HIS SUCCESS placed himself a cut above all other NFL coaches. He did so wanting or expecting no fanfare.
Chuck Noll guided the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl championships. No other coach has won more than three.
He weaved his magic in blue-collar fashion. He sculpted his teams in the mold of the Steel City -- tough, dedicated and selfless.
Noll took over one of the NFL's worst franchises in 1969. Five years later, the Black & Gold won their first-ever Super Bowl. It was a remarkable turnaround in a short amount of time.
A year later, the Steelers again hoisted the Lombardi Trophy, emblematic as pro football's champions.
Later that same decade, Pittsburgh again turned the Super Bowl repeat. A feat that still stands the test of time.
Noll embodied professionalism, ingrained at an early age.
He was a football star at Cleveland Benedictine High School, playing well enough to earn a grid scholarship to Dayton University. That spawned a professional career with the Cleveland Browns -- the Steelers' hated rivals. He was a tough-minded guard and linebacker.
That style suited him well as the Steelers' head man. His team were revered for the physical style of play and aggressiveness. They were more substance than style.
Noll was seen as cold and aloof with his players. That was the public's view, and not an accurate one. His players saw him as a mentor, father figure and a man who prepared them for life after football.
He was a molder of players and men in his low-key style, a style which yielded great success on and off the field.
Noll never received his just due as a coach. But he scripted a resume of winning that the NFL may never see again.