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John Michelosen

Coaching ∙ Ambridge

 

 

 

 

John Michelosen devoted his life to football and was still busy as chief scout for the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL when he was inducted into the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame. During a career of over forty years, John distinguished himself as both a player and a coach. He was the head coach of both the Pittsburgh Steelers and his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh. He played high school football in his hometown of Ambridge during the reign of Coach Moe Rubenstein. The Bridgers lost only four games during Michelson’s career. Then he moved to Pitt to play quarterback for Jock Sutherland for three seasons, during which the Panthers piled up a 23-3-4 record. John quarterbacked Pitt teams that won two national championships and blanked Washington in the 1937 Rose Bowl game, 21-0. Following graduation in 1938, John became Pitt’s backfield coach and guided the famous “Dream Backfield” of that year. In 1939, Jock Sutherland became head coach of the old Brooklyn Dodgers of the National Football League and John was his assistant. John served in the Navy from 1942 to 1945 and then joined Sutherland again as an assistant coach, this time with the Pittsburgh Steelers. After Sutherland's death in 1948, John became head coach of the Steelers and held the post for four seasons and later served as head coach at Pitt from 1955 through 1965.