Steelers to wear Chuck Noll's initials

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers will wear Chuck Noll's initials on their helmets this year as a tribute to the only coach to win four Super Bowls.

Team president Art Rooney II revealed during an interview Tuesday with Steelers Nation Radio the initials are one way in which the organization plans to honor Noll, who passed away on June 13 at the age of 82.

"The team will be, for the first time, wearing a decal with Chuck's initials on it," said Rooney, who served as a pallbearer at Noll's funeral. "We will have some other ways to commemorate Chuck and really remember, I think, one of the greatest coaches of all time, and certainly it's an appropriate time to mark the passing of one of the greatest Steelers of all time."

Noll, a little-known assistant coach when the Rooney family hired him in 1969, transformed an also-ran franchise into a championship one, leading the Steelers to four Super Bowl titles from 1974-79.

The rise of the Steelers, who had never won a playoff game prior to Noll's arrival, coincided with the collapse of the steel mill industry, and gave Pittsburghers something to rally around. The migration from Pittsburgh after jobs dried up in the area fueled the national following the Steelers can legitimately claim.

Noll has a street outside of Heinz Field, where the Steelers play their home games, named after him. The football field at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, is also named after Noll.

The Steelers report to St. Vincent College on Friday for the start of training camp, and they will spend the following two-plus weeks practicing on Chuck Noll Field.

Rooney did not offer any other specifics on how the Steelers plan to honor Noll's memory.

Sept. 7, the date of the Steelers' season opener against the visiting Cleveland Browns, already has been designated Chuck Noll Day following a bipartisan resolution by Pennsylvania senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey.