Noll Foundation to focus on concussion, head trauma research

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Steelers are chipping in to launch the Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research, which will support continued research and education regarding brain injuries and treatment of sports-related concussions.

The foundation is named after Noll, the Hall of Fame coach who won four Super Bowls with the Steelers in the 1970s and was an early advocate for monitoring head trauma among NFL players.

The Steelers will make an initial donation of $1 million to the foundation, which will use an advisory panel of some of the country's top neurosurgeons to determine which research programs to fund. The panel will include Dr. Joseph Maroon, who became the first team-appointed neurosurgeon in the NFL when the Steelers hired him at Noll's urging in 1982.

Former NFL player Merrill Hoge, whose career was derailed by concussions, will serve on the foundation's board of directors, as well as Steeler co-owners Art Rooney II, Rob Cintrone and Larry Paul.

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