Getting into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a player is hard enough. Getting into it as a coach is even harder. Hall of Fame coaches are leaders who not only had great success but were also able to keep it up over a long period of time. Two of the better coaches in the Hall of Fame from the modern era of the NFL are Don Shula and Chuck Noll.
Don Shula began coaching the Baltimore Colts and took them all the way to the Super Bowl, only to lose to the New York Jets of the American Football League. He would later move on to become the head coach of the Miami Dolphins and cement his place as a legend by winning more football games than any other coach in league history.
Chuck Noll only coached one team during his NFL career, the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played an integral role in bringing the Steelers out of the basement of the NFL, where they had been for a very long time, and emerging from the 1960’s as probably the best team in the league during the 1970’s. He would continue coaching through the 1980’s and is fondly remembered by fans of the team and the players he coached.
There is an interesting fact that joins these two great coaches, other than their on field success, and other than the fact that both their careers led them to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Both of these future coaches were drafted out of college to play football in the NFL by the Cleveland Browns. The Browns used their 9th round pick in 1951 on a defensive back named Don Shula and then used their 20th round pick in 1953 on a linebacker named Chuck Noll.
Neither really made their mark in the league out on the field, but along the sidelines there are very few people that can measure up to the career accomplishments of either Chuck Noll or Don Shula.