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Chiefs' Cowher, 34, Is Hired by Steelers to Replace Noll

January 22, 1992|From Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Bill Cowher signed a four-year contract to coach the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday, becoming the NFL's second-youngest current head coach at 34. The Cincinnati Bengals' David Shula, 32, is the youngest coach in the NFL.

Cowher said he isn't intimidated by the task of replacing Chuck Noll, the only coach to win four Super Bowls.

"Chuck Noll is a legend, and it would be a mistake to ignore that success," said Cowher, who had been the Kansas City Chiefs' defensive coordinator for three years. "It's something we won't try to put behind us, but will try to build on."

Since winning their fourth Super Bowl in January of 1980, the Steelers have been a below-.500 team, with only four playoff appearances in 12 years. They have been to the playoffs once in the last seven years.

Cowher, who was a linebacker at North Carolina State, played for the Cleveland Browns from 1980-82 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 1983-84 before retiring to become the Browns' special teams coach.

He later accompanied Brown Coach Marty Schottenheimer to Kansas City, where he fielded the AFC's top-ranked defense in 1989. The last three years, the Chiefs have more sacks and have forced more turnovers than any team except for Philadelphia.

Cowher said that he will talk to former USC coach Ted Tollner about becoming a Steeler assistant, adding that he already has talked with former Green Bay Packer coach Lindy Infante.

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