A legacy beyond winning Super Bowls.
Chuck Noll is certainly well known as the Hall of Fame coach who helped turn the Steelers into an NFL powerhouse, leading the franchise to a remarkable four Super Bowl wins in just six years. Chuck, a man of few words, remains to this day the standard by which all others who coach the Black and Gold will be measured.
But what you may not know is Chuck Noll’s critical role in helping to dramatically increase the understanding of concussions, and pioneered important changes to testing concussions in athletes. His inquisitive mind ultimately led to substantial safety changes across many different sports and levels of competition.
In an era when little was known about concussions, Noll’s commitment to the well-being of his players led to a breakthrough. In 1990, when one of those players had to sit out because of a concussion, Noll asked Dr. Joseph Maroon, the Steelers’ neurosurgeon, to look into head injuries and their effects.
Dr. Maroon ultimately teamed up with Mark Lovell, PhD, and Micky Collins, PhD to create a baseline test for determining the cognitive effects of concussions, the forerunner of what would become the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (IMPACT). The IMPACT Test is today used to monitor athletes’ concussions worldwide. Thanks to Chuck Noll, players today have a medically sound scientific objective method of determining when it is safe to return to play.
The Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research is proud to honor the memory of a true innovator for his lasting contribution to player safety by naming our organization after him.