This Week in Pittsburgh History: Steelers Turn Out the Lights at Three Rivers Stadium

Plus, the University of Pittsburgh makes an historic coaching hire.


In a venue where they played four Super Bowl-winning seasons, the Steelers ended their residency of Three Rivers Stadium 22 years ago this week with a 24-3 thrashing of the Washington Redskins.

Thousands of fans remained in the stands after the clock hit zero to watch a post-game ceremony that featured 50 former Steelers — among them Hall of Famer Franco Harris, Jack Ham and coach Chuck Noll. ⇓

Also this week in Pittsburgh history, Pitt hired Johnny Majors as its head football coach in 1972. Pitt had finished its previous season at 1-10 — four years later under Majors, the team recorded a perfect season and a national championship. Majors also recruited two of Pitt’s best players ever: Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett and quarterback Matt Cavanaugh.

Majors first training camp at Pitt was brutal. ⇓

Majors left Pitt for his native Tennessee in 1977, winning three SEC Championships there in 1985, 1989 and 1990. After being forced to resign in 1992, Majors returned to Pitt to coach four more seasons before retiring in 1996.

Majors died on June 3, 2020, at his home in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Learn more about the city’s past at The Odd, Mysterious & Fascinating History of Pittsburgh’s Facebook page.

Categories: This Week in Pgh History