Pittsburgh Steelers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Eric Dockett

pittsburgh-steelers-hall-of-fame
Former Steelers linebacker Kevin Greene gives his acceptance speech during the 2016 NFL Hall of Fame enshrinement.© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Honoring Greatness in Pro Football

If you watch any NFL football game, you will hear broadcasters describe players using some of the most glowing, hyperbole-ridden, superlative-packed language ever spoken. Not since the days when Caesar ruled the Roman Empire has one man gushed over another in such an adoring and worshipful manner. Their flattery gets a little crazy, and when Tom Brady is on the field, these commentators give the impression Brady might raise his arms out to his sides and levitate himself into the sky at any moment.

Is it annoying? Sometimes. But often, broadcasters are putting into words what the rest of us are thinking. Pro football players are unbelievable athletes, and they seem to be made of something other than the stuff of mere mortals.

The NFL distinguishes the most elite players from this throng of Earthbound gods by bestowing Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors, Player-of-the-Year awards, and other accolades. But any player can have one good year and win an award. While awards are good indications of superior play in a given season, there is only one real measure of a players greatness throughout their career: enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

There are 346 individuals enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Players and coaches must be retired for five years before they can be nominated. After nomination, there is a rigorous, multistep selection process that whittles the nominees down to a small class of no more than eight individuals (excepting 2020's 20 inductees), a truly elite group. These men are officially enshrined in the Hall of Fame during a ceremony every August.

The Steelers currently have 30 former players, coaches and executives enshrined in the Hall. They played a major role in making the Steelers franchiseand the NFLwhat it is today.

Steelers Hall of Famers: The Complete List

Player
Jersey Number
Position
Year Enshrined
Seasons

Terry Bradshaw

12

Quarterback

1989

1970–83

Franco Harris

32

Fullback

1990

1972–83

Joe Greene

75

Defensive Tackle

1987

1969–81

Jack Lambert

58

Linebacker

1990

1974–84

Lynn Swann

88

Wide Receiver

2001

1974–82

John Stallworth

82

Wide Receiver

2002

1974–87

Jack Ham

59

Linebacker

1988

1971–82

Mike Webster

52

Center

1997

1974–88

Mel Blount

47

Cornerback

1989

1970–83

Jerome Bettis

36

Running Back

2015

1996–2005

Rod Woodson

26

Cornerback

2009

1987–96

Dermontti Dawson

63

Center

2012

1988–2000

Ernie Stautner

70

Defensive Tackle

1969

1950–63

Bobby Layne

22

Quarterback

1967

1958–62

Jack Butler

80

Defensive Back

2012

1951–59

Bill Dudley

35

Running Back

1966

1942, 1945–46

John Henry Johnson

35

Fullback

1987

1960–65

"Johnny Blood" McNally

15

Back

1963

1934, 1937–38

Cal Hubbard

35

Offensive Lineman

1963

1936

Marion Motley

36

Fullback

1968

1955

Kevin Greene

91

Linebacker

2016

1993–95

Len Dawson

16

Quarterback

1987

1957–59

Walt Kiesling

35

Offensive Lineman / Coach

1966

1937–39, 1940–42, 1954–56

Donnie Shell

31

Safety

2020

1974–87

Troy Polamalu

43

Safety

2020

2003–14

Art Rooney

n/a

Owner, Founder, Chairman

1964

1933–88

Dan Rooney

n/a

President, Chairman

2000

1955–2017

Chuck Noll

n/a

Head Coach

1993

1969–91

Bert Bell

n/a

Co-owner

1963

1941–46

Bill Cowher

n/a

Head Coach

2020

1992–2006

Primary Steelers Hall of Famers

Primary Steelers Hall of Famers refers to players who played all or a significant portion of their career with Pittsburgh. These are some of the greatest Steelers of all time. Some won championships, some set records and all are beloved in the Steel City.

Terry Bradshaw

Though he is known today as the best Steelers quarterback of all time, Terry Bradshaw struggled when he came into the NFL in 1970. The Steelers were one of the worst teams in pro football, and their 113 record during the 1969 season had allowed them to choose Bradshaw with the number-one overall pick.

Within two years, Bradshaw led the Steelers to their first-ever playoff victory, and in 1974 he brought a Super Bowl win to the Steel City. By the end of the 1970s the Steelers had become known as one of the greatest teams in NFL history and the team of the decade. Bradshaw won four Super Bowls during his career as a Steeler and earned the MVP award for his performances in two of them.

