Hall of Famer Chuck Noll, the only coach to win four Super Bowl titles, was known by those around him as a great teacher, friend and father figure.
The legendary coach died Friday night at his home in suburban Pittsburgh. He was 82.
Noll coached the Pittsburgh Steelers to Super Bowl victories in the 1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979 seasons.
Noll was one of the most influential coaches in NFL history. He took over a struggling Steelers franchise in 1969 and turned it into a perennial winner. In 23 seasons, Noll's teams went 209-156-1 overall and 16-8 in the playoffs with nine AFC Central titles.
Many of those who played for and coached under Noll described him as a great leader and mentor. Steelers executives remembered Noll for his success and friendship.
The following is a collection of reactions on Noll from the Steelers and throughout the NFL.
---Steelers chairman Dan Rooney: "As for the football end of it, I think he ranks with (George) Halas and (Vince) Lombardi. There are many other good coaches over the history of the NFL, but I think Chuck Noll ranks up there with those other two guys right at the top. No other coach won four Super Bowls, and the way he did it was with dignity. His players were always his concern, both in treating them well and giving them what they needed to succeed on the field.
"As far as personally, Chuck was a good friend. His wife, Marianne, is a delightful person and really had helped him through his illness. Chuck, Marianne, Patricia and I spent a lot of time together. He was a very bright guy and experienced a lot of interesting things during his life, but he also was a very private person.
"He never won Coach of the Year until 1989, but he didn't care about those things. He did what he felt was right, and it carried over obviously to the football team. Chuck Noll was a coach who always was concerned with the basics of the sport. He always used to say, 'This game is blocking and tackling,' and to him that was playing the game the way it should be played."
---Steelers president Art Rooney II: "When Chuck became our head coach he brought a change to the whole culture of the organization. Even in his first season when we won only one game, there was a different feel to the team. He set a new standard for the Steelers that still is the foundation of what we do and who we are. From the players to the coaches to the front office down to the ball boys, he taught us all what it took to be a winner.
"Chuck was a wonderful person in addition to being a great football coach. The positive influence he had on so many people also will be part of his legacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
---Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw: "It's certainly sad for (wife) Marianne and (son) Chris to lose a husband and a father. In Marianne's case, Chuck was her best friend. There is nothing sadder. And you start thinking about Chuck and when all of the wonderful things that come to mind, you realize he's in heaven and spending eternity in peace. That's very refreshing. I'm proud to have played for him. It was a great honor.
"My relationship wasn't good, as you well know, but he made me understand my job responsibilities, because I had to grow up. I came out of an environment with nothing but pats on the back and love. With him it was nowhere near that. I had to go through all the developments emotionally of how to deal with it. He was a tough coach to me, and I spent more time with him than anybody, so I know. I learned how to be mentally tough with him, and for that I can never say thank you enough, because that got me through divorces, Super Bowls, and those times when I had bad moments in big games. He made me mentally strong, which I wasn't. And he instilled in me a great work ethic. I had a good work ethic, but preparation was paramount with him, so we spent a lot of time going through preparations for the games. He was an amazing guy."
---Former Steelers running back Rocky Bleier: "I am reflecting back on when I heard the news. I'm shocked. I think the greatest tribute that someone can pay is when you start talking about them. Chuck always said the success of his players will be in the upbringing of their kids, and I didn't know what that meant. But I think it was the impact of who they are as people and their values, and how that transfers to the impact that they have on their kids. I found myself doing this, giving Chuck's 'Nollisms' on life and how that affected us when we were playing, the basics, the fundamentals, giving 100 percent.
"You look back at those people who touched you, and Chuck was one of those kinds of people who touched you. Whether you had a close relationship with him or a distant relationship, he had an impact on our lives, and it was a positive impact. It changed how we thought and how we approached things, and maybe changed the expectations we had about ourselves. That was Chuck's biggest legacy. If you look back on that group of people he had and their lives thereafter, the commitments they made, the service they provided to their communities and in raising their families, that's probably the biggest tribute you can pay another person."
---Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Ham: "With all the great players -- (Terry) Bradshaw, (Lynn) Swann, Franco (Harris), (Jack) Lambert, (Joe) Greene -- we don't win championships without Chuck. He was the glue. He was the guy that got all of us to buy into how to win a championship.
"He took the lead. Obviously we were successful. There's no question -- you want to talk about an MVP of a very talented football team, it was Chuck. Preparation -- he always felt you don't win games on Sunday at 1 p.m. you win games in your preparation on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at practice. I think we all bought into that. We weren't on the field long for practice but all the time was allocated in a very efficient manner. He told us one time, 'You don't learn anything five minutes before a football game is going to make you play any better or any worse, it's your preparation.' I think a lot of guys not only carried that in football but in their lives as well."
---Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris: "I am a little shocked by this, and sad. My condolences and my heart goes out to Marianne. She's a great lady. These are times when we reflect on all the great memories and the great times that we had. And there's no doubt that these memories that we had, probably people consider them the best of times in pro football. That goes for Chuck, the organization and the team he put together."
---Former Steelers safety Donnie Shell: "All of my head coaches in high school, college and in the pros, they were all good teachers and father figures. Chuck was no different. They were great teachers. They were willing to teach and impart their wisdom and the things that they learned to you as a player. They helped develop you. Also, all of my coaches, including Chuck, cared about you off the field, your family life. That was also important. I noticed that about him. I was telling my wife earlier this morning that there was one thing I really admired about him and that was all people want the attention and they want to be known, and he never pursued that. He always took the back seat. He always labored behind the scenes quietly. And that was a great example of a servant leader."
---Hall of Fame wide receiver Lynn Swann: "First and foremost, Chuck provided a phenomenal basis and foundation for success for the Steelers as a team, and as the head coach he gave us the structure to accomplish everything we did. I think, certainly, he was a key component to the success of the football team and its winning habits. That's No. 1. I think No. 2, for all of us as players, taking what Chuck taught us helped us develop as men. He showed us how to live well, and he gave us a foundation that would help us become successful way beyond football.
"When you look at a number of players who played for Chuck and what they are doing today, there is a high degree of success. So, we've all benefited from things that we learned from Chuck on the football field and what we can take with us in life. There are so many lessons. I guess if you had to boil it down to one, it was his fairness, honesty, and the dedication to one particular cause. We live in the moment. We dedicate ourselves to what is important to us today, but there's also having an eye towards what is happening down the road and a vision for the future. But it all begins on how you respond to each and every day, each and every practice, each and every game. That kind of focus will get you what you ultimately want."
---Hall of Fame wide receiver John Stallworth: "One of the lessons I learned from him was that you've never arrived. That you never get to the point where you are the best that you can be, and you should admit you are always striving to be better and to get better in whatever it was -- as a football player, as a father, as a business person, as someone who was active in the community.
"You could always get better at something. Don't just settle for where you are. I think I carry that more than anything. You can always be better."
---Hall of Fame defensive tackle Joe Greene: "Chuck was just the ultimate leader. He had truth and belief in what he was saying, and over time all of those things he said were validated, the things about winning football games and being a solid citizen."
---Hall of Fame cornerback Mel Blount: "He was a teacher, he was a father figure, he was a coach. He was the stability we all needed. We were all young kids, great talent and everybody had their own goals and dreams, but he was able to keep us focused on one thing and that was winning.