George Perles, 1934-2020

When you talk about the Steelers defense from the 1970s, the names you think of are Joe Greene, Mel Blount, Jack Lambert, Jack Ham, Donnie Shell and the list goes on.

But the name George Perles is one that should be thought of as well.

Perles spent 11 seasons coaching the Steelers defense, starting as the defensive line coach, before being promoted to defensive coordinator and eventually assistant head coach.

Perles, 85, passed away on Jan. 7 from complications from Parkinson's Disease.

His legacy in Pittsburgh is one of a man who had a considerable role in coaching and developing the team's 'Steel Curtain' defense that helped the Steelers win four Super Bowls.

Steelers President Art Rooney II issued a statement on the passing of Perles, who finished his coaching career as the head coach at his alma mater, Michigan State.

Statement by Steelers President Art Rooney II on George Perles:

"I am sorry to hear the news of the passing of George Perles. George had a major role coaching our famed Steel Curtain defense when he helped us win four Super Bowls in the 1970s under Chuck Noll. George designed the Stunt 4-3 defense which helped Joe Greene and the Steel Curtain became one of the most dominant defenses in NFL history. He later was elevated to defensive coordinator and assistant head coach following the success of our defense.

"George will be missed by all who knew him and will be forever remembered for what he meant to the Steel Curtain defense and the Steelers of the 70s. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

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