Sport Relocation Post – Chuck Noll Was a Hero to Many Including the African American Community

| June 24, 2014 | 0 Comments


Smokin Jim pic

To the left is my guest blogger Smokin’ Jim Frazier. He writes sports articles for me once in a while to help get the word out about my Slick Move Guide Professional Athlete Edition. Smokin’ Jim Frazier is an award winning writer, a scout for the NFL, writes a weekly column in the New Pittsburgh Courier Newspaper and is a sports commentator for

You can contact Jim on Facebook at

This week Jim has outdone himself with a beautiful article about former Pittsburgh Steeler head coach Chuck Noll.

Chuck Noll Was a Hero to Many Including the African American Community

By Smokin’ Jim Frazier

From his first job in 1960 with the San Diego Chargers, a young football coach named Charles Henry Noll followed a winding road to the top of the football world.  After stops as an assistant coach at San Diego and the Baltimore Colts, Noll earned his chance as a head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969.

When coach Noll took over the Steelers they were the losingest franchise in all of sports.  A new head coach usually enjoys a honeymoon period with the fans, ownership and the media.  But after finishing 1-13 in 69, 5-8 in 1970 and 6-8 in 1971, not only was Chuck Noll’s honeymoon over, but it looked like he and the Steelers might be headed for divorce. Despite the Steelers’ off-season flirtations with Penn State’s Joe Paterno, Noll managed to keep his job. He drafted Franco Harris and his team made and won a playoff game in “immaculate reception” fashion. The team finished 11-3 and the dynasty was ON AND POPPIN’!

The Steelers Nation got its wings around the country in the African American communities because the Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs were the first two NFL teams with more black players on the team than white players. Chuck Noll promoted Bill Nunn, a sportswriter for a black newspaper, to one of his top scouts. Nunn was able to identify talented and under-represented football players in the historically black colleges. These players became the cornerstone of the Steelers success in the 70’s.  Among them were John Stallworth, L.C. Greenwood, Dwight White, Donnie Shell, Ernie Holmes and Mel Blount. “He was a father figure, with me being a young African-American growing up in the South and losing my father early in my college career.  My father died during my freshman year of college.  Just being young and immature, Chuck was a stabilizer; he was a stabilizing figure in my life.  He was a great mentor and great leader.  He was special.” — Hall of Fame cornerback Mel Blount. Chuck Noll also was the first IN NFL HISTORY to promote an African American to a coordinator position when he named Tony Dungy Defensive Coordinator in 1984.

The Steelers had the best players, best coaches, best scouts and ebony and ivory was in harmony.  Chuck Noll put all the pieces in place and the ROONEY RULE should have been called the Chuck Noll Rule and it would have been endorsed by everybody but Terry Bradshaw.  RIP COACH.

Thank you for reading.

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