CHUCK NOLL: The Best Super Bowl Coach in NFL History
You may barely be able to make a slim argument with coach Bill Walsh..hell, even coach Lombardi if you want to factor in the 12 team league when he won his championships. But when it comes to the all out “Best” Super Bowl head coach, you need not look any further than former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach and Hall of Famer, Chuck Noll.
Of course you have Patriots fans and backers that will tell you otherwise, but Bill Belichick doesn’t even come close with his stats alone. Not to mention if you factor in the New England scandals of “Spygate” and the more recent “Deflategate”, which places asterisks next to his questionable championships. And in my opinion should keep him off the list altogether.
Noll won four Super Bowl championships in a six-year period starting with a 16-6 win over Minnesota in Super Bowl IX and culminating with a 31-19 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV. Pittsburgh also defeated Dallas twice in classic struggles, 21-17 in Super Bowl X and 35-31 in Super Bowl XIII. Noll took over a Pittsburgh team that had never won a championship of any kind in almost 40 years of National Football League play.
Never? In almost 40 years? That statistic alone warrants top praise, but that was by far not his only amazing feat in his tenure with the team from 1969 to 1991.
Through shrewd drafts and strong guidance, Noll helped team owner Art Rooney and the Steelers shed their “lovable losers” image. He quickly established a building program with an emphasis on the annual college draft to realize the ultimate goal of an NFL championship. Playing the role of head coach and general manager in a free agency-less era.
The rebuilding program bore fruit much more quickly than could have been expected. His fourth team in 1972 finished with an 11-3-0 record and the AFC Central Division title. The Steelers lost the 1972 AFC championship to the undefeated Miami Dolphins 21-17.
Altogether, Noll’s team won nine AFC Central Division championships and they had winning records in 15 of his last 20 seasons with the Steelers. He retired with an impressive 209-156-1 record in all games, including a 16-8-0 post-season record.
Add of of this along with having a plethora of Hall of Famers joining him in induction glory, and you have the best Super Bowl coach “Hands Down”! No ifs..ands or buts about it, or one spot of deception or “cheating” involved. And coming up on the year anniversary of his passing myself, as well as all Steelers fans alike would like to bestow him with this honor.
Brian Christopher Jenkins