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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

STEELERS' COACH RETIRES!

That's right. Longtime running backs' coach Dick Hoak is retiring.

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ABOVE: Dick Hoak runs over the Browns in his days as a Steeler player.
Brown: Steelers' Hoak to retire today
A Steelers coach will hold a news conference today to talk about his retirement.

Not that coach, but one who has been with the organization since the 1960s and became an anomaly in the itinerant world of assistant coaches.

Dick Hoak will leave the Steelers after 45 years of distinguished service with the team, including the last 35 as an offensive backfield or running backs coach.

Thanks, Coach.

He is the only assistant coach to serve under Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher, who also is contemplating retirement.

Hoak, who turned 67 in December, was the longest-tenured assistant coach in the NFL.

Hoak grew up in Jeannette, starred at Penn State from 1958-60 and did well enough during a 10-year playing career with the Steelers that he still ranks fifth on the franchise's all-time rushing list (3,965 yards).

A seventh-round draft choice in 1961, Hoak led the Steelers in rushing three times and made the Pro Bowl once.

During Hoak's early years as an assistant, Franco Harris became one of the top running backs in the NFL and helped the Steelers win four Super Bowls in the 1970s.

Jerome Bettis later rejuvenated his career in Pittsburgh and will likely join Harris one day in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Willie Parker, the Pro Bowler and team MVP, may be the unlikeliest of Steelers success stories.

The undrafted free agent just completed a season in which he rushed for 1,494 yards and set a Steelers single-season record for touchdowns (16).

Hoak coached just one season of high school football before Noll hired him in 1972. Cowher made the Greensburg resident the only coach from Noll's staff that he retained when he took over in 1992.

From '92-2005, the Steelers' 30,311 rushing yards ranked first in the NFL. (Thanks to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for the heads up.)

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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