  • Enshrinement Class: 1989
  • Position: Quarterback
  • Years With Steelers: 197083
  • Steelers Accolades: 3 Pro Bowls, 1 All-Pro selection, 1978 NFL MVP award, 1978 Bert Bell Award (NFL Player of the Year), 4 Super Bowl championships, Super Bowl XIII MVP, Super Bowl XIV MVP
  • Steelers Stats: 168 games; 27,989 passing yards; 212 passing TDs; 2,257 rushing yards; 32 rushing TDs

Franco Harris

Franco Harris came to the Steelers in 1972 and earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors right out of the gate. By the time he left in 1983, he had become the third all-time leading rusher in NFL history.

Harris was the feature back in a running attack that carried the Steelers to four Super Bowl victories. He earned the Super Bowl MVP award for his 158-yard performance in Super Bowl IX and is today ranked second all-time in playoff rushing yards.

Harris finished his career with the Seahawks in 1984, but for 12 seasons he was one of the best ever to wear the black and gold.

  • Enshrinement Class: 1990
  • Position: Fullback
  • Years With Steelers: 197283
  • Steelers Accolades: 9 Pro Bowls, 1 All-Pro selection, 4 Super Bowl championships, Super Bowl IX MVP, 1972 Offensive Rookie of the Year
  • Steelers Stats: 165 games; 11,950 rushing yards; 4.1 yards per carry; 91 rushing TDs

Joe Greene

Defensive tackle Joe Greene came to the Steelers in 1969 as the first-ever draft pick of new head coach Chuck Noll. The Steelers went 113 in Greene's first season, their worst record ever. But changes were coming to Pittsburgh, and through smart draft choices Noll built a championship team. Greene took home Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 1969 and went on to become one of the most dominant defensive tackles the NFL had ever seen.

Many football historians consider "Mean" Joe Greene the greatest Steeler of all time. He was the start of the Steelers' 1970s dynasty. As the cornerstone of the Steel Curtain defense, he was a key player in four Super Bowl championships.

  • Enshrinement Class: 1987
  • Position: Defensive tackle
  • Years With Steelers: 196981
  • Steelers Accolades: 10 Pro Bowls, 4 All-Pro selections, 4 Super Bowl championships, 1969 Defensive Rookie of the Year, 1972 Defensive Player of the Year, 1974 Defensive Player of the Year
  • Steelers Stats: 181 games, 1 interception for 26 yards, 16 fumble recoveries

Jack Lambert

As a rookie in 1974, Jack Lambert stood 64" and tipped the scales at just over 200 pounds. That is about the size of many wide receivers. Few would have guessed that the skinny kid from Kent State would become one of the most feared middle linebackers in NFL history.

Lambert was fierce and ruthless on the field, both a vicious run stopper and a ball hawk who managed to grab 28 interceptions in his career. Along with defensive tackle Joe Greene, he set the tone for the legendary Steel Curtain defense of the 1970s.

  • Enshrinement Class: 1990
  • Position: Linebacker
  • Years With Steelers: 1974-84
  • Steelers Accolades: 9 Pro Bowls, 6 All-Pro selections, 1974 Defensive Rookie of the Year, 1976 Defensive Player of the Year, 4 Super Bowl championships
  • Steelers Stats: 146 games, 28 interceptions for 243 yards, 17 fumble recoveries, 8 sacks*

* The NFL did not begin tracking sacks until 1982.

pittsburgh-steelers-hall-of-fame
Steelers Hall of Fame wide receivers Lynn Swann (left) and John Stallworth were among the most dynamic receiving duos in NFL history. https://imagn.com/setImages/282350/preview/10452521

Lynn Swann

Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw earned the nickname the "Blonde Bomber" due to his powerful arm and fondness for tossing deep passes. In the 1974 Draft, the Steelers acquired a pair of receivers who were as skilled at catching bombs as Bradshaw was at throwing them.

One was Lynn Swann, a wide receiver whose acrobatic catches have become the stuff of NFL legend. Swann hauled in many long passes, but he wasnt only a deep threat. He was also tough, fearless in traffic and reliable. He helped the Steelers win four Super Bowls, and his 161-yard performance in Super Bowl X earned him the MVP award.

