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Former Steelers Coach Woody Widenhofer Dies at 77

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Former Steelers assistant coach and Butler, Pa. native Woody Widenhofer died at the age of 77 on Sunday, his son told the Tennessean.

Widenhofer coached the Steelers linebackers from 1973-78 and was the team’s defensive coordinator from 1979-83, winning four Super Bowls with the team.

“We are saddened to learn of the passing of Woody Widenhofer,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a press release. “Woody played an important role coaching our famed Steel Curtain defense when he helped us win four Super Bowls in the 1970s.

“He coached some of the best linebackers in NFL history during his time in Pittsburgh and was later elevated to defensive coordinator, where he guided the defense in our Super Bowl XIV victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

“A native of Butler, Woody will be missed by those who knew him and played under him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Widenhofer family.”

After his time with the Steelers, Widenhofer became a head coach in the USFL and with Missouri and Vanderbilt. He also served as defensive coordinator with the Detroit Lions, Southeastern Louisiana and New Mexico State and was linebackers coach with the Cleveland Browns.

Widenhofer retired from coaching in 2007. He is the second member of the 1970s Steelers coaching staff to die this year. Offensive and defensive line coach Dan Radakovich died in February.

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