Honoring the Legacy of Chuck Noll

By John Denny

Photo by Karl Rose/Pittsburgh Steelers

Hall of Honor . . . many schools have them honoring athletes, academic achievers, or former educators.  Many hospitals honor their physicians, nurses, and donors in Halls of Honor.  And sports organizations often induct players into their Hall of Honor.  

Recently, the Pittsburgh Steelers inducted five former players into their Hall of Honor.  These former athletes were recognized not only for their play on the field, but their impact on the community and on their family and friends.  

But through it all, there was one former honoree whose presence was felt by all . . . former four time Super Bowl winning head coach, Chuck Noll.  The proceeds from the November 11th event benefited the Foundation dedicated to diminishing head injuries as a result of sports activities.  Our Foundation was named in honor of that great and caring coach, The Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research.

It was because of Coach Noll’s inquisitive and caring mind that early concerns around player safety were first raised and questioned, which ultimately led to the development and universal adoption of the ImPACT Test (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing). It was Chuck Noll who demanded physicians provide more criteria than simply a hunch for players’ ability to return to play following a concussion. Instead, Chuck Noll demanded objective, scientifically-based data for a player’s safe return to contact.

Today, the Chuck Noll Foundation named in his honor has funded 14 early stage, cutting edge research totaling over $1.7 million dollars to better diagnose, treat, and prevent head injuries as a result of sports-related activities.

Chuck Noll has helped put the Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research in its own Hall of Honor.