  • Enshrinement Class: 2001
  • Position: Wide receiver
  • Years With Steelers: 197482
  • Steelers Accolades: 3 Pro Bowls, 1 All-Pro selection, 4 Super Bowl championships, 1 Super Bowl MVP
  • Steelers Stats: 336 receptions; 5,462 receiving yards; 51 receiving TDs

John Stallworth

Even if opposing defenses managed to stop Lynn Swann, they still had to contend with receiver John Stallworth. Stallworth came to the Steelers in the same draft as Swann. From 1974 to '82, they were the main players in one of the most dangerous receiving corps in the NFL, and essential to Pittsburghs four Super Bowl wins of the 1970s.

Swann retired in 1982, but Stallworth continued his career until 1987. He won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award in 1984 and finished his career as the top receiver in Steelers history.

  • Enshrinement Class: 2002
  • Position: Wide receiver
  • Years With Steelers: 197487
  • Steelers Accolades: 3 Pro Bowls, 1 All-Pro selection, 4 Super Bowl championships, 1984 NFL Comeback Player of the Year
  • Steelers Stats: 165 games; 537 receptions; 8,723 receiving yards; 63 receiving TDs

Jack Ham

Jack Ham was athletic, tough and smartthe perfect fit for a defensive scheme that asked a lot of its outside linebackers. His greatest strength was his versatility, as he was equally adept when rushing the quarterback, stopping the run around the outside of the line or dropping back into pass coverage. In 12 seasons with the Steelers, he earned six All-Pro nominations in a row and made eight straight Pro Bowls.

Today, Ham is regarded as one of the best outside linebackers in NFL history. He was a key part of the Steelers dynasty of the 1970s that won four Super Bowl championships.

  • Enshrinement Class: 1988
  • Position: Linebacker
  • Years With Steelers: 197182
  • Steelers Accolades: 8 Pro Bowls, 6 All-Pro selections, 4 Super Bowl championships
  • Steelers Stats: 162 games, 32 interceptions for 218 yards and 1 TD, 21 fumble recoveries for 1 TD, 3 sacks*

* The NFL did not begin tracking sacks until 1982.

Mike Webster

Iron Mike came to the Steelers as one of the picks in the legendary 1974 Draft, when coach Chuck Noll chose four future Hall of Famers. Though undersized as a rookie, Webster packed on another 30 pounds through strength training and built himself into one of the best centers in the NFL. He played in 220 games with the Steelers from 1974 to '88 and had a streak where he started 150 straight games. When he finally left the Steel City, he was the last remaining player who had contributed to all four Super Bowls in the 1970s.

  • Enshrinement Class: 1997
  • Position: Center
  • Years with Steelers: 197488
  • Steelers Accolades: 9 Pro Bowls, 5 All-Pro selections, 4 Super Bowl championships
  • Steelers Stats: 220 games

Mel Blount

Few NFL cornerbacks have made as big an impact as Mel Blount did in the 1970s. Tall for his era at 63", Blount had the size and strength to play the run, but also the speed for man-to-man coverage. His tenacious harassment of receivers in bump-and-run coverage led to the NFL's current interpretation of the illegal contact rule. In other words, Blount was so dominant they had to change the rules.

In 200 games over 14 seasons, Blount racked up 57 career interceptions and helped win four Super Bowls. He made two All-Pro teams, five Pro Bowls and earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1975.

  • Enshrinement Class: 1989
  • Position: Cornerback
  • Years With Steelers: 197083
  • Steelers Accolades: 5 Pro Bowls, 2 All-Pro selections, 4 Super Bowl championships, 1975 Defensive Player of the Year
  • Steelers Stats: 200 games, 57 interceptions for 736 yards and 2 TDs, 13 fumble recoveries, 2 TDs

Jerome Bettis

Jerome Bettis started his career with the Rams, and he came to the Steelers in 1996. Pittsburgh had just lost Super Bowl XXX to the Cowboys and had dismissed Bam Morris, a powerful running back with off-the-field issues.

At around 250 pounds, Bettiss punishing downhill running style matched the Steelers offense perfectly. He quickly became a fan favorite and earned the nickname The Bus.

Bettis ended his career with a Super Bowl XL victory in his hometown of Detroit, one of the greatest wins in Steelers history. He exited the NFL as one of the leading rushers of all time.

