PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Tom Donahoe had the opportunity to see the evolution of the Steelers under Chuck Noll from a variety of angles.
He grew up during the Steelers’ less-than-memorable mid-century run, worked with the team as a ball boy for three different Noll predecessors from 1964 to 1966, served under Noll as a scout from 1985 to 1991, and had the Steelers’ football operations department handed down to him after that.
Donahoe joined “The Fan Morning Show” on Monday to pay tribute to Noll and talk about his late mentor’s legacy.
He told the guys that he loved scouting for Noll because he didn’t nitpick about small details when evaluating prospects.
“He did not care where the player came from,” Donahoe said. “He did not really care about height, weight, and speed. He was concerned about players who could play and players who were smart and players who had a team-type attitude. I just enjoyed working with him and scouting for him because he had such an open mind toward acquiring talent.”
Donahoe said that one of the biggest things he learned from Noll was how to keep an even keel and stay consistent through ups and downs.
“Everybody talks about, ‘We can’t get too high with the highs, we can’t get too low with the lows,’” Donahoe said. “Chuck lived it. Chuck was that. And it really made his teams better because he was always on to the next task. He was always on to the next assignment.”
Donahoe told the guys that training camp was a huge part of that.
“He loved training camp,” Donahoe said. “I’ve never been around a coach who enjoyed going to training camp more than Coach Noll. He loved living in the dorms. At that time, years ago, the dorms were not air conditioned. Chuck always talked about the Spartan approach that’s so necessary to help you build a football team. We practiced hard, we played hard, we prepared hard, and all of it was a great tribute to Coach Noll and his ability to bring people together.”
The interview can be heard here: