Denver Broncos head coach John Fox broke into the league in 1989 with the Pittsburgh Steelers when Chuck Noll hired him to be his defensive backs coach. On Monday, Fox commented on the Friday passing of Noll at the age of 82.
“The guy’s in the Hall of Fame. His accomplishments were outstanding,” Fox said of Noll. “I know what he meant to the city of Pittsburgh and I know what he meant to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. And I know what he means to the Fox family as well. That was my first opportunity in pro football and I can’t think of a better guy to start your career with.”
Fox said he learned a lot from Noll during the three years that he worked for him in Pittsburgh and that the Hall of Fame coach certainly had an influence on how he coaches.
“Probably his even-keel approach and his technique orientations and his teaching ability,” Fox said of Noll’s coaching style.
Prior to being hired by Noll, Fox was the defensive coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh and he talked Monday about having to interview twice with Noll for the job.
“I was nervous,” admitted a laughing Fox.
When Noll retired after the 1991 season, Fox left as well as he became the defensive backs coach for the San Diego Chargers. Still, Fox remembers Noll as a person that could coach any player at any time.
“The guy was constantly trying to acquire knowledge, it didn’t matter what realm it was. He was a tremendous teacher and he did, like I said, acquire knowledge all the time.”