  • Enshrinement Class: 2015
  • Position: Running back
  • Years With Steelers: 19962005
  • Steelers Accolades: 4 Pro Bowls, 1 All-Pro selection, 1 Super Bowl championship
  • Steelers Stats: 145 games; 10,571 rushing yards; 3.9 yards per carry; 78 rushing TDs

Rod Woodson

The Steelers struggled in the mid-to-late 1980s. Gone were most of the big names from the glory years of the '70s. There were no more superstars in the Steel City.

That changed in 1987 when the Steelers drafted cornerback Rod Woodson. Woodson had blazing speed. Soon, pundits were calling him the fastest man in the NFL and one of the best defensive backs. He was a dangerous return man, as well, who could score any time he touched the ball. Woodson helped the Steelers return to formand by 1995 Pittsburgh was back in the Super Bowl.

  • Enshrinement Class: 2009
  • Position: Cornerback
  • Years With Steelers: 198796
  • Steelers Accolades: 7 Pro Bowls, 5 All-Pro selections,1993 Defensive Player of the Year
  • Steelers Stats: 134 games; 38 interceptions for 779 yards and 5 TDs; 22 fumbles recovered for 1 TD; 257 punt returns for 2,362 yards and 2 TDs; 220 kick returns for 4,894 yards and 2 TDs

Dermontti Dawson

While Dermontti Dawson may not be as well known as some of the other Hall of Famers in this article, he is certainly among the most elite Steelers of all time. He made seven Pro Bowls and six All-Pro teams, and in the early-to-mid 1990s he was considered the best center in the NFL. Dawson paved the way for power backs like Barry Foster, Bam Morris and Jerome Bettis. He played a large role in the Steelers' Super Bowl season in 1995, under coach Bill Cowher. The Steelers have a tradition of great centers and tough offensive line play, and Dawson certainly made his mark during his career.

  • Enshrinement Class: 2012
  • Position: Center
  • Years With Steelers: 19882000
  • Steelers Accolades: 7 Pro Bowls, 6 All-Pro selections
  • Steelers Stats: 184 games

Ernie Stautner

Along with Joe Greene, Ernie Stautner is one of two Steelers to have their jersey numbers officially retired by the franchise. For 14 seasons, he was an undersized but overpowering defensive tackle on Steeler teams that lost more often than they won.

Stautner made nine Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team in his career. Perhaps as importantly, he played at a time when the Steelers were cementing their reputation as one of the toughest teams in the NFL. Stautner certainly had a part in building that reputation and the tough image that the Steelers carry with them to this day.

  • Enshrinement Class: 1969
  • Position: Defensive tackle
  • Years With Steelers: 195063
  • Steelers Accolades: 9 Pro Bowls, 1 All-Pro selection
  • Steelers Stats: 173 games, 2 interceptions, 23 fumble recoveries, 3 safeties

Bobby Layne

Unlike most of the players in this article who made their marks as Steelers, Bobby Layne was already a superstar when he came to Pittsburgh. He spent the prime of his career in Detroit, where he quarterbacked the Lions to three NFL championships.

Layne came to Pittsburgh via trade in 1958 at the age of 32 and led the Steelers to a winning season. He posted a career record of 27-19-2 as Pittsburghs quarterback, which was pretty impressive considering the Steelers usual fate back then. Layne retired after the 1962 season tied for the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a career (196).

  • Enshrinement Class: 1967
  • Position: Quarterback
  • Years With Steelers: 195862
  • Steelers Accolades: 2 Pro Bowls
  • Steelers Stats: 9,030 passing yards; 66 passing touchdowns; 382 rushing yards; 8 rushing touchdowns

Jack Butler

Jack Butler was a hard-hitting defensive back who played for the Steelers in the 1950s. In 104 games, he collected 52 interceptions and ran four back for touchdowns. He made four Pro Bowls and three All-Pro rosters, all during a career when his team didnt post a winning record until his final two seasons. Butlers league-leading 10-interception performance during a 12-game season in 1957 is impressive even by todays standards. He also stepped in on offense from time to time and caught four touchdown passes in his career.

Butler was an old-school Steeler who never quite got the recognition he deserved. He was finally enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2012, a full 53 years after he had played his last down.

