Pittsburgh Steelers: Best Coaches All-Time

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Pittsburgh Steelers.  Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

The Men At The Top – Introduction, Part I

Ask any Pittsburgh Steelers fan to name as many head coaches as they can throughout the history of the team, and most likely you will only get three names. Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, and Mike Tomlin. Those three men have been the only head coaches to take the sidelines for the Black and Gold for the past 46 years.

While other NFL teams have hired and fired coaches at will since 1969, the owners of the Steelers, the Rooney family have placed their faith in longevity and allowed these three head coaches to remain until they decided on their own to call it a career.

Chuck Noll came on to a losing franchise in 1969 and stayed onboard until he felt it was time to hang up his whistle. Bill Cowher relieved him, reached a Super Bowl, but lost.

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Once he finally brought home the “one for the thumb,” he gave it one more season before going into broadcasting.

Now Mike Tomlin seems to be the next long-term head coach and will probably decide his time frame for when he steps down as he enters his eighth season.

Yes, there were head coaches before Chuck Noll. Incredibly, there have been just 19 head coaches in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team that came into the NFL 82 long years ago. For comparison purposes, the Oakland Raiders by hiring Jack Del Rio this year, have had 20 head coaches in franchise history that began in 1960.

Bear in mind that of the 19 coaches for Pittsburgh, two were repeaters. Joe Bach took to the sidelines twice (1935 to 1936 and 1952 to 1953). Walt Kiesling was the head coach in 1939 and 1940; took over during the 1941 season relieving a combination of Bert Bell and Aldo Donelli, and then again in 1954 until the end of the 1956 season.

Next: The Men At The Top - Introduction, Part II