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Joe Paterno offered Steelers job in 1969

Posted on: November 10, 2011 10:03 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 10:05 pm
$70,000 wasn't enough to lure Paterno to Pittsburgh. (US PRESSWIRE/Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The abrupt end to Joe Paterno's 61-year coaching career at Penn State was national news Wednesday night. But 42 years ago, the winningest coach in Division I history almost left State College for Pittsburgh.

More on Paterno, Penn St

In 1969, a year after going 2-11-1 (and six years removed from their last winning season), the Rooney family offered Paterno $70,000 to coach the Steelers. It was $50,000 more than what the college paid Paterno at the time.

According to "Pittsburgh Steelers: The Complete Illustrated History," Paterno struggled with the decision before eventually declining the Rooney's offer to stay at Penn State.

"It was an awful lot of money, a fantastic offer," Paterno said at the time. "I'd never dreamed of making that much money. Then I started thinking about what I wanted to do. I had put some things out of whack. I haven't done the job I set out to do at Penn State."

The Steelers had to settle for one of Don Shula's assistants down in Miami. Some guy named Chuck Noll, who went on to coach in Pittsburgh for 23 years and led the Steelers to four Super Bowl titles. He retired in 1991 with a 209-156-1 record, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

"Hiring Chuck Noll was the best decision we ever made," Dan Rooney said in the book.

Bill Cowher succeeded Noll and coached in Pittsburgh from 1992 to 2006, winning one Super Bowl in 2005. Mike Tomlin was hired in 2007, after Cowher retired, and the Steelers made two Super Bowl appearances in his first four years (winning once in 2008).

hat tip: Shutdown Corner

After a tough loss to the Ravens last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers hope to bounce back as they travel to Paul Brown Stadium to battle the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Jason Horowitz is joined by's Pat Kirwan to break down this game.

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Since: Sep 12, 2011
Posted on: November 11, 2011 8:43 pm

Joe Paterno offered Steelers job in 1969

I don't know if the Steelers would had been successful if he did became the head coach instead of Chuck Noll. I think Terry Bradshaw would not been that good if he were to been on under a different coach as well.

Since: Aug 17, 2010
Posted on: November 11, 2011 2:03 pm

Joe Paterno offered Steelers job in 1969

Michael Vick gets two years for animal abuse. Paterno and his cohorts cover for a pedophile for ten years, allowing him to continue abusing innocent children, while, supposedly, educated Penn State students take to the streets and engage in violent protest over his firing, and the media who exposed this group, who, since they did nothing to stop it, apparently thought pedophilia was no big deal. What am I missing here? This group of people should all spend the rest of their lives in prison, in the general population, where they would have to live in fear till their dying days, just like the innocent children they all ignored.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: November 11, 2011 1:52 pm

Joe Paterno offered Steelers job in 1969

Who would have thought that Sandusky was a Catholic Priest and Paterno was 'Bishop of Pennsylvania'?

Since: Nov 11, 2011
Posted on: November 11, 2011 11:19 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: November 11, 2011 10:13 am

Joe Paterno offered Steelers job in 1969

I remember this well and Paterno, in his lack of infinite wisdom, turned the job down...THANK GOD! Even then he was making poor decisions and kept on making throughout his "illustrious" career.  For those who think he, and his recruiters were lily white in their efforts to snag good players for the UnHappy Valley Lyings, should go back to some of the recruits they did not get and hear the real real stories about what the Paterno personnel were offering above cash, cars, companions, etc. Lilly white my ass.

Since: May 7, 2008
Posted on: November 11, 2011 9:47 am

Joe Paterno offered Steelers job in 1969

Bernie, I sincerely hope you rot in hell.  You have are no better than anyone at PSU, joking or not.

Since: Jan 23, 2007
Posted on: November 11, 2011 9:40 am

Joe Paterno offered Steelers job in 1969

That is about the dumbest thing I have ever read.

Since: Oct 30, 2007
Posted on: November 11, 2011 9:37 am

Joe Paterno offered Steelers job in 1969

Could you imagine how out of control Roethlsiberger would have been if Paterno was the coach. He may have raped hundreds under Jo Pa's watch.

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: November 11, 2011 9:36 am

Joe Paterno offered Steelers job in 1969

They didn't need JoePa, 42 years later they have Big Ben to do the rapeing.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: November 11, 2011 4:34 am

Joe Paterno offered Steelers job in 1969

Thank goodness Paterno turned it down. The team may be anither city right now had he not. Noll saved the franchise, it is not very likely Paterno would have been a success in the NFL.

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