  • Enshrinement Class: 2012
  • Position: Defensive back
  • Years With Steelers: 195159
  • Steelers Accolades: 4 Pro Bowls, 3 All-Pro selections
  • Steelers Stats: 104 games, 52 interceptions for 827 yards and 4 TDs, 10 fumble recoveries, 1 TD

Bill Dudley

Bill Dudley played for three teams during his NFL career, but he made his greatest impact in Pittsburgh as a runner, passer, kick returner and placekicker. He was also the punter. He made All-Pro during his rookie year and led the Steelers in both passing and rushing in 1942 and '46.

In 1943 and '44, World War II took him away from the NFL. Though he only played two full seasons with the Steelers, Dudley still totaled 1,504 rushing yards with 10 touchdowns and 948 passing yards during his time in Pittsburgh.

  • Enshrinement Class: 1966
  • Position: Running back
  • Years With Steelers: 1942, 194546
  • Steelers Accolades: 1 Pro Bowl, 1 All-Pro selection
  • Steelers Stats: 1,504 rushing yards; 10 rushing touchdowns; 948 passing yards; 4 passing touchdowns

John Henry Johnson

If you ask Steelers fans to name the top five rushers in team history, chances are youll hear a lot of names before someone mentions John Henry Johnson. Johnson was a physical fullback who plowed over Steelers opponents from 1960 to '65. He is currently the fifth leading rusher in the history of the franchise, ahead of better-known Steelers greats such as Rocky Bleier, Barry Foster and Merril Hoge.

Johnsons contributions in San Francisco and Detroit helped solidify his place in the Hall of Fame. He piled up a total of 6,803 rushing yards and 48 touchdowns in his career and contributed to Detroits NFL championship in 1957.

  • Enshrinement Class: 1987
  • Position: Fullback
  • Years With Steelers: 196065
  • Steelers Accolades: 3 Pro Bowls
  • Steelers Stats: 67 games; 4,381 rushing yards; 4.4 yards per carry; 26 rushing TDs

Donnie Shell

Donnie Shell was a smart, strong safety who started in two Super Bowls. He was a key player on a dominant Steelers defense throughout the 1970s and well into the 80s. At the height of his career, he made three All-Pro rosters and five straight Pro Bowls.

Shell holds the third spot in franchise history for career interceptions, behind fellow Hall of Famers Mel Blount and Jack Butler. During his 14-year career, he intercepted 51 passes, which he returned for 490 yards and two touchdowns.

After years of waiting, Shell finally took his rightful place in 2020 alongside his fellow 1970s-era Steelers in the Hall of Fame.

  • Enshrinement Class: 2020
  • Position: Safety
  • Years With Steelers: 197487
  • Steelers Accolades: 3 All-Pro selections, 5 Pro Bowls, 4 Super Bowl championships
  • Steelers Stats: 201 games, 51 interceptions for 490 yards and 2 TDs, 19 fumbles recovered for 47 yards and 2 TDs
pittsburgh-steelers-hall-of-fame
Troy Polamalu (43) terrorized offenses during his NFL career and was an eight-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro.© Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY, USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Troy Polamalu

If there were an award for the defensive player who caused offensive coordinators to lose the most sleep during the 2000s, it would go to Troy Polamalu. He was an incredible athlete and fearless on the field. But what made him special was his instinct for the ball. He took chances and seemed to rely on an uncanny sixth sense to tell him where a play was going to goand he was usually right.

He had an ally in Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau throughout most of his career. LeBeau allowed Polamalu the freedom to improvise and line up in places where the offense would never expect to find him.

The result was three Steelers Super Bowl appearances and two championships during Polamalus career. While he didnt carry the Steelers there all on his own, he definitely played a massive role in their success.

  • Enshrinement Class: 2020
  • Position: Safety
  • Years With Steelers: 200314
  • Steelers Accolades: 4 All-Pro selections, 8 Pro Bowls, 2 Super Bowl championships
  • Steelers Stats: 158 games, 32 interceptions for 398 yards and 3 TDs, 7 fumbles recovered for 120 yards and 2 TDs

Minor Steelers Hall of Famers

Minor Hall of Famers refers to players who spent the majority of their careers elsewhere. It would have been nice if they had hung around longer, but Steeler Nation can claim them as their own anyway.

