PatsFans.com
PatsFans.com
Mac JonesMac JonesTrey Lance
Search

New England Patriots > Patriots Blog > NFL Commentary

Steelers owner Dan Rooney dies at age 84

John Morgan
John Morgan on Twitter
5 years ago at 7:00 pm ET
Posted Under: NFL Commentary

Pittsburgh Steelers owner and chairman Dan Rooney passed away today. He was 84.

Consider this: from their inception in 1933 through 1971 the Steelers made the playoffs only once. Pittsburgh had a total of only seven winning seasons, and managed only four years where they were two or more games above .500.

Then Dan Rooney took a bigger role in the organization, running the football operations in 1969 and finally formally being announced team president in 1975. He hired Chuck Noll and the team quickly went from annual cellar dwellers to perennial contenders. For those that lament the dark days of the Patriots, where the Steelers were prior to Dan Rooney taking on his role was was far worse. They went 25 years between playoff appearances. 25 years! From 1965-69 Pittsburgh’s record was 14-53-3, finishing in last place in four out of five of those seasons.

Chuck Noll, Dan Rooney, Pete Rozelle

A quote from a 1979 Sports Illustrated article shares words of Rooney’s wisdom that certain high profile owners would be wise to heed today.

The Steelers’ chief executive is 46-year-old President Dan Rooney, the oldest son of the team’s founder, 77-year-old Art Rooney. There is no biographical sketch for Dan Rooney in the club’s media guide. “I stay in the background,” he says. “A lot of owners in football think they have to say something profound, particularly to explain a win or a loss. I think the less you say, the better off you are. My job here is to make everyone else’s job easier. The Steeler players get the recognition, and that’s the way it should be. That’s better than having Chuck Noll or Dan Rooney get it. The players are the characters, if you look at football in the entertainment sense.”

While he was growing into his current job in the ’60s, Dan and his brother Art Rooney Jr., who is in charge of the team’s personnel department, determined that the Steelers, who had a history of trading away draft choices, should build through the draft. Only three of the Steelers on the roster for last Sunday’s game—placekicker Gerela, reserve Defensive Back Ray Oldham and reserve Tight End Jim Mandich—started their careers with other franchises.

In 1975 Pittsburgh went 12-2 and won their second consecutive Super Bowl. Rooney remained team president until 2002; during those years the Steelers were the class of the AFC and the best franchise in pro football over the last three decades of the 20th century.

More than anyone else, Dan Rooney was the reason for that turnaround. The Steelers’ long term success was due to the leadership at the top of the organization. Rooney earned his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

 

Rest in peace. Condolences to the Rooney family and Steelers Nation.


Posted Under: NFL Commentary
Tags: AFC AFC North NFL Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Football Hall of Fame


  • Comments are closed.

  • More News Headlines:

    Patriots News 12-4: Showdown Looming In Buffalo, Jones Growth Has Been Impressive, AFC East Notes

    Patriots News 12-4: Showdown Looming In Buffalo, Jones Growth Has Been Impressive, AFC East Notes

    By: Ian Logue
    With the Patriots riding a six-game winning streak, they’ll face a critical Monday night meeting against the rival Buffalo Bills, with a chance to grab…
    2 days ago
    Patriots Fourth And Two Podcast: Patriots vs. Bills Preview

    Patriots Fourth And Two Podcast: Patriots vs. Bills Preview

    By: Russ Goldman
    This episode is a preview of Patriots vs. Bills.
    3 days ago
    MORSE: Week 13 Preview – Patriots at Bills

    MORSE: Week 13 Preview – Patriots at Bills

    By: Mark Morse
    The Buffalo Bills will be the best team the Patriots have faced all year.  They are playing in Orchard Park, on the Monday Night Football…
    4 days ago
    Patriots Red Throwback Jerseys To Return After Decade-Long Absence

    Patriots Red Throwback Jerseys To Return After Decade-Long Absence

    By: Robert Alvarez
    The Patriots Hall of Fame confirms the team's red throwback jerseys will be making a comeback on the field next season.
    4 days ago
    ICYMI: Mac Jones, J.C. Jackson Earn Monthly NFL Honors For November

    ICYMI: Mac Jones, J.C. Jackson Earn Monthly NFL Honors For November

    By: Robert Alvarez
    Patriots quarterback Mac Jones and cornerback J.C. Jackson each earn monthly awards from the NFL for their success in November.
    4 days ago
    Search For Links: - CLOSE
    For searches with multiple players
    add commas (Ex: "Bill Belichick, Devin McCourty")