Former Pittsburgh Steelers director of personnel Dick Haley, who is largely credited as the architect behind the 1970s dynasty that won four Super Bowls, has died at 85, his family announced Friday.
Haley, who played several years in the NFL as a cornerback before joining the Steelers’ front office in 1971, passed away following a long battle with dementia and Parkinson’s, his son and former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley announced on Twitter.
“Very sorry to say, the world, the NFL and my entire family lost one of the best people I’ve ever known and my idol,” Haley said on Twitter.
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“A man that gave me the best chance to succeed in this world. My father Dick Haley after [a] long fight with dementia and Parkinson’s. I love you DAD!”
Steelers President Art Rooney II also issued a statement Friday, calling Haley “an instrumental role in our unprecedented success in the 1970s.”
“We lost an amazing football mind and a better man with the passing of Dick Haley. He was a valuable part of this franchise for 23 years, the first 4 of those as a player and the final 19 as a member of the Player Personnel Department,” Rooney’s statement read.
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“Dick played an instrumental role in our unprecedented success in the 1970s during the second part of his career. He developed a unique eye for talent, and he ultimately helped identify and draft many of the players that allowed us to win four Super Bowls during that decade.”
“My condolences go out to the entire Haley family during this difficult time.”
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Under Haley’s tenure, the Steelers won four Super Bowls and drafted seven Hall of Fame players, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Haley also served as the director of personnel for the New York Jets from 1991 to 2007.