John McNally

"Johnny Blood McNally is a legendary figure from the early NFL. Also known as the Vagabond Halfback, he spent time with five different teams, including the Pottsville Maroons, Duluth Eskimos and Milwaukee Badgers. He played seven years with Green Bay and had two separate stints with Pittsburgh in 1934 and 193738. In his NFL career, he rushed for 386 yards and five touchdowns, caught 67 passes for 1,117 yards and 36 touchdowns and passed for 299 yards and four touchdowns, because halfbacks did that back then.

  • Inducted: 1963
  • Position: Running back
  • Years With Steelers: 1934, 193738

Cal Hubbard

Cal Hubbard was a member of the Steelers (then called the Pittsburgh Pirates) for part of his final year in the NFL in 1936. He spent the majority of his career with the Giants and the Packers. He made four All-Pro teams and won four NFL championships in his nine-year career.

  • Inducted: 1963
  • Position: Offensive lineman
  • Years With Steelers: 1936

Marion Motley

Marion Motley was a 230-pound fullback who trampled defenses for nine NFL seasons. He spent eight of those seasons with the Browns, one of the Steelers' biggest rivals, and only made a brief stop in Pittsburgh for his final year. As a Steeler, he only carried the ball twice for eight yards. As a Brown, he ran for 4,712 yards and 31 touchdowns. Motley made one Pro Bowl and two All-Pro teams as he helped the Browns win four AAFC championships and one NFL championship.

  • Inducted: 1968
  • Position: Fullback
  • Years With Steelers: 1955

Kevin Greene

Linebacker Kevin Greene terrorized quarterbacks as a member of the Rams for eight years before joining the Steelers in 1993. In three seasons in Pittsburgh, he racked up 35.5 of his 160 career sacks and played a key role in their Super Bowl appearance in 1995. He left to play for Carolina for the 1996 season, and eventually retired in 1999 ranked number three in NFL history for career sacks.

  • Year Inducted: 2016
  • Position: Linebacker
  • Years With Steelers: 199395

Len Dawson

Pittsburgh drafted Len Dawson in 1957 and parked him on the bench for three years. In 1960 they traded him to Cleveland, who didnt treat him much better. By 1962 Dawson had won an AFL championship as the starting quarterback for the Texans. During his 19-season career, he made seven Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams, and he won one Super Bowl and three AFL championships.

  • Inducted: 1987
  • Position: Quarterback
  • Years With Steelers: 195759

Steelers Owners and Coaches in the Hall of Fame

Art Rooney

The history of the Steelers starts with Art Rooney. Affectionately known as The Chief, Rooney was an NFL icon who founded the franchise in 1933 and served as team president until his passing in 1988. His dedication to the Steelers organization and the city of Pittsburgh is a big reason the team is so successful today. The Chief endured decades of losing until his beloved Steelers finally won a championship in January of 1975 (shortly followed by another three). The Rooney family has maintained majority ownership over the Steelers since the teams inception, and Rooney was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1964.

Dan Rooney

Art Rooneys son, Dan, played a major role in the Steelers success starting in the 1970s. He was the general manager responsible for hiring coach Chuck Noll, and he served as the teams chairman from the time of his fathers passing in 1988 until his death in 2017. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000, he also had a career outside of football. From 2009 to '12, he served as ambassador to Ireland under President Barack Obama.

Chuck Noll

Coach Chuck Noll came to the Steelers in 1969. Before Noll, the Steelers had been perennial losers with only one playoff appearance in their history. By 1974 Noll had built a championship team. Under his leadership, the Steelers won four Super Bowls in the 1970s and are widely considered the team of the decade. Noll retired after the 1991 season with a record of 193-148-1. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Bill Cowher

Bill Cowher was one of the best coaches in Steelers history. In 1992, at the young age of 34, he took over for the legendary Chuck Noll. By 1995 Cowher had brought the Steelers back to the Super Bowl, their first since 1979. They lost to the Cowboys, but it was the dawn of a new era in Steelers history. Cowher finally won a Super Bowl in 2005 by defeating the Seahawks. He resigned in 2007, still a young man. His career coaching record stands at 149-90-1. Coach Cowher was enshrined in the Hall of Fame with the class of 2020.

