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Chuck Noll Gets Snubbed in Best Coaches of All-Time Ranking



Steelers Chuck Noll Bobby Brister

Over the last couple of weeks, The 33rd Team has compiled top 10 ranking lists. The Steelers of the 1970s were tabbed as the second-best dynasty of all-time, and the Steelers’ 1978 Super Bowl-winning team was ranked the sixth-greatest squad in NFL history.

On Wednesday, Dan Pizzuta of the 33rd Team named the top 10 coaches of all-time, and while former Steelers head coach Chuck Noll made the list, he came in at No. 6. Not having a coach with four Super Bowl titles in the top 5 is a pretty big omission.

Before Noll’s arrival in 1969, the Steelers had never won a playoff game. They were the laughing stock of the NFL. Noll turned the franchise into winners. Of course, the Steelers had a great scouting department, but Noll provided the blueprint for the organization.

Chuck Noll coached 11 future Hall of Famers during his 23 seasons as the Steelers head coach. In 1993, Noll was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“Noll, a linebacker who played under Paul Brown in Cleveland, oversaw the Steel Curtain defense, which included multiple Hall of Famers. Noll’s ability to stabilize the Steelers is still felt today with the franchise only hiring two more head coaches — Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin — since,” Pizzuta wrote.

Pizzuta had George Halas, Don Shula, Bill Walsh, Vince Lombardi and Bill Belichick ahead of Noll. All five are legendary coaches, but I think there’s an argument for Noll to be in the top 5. Shula and Halas have more wins, but four Super Bowls in six years can’t be discounted. Noll’s Steelers are the only team to win back-to-back Super Bowl titles on multiple occasions.

Not to take anything away from Halas, but he dominated during an era of football when there was like 8-10 teams. It appears that Pizzuta ranked Halas over Noll due to his off-the-field impact on the game, which is certainly noble. I just wouldn’t have had Halas ahead of Noll.

“On the field, Halas helped invent the T-formation offense. Off the field, his legacy includes being the first to hold daily practice sessions, watching film to study opponents, and putting assistant coaches up in the press box for a better view on gameday,” Pizzuta wrote.