The last man to coach the Pittsburgh Steelers before the legendary Chuck Noll took over the team’s helm has died at the age of 84. Bill Austin passed away on Thursday at his home in Las Vegas. A cause of death was not announced.
Born in California, Austin played at Oregon State, and then for seven seasons (1949-1950 and 1953-1957) for the NFL’s New York Giants. He was named to the league’s Pro Bowl team in 1954, and helped the Giants to the NFL championship in 1956. Then, for six seasons beginning in 1959, he served as offensive line coach under head coach Vince Lombardi for the Green Bay Packers.
Austin coached the Steelers from 1966 through 1968, compiling a record of 11-28. Noll took over as Steelers head coach in 1969.
Austin then rejoined Lombardi, this time in 1969 with the Washington Redskins. In 1970, Lombardi was diagnosed with cancer, and Austin became the Redskins’ head coach, compiling a 6-8 record in his one season in the job. He subsequently spent stints as assistant coach with the Giants, the Los Angeles Rams, the Chicago Bears, the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Jets.