Bert Bell

As team owner and executive, Bert Bell was a key player in bringing the NFL to Pennsylvania. He was coach and founder-owner of the Eagles and had a stake in the Steelers from 1940 to '46. While he is revered today as an NFL executive he was also one of the worst coaches in NFL history. He led the Eagles and the Steelers to a combined record of 10 wins, 46 losses and 2 ties, giving him a career winning percentage of .179. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1963.

Walt Kiesling

Walt Kiesling is remembered in Pittsburgh as the Steelers' coach from 1939 to '44 and 1954 to '56, during which he posted a record of 30 wins, 55 losses and 5 ties. Before he retired and became a coach, he was a good player. Kiesling played guard and tackle for six different teamsincluding the Steelersduring his 13-year career, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966.

pittsburgh-steelers-hall-of-fame
Former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame. © Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers Hall of Fame Snubs

Selection to the NFL Hall of Fame caps a players legacy as one of the greatest of all time, but the process is far from perfect. Because of the small number of individuals inducted each year, some amazing players wait years or even decades to get in. If several nominated players played the same position, the Hall often seems reluctant to induct them all at once. As time passes and former players fall out of the public eye their chances of enshrinement diminish.

Several former Steelers probably deserve to be in the Hall of Fame today but have yet to make the cut, including:

L.C. Greenwood

Defensive end L.C. Greenwood was one of the most dominant pass rushers of his era. He lined up alongside Joe Greene as part of the Steelers Steel Curtain defense and helped bring four Super Bowl championships to the Steel City.

Hines Ward

Hines Ward is the best Steelers wide receiver of all time and one of only a few NFL players with 1,000 career pass receptions. He won two Super Bowls and was voted MVP in one. Hes missed the final cut four times so far.

Alan Faneca

Alan Faneca was one of the best guards in the league during his time in the NFL. He was voted to nine Pro Bowls and six All-Pro teams, and he won a Super Bowlyet he still somehow missed the final cut for the Hall of Fame in 2019 and '20.

Greg Lloyd

Outside linebacker Greg Lloyd racked up 54.5 sacks in an NFL career where he made five Pro Bowl rosters and three All-Pro teams. He played most of his career during a time when the Steelers struggled, at least by Steelers standards, but he was a major contributor to the Super Bowl run of 1995.

Carnell Lake

Carnell Lake was a former college linebacker and one of the best safeties in the league when All-Pro cornerback Rod Woodson went down with a knee injury in 1995. Lake stepped in at corner and made the Pro Bowl while helping the Steelers get to the Super Bowl. He made five Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team in his career.

Steelers Hall of Fame FAQs

Which jersey numbers have the Steelers retired?

Though the Pittsburgh NFL franchise has been around since 1933, the team has only retired two jersey numbers in its entire history: Ernie Stautners No. 70 and Joe Greenes No. 75.

How many Steelers are in the Hall of Fame?

The Steelers have 30 representatives in the Hall of Fame. This includes 25 players plus five coaches and executives.

Is Troy Polamalu in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Yes! Polamalu is part of the Hall of Fame class of 2020.

Which Steelers receivers are in the Hall of Fame?

The Steelers have two pure wide receivers in the Hall of Fame: John Stallworth and Lynn Swann. Both played during the Super Bowl dynasty of the 1970s

Which NFL team has the most players in the Hall of Fame?

The Bears have the most Hall of Famers with 35 players, coaches and executives enshrined as of 2020.

Making the Hall of Fame

Every football fan believes more of their teams players should be in the Hall of Fame. It is also easy to identify dozens of players who are worthy of induction yet remain on the outside. There lies the biggest problem with the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and halls of fame in general: If you let everybody in, it is no longer special. The Hall of Fame must truly represent the best of the best.

How does the NFL strike a balance between keeping the Hall of Fame exclusive while at the same time making sure great players get the recognition they deserve? It seems an impossible task.

Some people would like to see the classes expanded to include more players. The NFL will do exactly that in 2020, enshrining 20 new members as part of its 100th-year celebration. This will help fast track a few deserving players who have been waiting far too long.

Hall of Fame inductions and snubs give us one more thing to talk about (and argue about) when it comes to pro football. We all know the great players who are shoo-ins five years after retirement, and we know Tom Brady is going to fly there like Superman after he takes his final snap. However, the players in the gray areas make for some very interesting conversations. That, after all, is why we watch sports.

References and Statistical Resources

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