Monday, June 16, 2014
Big Ben: Noll the 'greatest coach of all time'
By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH -- Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said no coach did it better than Chuck Noll following his annual youth football camp on Monday.
"He's the greatest coach of all time," Roethlisberger told reporters. "For any guy that comes in and knows the tradition and history of the Pittsburgh Steelers it started with him."
Noll, the only coach to win four Super Bowls, died Friday night in his Pittsburgh-area home at the age of 82. His passing has produced a torrent of heartfelt testimonials, from former players and Pittsburgh civic leaders to those who covered the Steelers when Noll transformed teams that had been perennial also-rans into the ones that won four Super Bowls from 1974-79.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, lowered its flag to half-staff on Saturday in honor of Noll.
Noll's funeral will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET at St. Paul's Cathedral in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh.
Roethlisberger, who has led the Steelers to a pair of Super Bowl victories, said he met Noll one time early in his career.
But he added, "That's family. As everyone knows around here Steelers family is Steelers family. Whether you met him once or never met him or knew him well it's a tragic loss for everybody so our thoughts and prayers are with him and Steelers nation."
Roethlisberger said Noll continues to impact the Steelers even though he retired in 1991.
"Look at what he did and what he's done for the Pittsburgh Steelers' organization," Roethlisberger said. "I think I saw a quote from Mr. (Dan) Rooney saying that he made the Steelers who they are. People that know football know how special he was. His legacy is why we play today."