The Steelers announced today the team will retire Joe Greene’s Number ‘75’ in a ceremony on November 2, when the team hosts the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field.
Greene, the leader of the “Steel Curtain” defense during the 1970s, helped lead the Steelers to four Super Bowl victories and six AFC Championship game appearances. He played a critical role in the Steelers’ Super Bowl IX victory, the team’s first championship, in a win over the Minnesota Vikings with an interception and a fumble recovery. In his post-playing career, Greene became a member of Chuck Noll’s coaching staff for five years, and he later joined the Steelers personnel department for nine years.
“I’m overwhelmed with emotions,” Greene said. “I’m extremely pleased and I know that Dan (Rooney) and Art (Rooney II) put a lot of thought into making this decision.”
“Joe Greene was the dominant player and the unquestioned leader of the Steelers dynasty of the 70s,” Steelers President Art Rooney II said. “It is time that we recognize his importance and many contributions to the Steelers by officially retiring his number 75.”
“Joe was the cornerstone of the Steel Curtain,” Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney said. “This isn’t something you can do for everyone. He was a catalyst and to retire his number is something we feel is a special thing. I am so happy we are honoring Joe this way.”
Throughout his 13-year playing career, all with Pittsburgh, Greene earned All-NFL honors five times and all-conference accolades 11 consecutive years to begin his tenure with the Steelers. He was twice named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1972 and 1974.
The team’s No. 1 draft pick in 1969, Greene quickly emerged in the league as he was named the NFL’s Rookie of the Year and received the first of his 10 Pro Bowl selections.
Greene was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987 and has been recognized with the following honors:
· All-Time NFL Team (2000)
· NFL 75th Anniversary Team
· Super Bowl Silver Anniversary Team
· 1970s All-Decade Team
Greene’s Number ‘75’ has not been issued by the Steelers since his retirement following the 1981 season. He will join Ernie Stautner (No. 70) as the only players in franchise history to officially have their number retired.
After a 13-year playing career, Greene briefly worked as a color analyst for CBS Sports before becoming the Steelers’ defensive line coach from 1987-91. He then went on to coach the defensive line for the Miami Dolphins (1992-95) and the Arizona Cardinals (1996-03) before retiring from coaching and moving into the player personnel department with the Steelers. He spent nine years as a special assistant for pro and college personnel for Pittsburgh before retiring in 2013.