Chuck Noll - 1978


From the 1978 media guide:

1978 media guide photoUnder Chuck Noll the Pittsburgh Steelers have become one of the perennial powers in pro football and in 1978, his tenth season, they will be trying to make the playoffs for the seventh straight year, a feat accomplished previously only by Dallas and one that can be matched this season by Oakland also.

In leading the Steelers to a 9-5 record in 1977, the 46-year old Noll brought his nine year career mark to 74-51-1 which is the 17th highest win total ever by a pro coach and the sixth best of any active coach in the NFL. He needs three more victories to move into 16th place.

Chuck has coached the Steelers longer than any of their previous coaches and has the most wins in Steeler history. His Pittsburgh teams have won two NFL championships and five AFC Central Division titles. In 1972 he was named the AFC Coach of the Year by UPI and was accorded the same honor in 1976 by the Football News.

Since 1972, the first year the Steelers ever made the playoffs, Noll's regular season record is 62-21-1 which is a winning percentage of .744. His postseason mark of 8-4 matches the winning percentage of Don Shula for the best of any active coach. The AFC has been the winner in the two Pro Bowl games he has coached.

Noll's accomplishment in turning the Steelers around as quickly as he did was miraculous. He took over the team in 1969. It had won just 18 games in the previous five seasons and had just four winning years in the previous nineteen.

Drafting shrewdly and not sacrificing short-term improvement for his long-range goal of a championship team, he patiently went about the process of building with draft choices as a nucleus. Working with the team's capable personnel and scouting depart­ment, he was near-perfect in the draft in his early years. This has been the single most important factor in the success he achieved. All of the present starters are players drafted or signed directly out of college as free agents.

There were no short cuts, though, and his first season the team was 1-13. Losing seasons of 5-9 and 6-8 followed but there was no mistaking the progress the Steelers were making.

In 1972 the Steelers stunned the pro football world by winning eleven games and losing just three. The team had arrived. After a miracle victory over Oakland in the playoffs, the Steelers took undefeated Miami down to the wire before losing in the AFC championship game, 21-17, to the eventual NFL champions.

Two years later Noll realized his goal of an NFL championship in 1974 and his defensive unit turned in one of the most outstanding performances in sports history by holding Oakland and Minnesota to 29 and 17 yards rushing, respectively, as they won the AFC title and Super Bowl IX.

The following season the Steelers became the third team to win back-to-back Super Bowls when they defeated Dallas, 21-17, in what many consider the most exciting of the twelve Super Bowls played.


September 3rd Steelers 28
Buffalo 17
September 10th Steelers 21
Seattle 10
September 17th Steelers 28
Cincinnati 3
September 24th Steelers 15
Cleveland 9
October 1st Steelers 28
NY Jets 17
October 8th Steelers 31
Atlanta 7
October 15th Steelers 34
Cleveland 14
October 23rd Steelers 17
Houston 24
October 29th Steelers 27
Kansas City 24
November 5th Steelers 20
New Orleans 14
November 12th Steelers 7
Los Angeles 10
November 19th Steelers 7
Cincinnati 6
November 27th Steelers 24
San Francisco 7
December 3rd Steelers 13
Houston 3
December 9th Steelers 35
Baltimore 13
December 16th Steelers 21
Denver 17
December 30th Steelers 33
Denver 10
AFC Championship
January 7th Steelers 34
Houston 5
January 21st Steelers 35
Dallas 31

Chuck Noll's ninth draft:

  1.    Ron Johnson (CB), Eastern Michigan
  2.    Willie Fry (DE), Notre Dame
  3.    Craig Colquitt (P), Tennessee
  4.    Larry Anderson (CB), Louisiana Tech
  5.    Choice traded to Green Bay for Dave Pureifory
  6.    Randy Reutershan (WR), Pittsburgh
  7.    Mark Dufresne (TE), Nebraska
  8.    Rick Moser (RB), Rhode Island (choice from St. Louis for Marv          Kellum)
  8b.  Andre Keys (WR), California Poly
  9.    Lance Reynolds (OT), Brigham Young
10.    Doug Becker (LB), Notre Dame
10b. Tom Jurich (PK), Northern Arizona (choice from Tampa Bay for          Ernie Holmes)
11.   Nat Terry (CB), Florida State (choice from Tampa Bay for
         Ernie Holmes)
11b. Tom Brzoza, (C), Pittsburgh
12.   Brad Carr (LB), Maryland  

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