NFL history, when the Steelers hired him on Jan. 27, 1969, after Penn State coach Joe Paterno turned down an offer to coach the team. At the time, Noll was in his third season as a secondary coach with the Baltimore Colts under Don Shula. Before that, he spent six seasons with the San Diego Chargers under coach Sid Gillman.

Even as a player, Noll was so smart that former Cleveland Browns coach Paul Brown employed him as a messenger guard who relayed the plays to the quarterback. But, at age 27, Noll retired as a player because he wanted to coach.

After winning his first game and losing 13 in a row his rookie season with the Steelers, Noll slowly transformed the hapless franchise into winners, going 5-9 in 1970 and 6-8 in 1971 before leading the Steelers to their first-ever playoff appearance in 39 years in 1972. And their first-ever playoff game even had a magical ending -- Franco Harris' Immaculate Reception that beat the Raiders, 13-7.

Two years later, the Steelers won their first of four Super Bowls under Noll, beating the Minnesota Vikings, 16-6.

"Chuck was an innovator, believe me," said former Houston Oilers coach, the late O.A. "Bum" Phillips, whose team staged several epic battles against the Steelers in the 1970s, twice in the AFC Championship game. "He was really intelligent, and most of us coaches aren't in the real intelligent class. His players played hard and clean. They were tough now, don't get me wrong. They'd knock your head off and hand it to you. But he believed in playing fair. He lived his life that way and coached that way."

When he presented him for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on July 31, 1993, team president Dan Rooney said of Noll: "I would like to thank him for what he did for all of us. Pittsburgh became the most livable city. The Steelers were the standard which every team in the National Football League tried to emulate. All of us became committed to being the best, including the fans."

It was a special time. It was fun when the road to the Super Bowl ended in Pittsburgh."

Noll, who received his degree in secondary education at the University of Dayton, once said he would have been a history teacher if he wasn't a football coach. Nonetheless, he was a teacher, a professor, and his classroom was the football field. He gave his players the "how to" -- his words for teaching them the way to block, the way to pull, the way to trap, the way to run.

Noll's son, Chris, is a history and English teacher at a private girls school in Farmington, Conn.

"He wasn't one who put his arm around you and pumped you up," said former running back Rocky Bleier. "His way was, 'I don't have time to motivate you. My job is to take self-motivators and show them how to become better.' He wasn't very comfortable at having to go pat guys on the back or jack them up. He will not go down in the annals of history as a great, halftime rah-rah guy."

Said Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Ham: "Chuck always said that if he has to waste time or spend time motivating players, he's going to get rid of those kind of people. He coined the phrase 'self-starters.' I always knew was going to be fair, no matter if you were (Terry) Bradshaw or the 45th guy on the team."

To those who didn't know him, and even to some of his players, Noll was viewed as cold, distant, something of an enigma. Once, he kept his hands in his pockets and refused to shake hands with Cincinnati Bengals coach Sam Wyche after a 1984 game because he didn't like Wyche's coaching style.

After another game in 1987, Noll grabbed former Oilers coach Jerry Glanville with one hand and angrily waggled a finger at him with his other, threatening to punch out Glanville because he felt the Oilers were deliberately trying to injure his players

"He told me the first time we played, 'Now, I'm not going to come across the field and shake hands with you,' " Phillips said. "When the game is over, I'm going to go ahead and do it because I just want you to know, win or lose, that's the right thing to do.' I said fine, Chuck. I didn't want to make him mad, not with all those players he had."

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